MAY 26, 1997

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Dining In: Summer salads that make the meal


Call for recipes: Do you have a favorite summertime recipe you'd like to share with your friends and neighbors? If so, send it to us. Mail to the Woodinville Weekly at P.O. Box 587, Woodinville, WA 98072; fax your favorites to 425-486-7593; or e-mail them to kdiefendorf@woodinville.com.

Tuscan Rice Salad
   Salt, to taste
   1 1/4 c. long-grain rice
   5 Tbsp. olive oil
   3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
   1 garlic clove, pressed
   1/8 tsp. dried thyme
   Freshly ground pepper
   1 c. frozen peas, thawed
   2 ripe tomatoes, diced
   1 red pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped
   3 marinated sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
   1/2 c. chopped celery
   1/2 c. chopped prosciutto
   1/4 c. pine nuts

   In a small pan, bring 2 1/4 c. water to boiling. Add salt, stir in rice. Return to boiling, stirring with fork. Lower heat and cover. Cook until rice is al dente and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Transfer to large salad bowl. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil over top. Fluff with fork. In small bowl, beat together remaining 1/4 c. olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour dressing over rice. Toss in peas, plum tomatoes, roasted pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, celery, prosciutto, and pine nuts. Taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Easy Chicken Salad
   2 whole chicken breasts, skinned, split and boned (about 1 and 1/2 to 2 lbs.) OR 4 c. cooked chicken
   1 Tbsp. lemon juice
   1/2 c. thinly sliced celery
   1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions
   1/3 to 1/2 c. mayonnaise
   1 Tbsp. lemon juice
   1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
   1/4 c. toasted slivered almonds, optional

   Place chicken breasts, thicker edges to the outside, in large pie plate. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Cover with wax paper and microwave on high power 11 to 14 minutes, turning over at half time. Stand covered, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and seasoning salt. Cut chicken into chunks and place in bowl with celery and green onions. Add mayonnaise mixture and mix well. Sprinkle with slivered almonds, if desired.

Mexican Salad in a Tortilla
   Four 6-inch flour tortillas
   12 oz. cooked chicken
   2 c. chopped, seeded, peeled tomatoes
   1/2 c. diced red onion
   1/2 c. green bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
   1/2 c. yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
   1/2 c. finely chopped cilantro
   1/2 c. finely chopped scallions
   2 Tbsp. finely chopped jalapeno pepper
   2 c. iceberg lettuce, shredded
   1/4 c. fresh lime juice
   2 Tbsp. olive oil
   1/4 tsp. salt
   4 lime wedges to garnish
   4 sprigs fresh cilantro to garnish

   Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray tortillas with nonstick cooking spray on both sides and place over upside-down oven-proof 6-inch baking dishes. To help hold shape, spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place foil, sprayed side down, on top of each baking dish and mold to cup. Place on baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes, until crisp. Remove from oven and cool. In large bowl, combine chicken, tomatoes, red onion, bell peppers, cilantro, scallions, and jalapeno pepper.
   Place tortilla cups, flat-side down, on serving platter. Fill each with 1/2 c. shredded lettuce and one-fourth of cod mixture. In small bowl, whisk lime juice, oil, and salt; drizzle over salads. Garnish with fresh lime and cilantro.

Oriental-Style Seafood Salad
(from The American Institute for Cancer Research)
   1 c. uncooked brown rice
   1 medium onion, chopped
   1/2 c. plain low-fat yogurt
   3 Tbsp. cold water
   1 1/.2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
   3/4 tsp. garlic powder
   1/4 tsp. pepper
   3/4 tsp. ground ginger
   2 c. cleaned, cooked shrimp
   1 1/2 c. green beans (fresh, blanched or frozen)
   1 c. bean sprouts
   1 c. red or green pepper, chopped

   Bring the rice, choppd onion and 2 c. of water to a boil in a medium saucepan; simmer 45 minutes until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. To prepare the dressing, whisk togther the yogurt, water, soy sauce, garlic powder, pepper, and ginger in a small bowl and set aside. When the rice is done, combine the dressing, shrimp, and vegetables in a large salad bowl. Toss lightly to mix thoroughly. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until mealtime.

Thai Cucumber Salad
   1 cucumber
   1/4 c. chopped fresh coriander
   1/4 c. lime juice
   2 Tbsp. minced red onion
   2 Tbsp. rice vinegar or cider vinegar
   1 tsp. granulated sugar
   1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
   Boston lettuce leaves (optional)
   Chopped peanuts (garnish)
   Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Then, cut each half crosswise into paper-thin slices. In a medium-sized bowl, make the dressing by combining the coriander, lime juice, onion, vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Stir this mixture thoroughly to dissolve the sugar. Add the cucumber slices to the liquid mixture and toss gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for approximately 4 hours. Meanwhile, line individual salad plates or a serving platter with lettuce leaves and spoon in the mixture.

Blue Cheese and Chive Potato Salad
   8 c. cubed, unpeeled red potatoes (about 2 1/2 lbs.)
   1/2 c. diced purple onion
   1/2 c. diced celery
   1/4 c. chopped fresh chives
   3/4 c. non-fat sour cream alternative
   1/3 c. non-fat buttermilk
   1/4 tsp. salt
   1/2 tsp. ground pepper
   1 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
   1/2 c. (2 oz.) crumbled Blue Cheese

   Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add onion, celery, and chives; toss gently. Combine sour cream alternative, buttermilk, salt, pepper, and vinegar; stir well. Stir in cheese. Pour over potato mixture; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill.

Avocado Pineapple Salad
   2 avocados
   2 tsp. lemon juice
   8 green lettuce leaves
   4 fresh pineapple slices or 4 slices no-sugar-added pineapple canned in fruit juice
   2 c. low-fat cottage cheese
   1/4 c. honey
   1/4 c. lemon juice
   Chopped mint (optional)

   Cut avocados lengthwise into halves. Remove peel and seeds. Cut each half into 4 pieces, lengthwise. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Set aside. Line 4 salad plates with lettuce leaves. Place 1 slice of pineapple on each plate. Spoon cottage cheese equally over pineapple slices. Place 4 avocado slices on top of each serving. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine honey, 1/4 c. lemon juice and mint. Pour over pineapple and avocado slices.