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AUGUST 18, 1997

Home & Garden


   Citrus Spinach Salad
   8 c. torn fresh spinach
   1 1/2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
   1/4 c. sliced green onions
   2 slices turkey bacon, chopped
   2 tsp. cornstarch
   1/2 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
   1 c. orange juice
   1/8 tsp. garlic salt
   1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
   3 oranges, peeled, halved, and sliced
   1/2 of a medium sweet orange or red pepper, cut into thin bite-size strips
   In a large salad bowl combine spinach, mushrooms, and onions; set aside. In a 12-inch skillet or a Dutch oven cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon; drain on paper towels. Set aside.
   Wipe out skillet with a paper towel. In a bowl combine cornstarch, orange peel, orange juice, garlic salt, and black pepper; add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Add spinach mixture. Toss until coated. If desired, return salad to heat and toss 30 to 60 seconds more or until slightly wilted. Return mixture to salad bowl; toss in bacon, oranges, and pepper strips.
   Mushroom and Walnut Salad
   1/2 lb. mushrooms, carefully washed, trimmed and sliced thin
   1 Tbsp. lemon juice
   4 oz. walnuts, chopped
   3 heads lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
   Walnut Dressing:
   2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
   1/3 tsp. salt or to taste
   Pepper to taste
   3 Tbsp. walnut oil
   2 Tbsp. safflower oil
   Wash and slice mushrooms, toss with lemon juice and refrigerate within an hour of serving time. Chop walnuts coarsely. Whisk together dressing of vinegar, salt and pepper, then add oils. Do not refrigerate. When ready, toss mushrooms, walnuts and lettuce together and add dressing. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary.
   Raspberry Pretzel Salad
   1 1/2 c. pretzels, crushed (use a blender)
   1/2 c. sugar
   1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted
   1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
   1 c. sugar
   1 6 oz. pkg. Raspberry Jello
   2 c. boiling water
   2 10 oz. pkgs. frozen raspberries
   Combine pretzels, 1/2 c. sugar and butter. Mix well. Press into bottom of 13x9-inch pan and bake at 350 F for 5-7 minutes. Mix cream cheese and 1 c. sugar. Cream well. Fold in cool whip and spread on cooled crust.
   Mix jello with water. Add frozen raspberries and mix so there are no lumps. Spread on top of cool whip mixture and refrigerate. Cut in squares and serve.
   Danish Vineyard Salad
   4 oz. Danish Fontina
   8 oz. Danish Blue Cheese, crumbled
   2 medium red delicious apples
   1/4 c. walnut oil (or 2 Tbsp. light olive oil and 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil)
   2 Tbsp. fresh grapefruit juice
   1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
   1/4 tsp. salt
   Dash of cayenne pepper
   1 tsp. minced fresh parsley (or 1/2 tsp. dried taragon, crushed)
   6 patty shells, baked according to directions (or purchased fresh from a bakery)
   24 seedless grapes, halved
   3 heads Belgian endive, trimmed and chilled
   36 walnut halves, toasted
   Cut the Danish Fontina into bite-size pieces and set aside. Core the apples, but do not peel them. Thinly slice the apples and drop the slices into a bowl of water with a few drops of lemon juice in it to prevent browning. Combine the oil, citrus juices, salt and cayenne and whisk until smooth. Stir in the parsley. (This dressing may be made ahead and refrigerated until needed; add the parsley at the last minute to retain its color.) Fill the patty shell with a mixture of the Danish Fontina and grape halves. Arrange on a baking sheet and heat in a 300 F oven. While the patties cook, drain the apples and pat the slices dry. Arrange in a fan shape on six serving dishes, leaving room in the middle of the plate for the patty shells. Tuck wedges of endive between the apple slices. Scatter the Danish Blue Cheese and walnuts on the apples and endive and drizzle with the dressing. Set the hot patty shells in the center and serve immediately.
   Wilted Salad with Country ham and Whole Garlic Cloves
   1/4 to 1/2 c. vegetable oil or olive oil
   30 large peeled garlic cloves, peeled
   1/2 lb. country ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
   1 large head escarole, washed and dried, torn or cut into bite-size pieces
   1 large head romaine, washed and dried, torn and cut into bite-size pieces
   2 heaping Tbsp. finely chopped thyme or basil (optional)
   1/2 c. red wine vinegar
   Freshly ground black pepper
   Heat half of the oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and cook over medium heat until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes. Add more oil as needed. Add the country ham and toss briefly to coat and marry the flavors. Set aside until needed, up to 1 day.
   When ready to serve, reheat the oil, garlic, and ham mixture. When hot, add the lettuce and toss for 1 or 2 minutes, until well coated with the dressing and slightly wilted. Taste. Add the herbs, vinegar and pepper as needed.
   Creamy Greek Salad
   4 oz. (about 1 c.) Feta cheese, crumbled
   3 pepperoncini peppers, rinsed, with seeds and stems removed
   8 oz. plain yogurt
   1 Tbsp. black olives, chopped
   1/4 c. diced tomato
   1 Tbsp. Marsala wine
   1 tsp. Italian dressing mix
   1 lb. romaine lettuce, leaves washed and torn
   Make dressing by combining feta, yogurt, olives, tomato, wine and dressing mix. Chop pepperoncini peppers, and mix well into dressing. Refrigerate 1 hour. Place romaine in a large salad bowl, and toss with dressing mixture.
   Tex-Mex Coleslaw
   1 1/4 lbs. green cabbage
   1 small or medium onion, sliced
   1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or 2 garlic cloves, sliced)
   2 tsp. sugar
   1/3 c. red wine vinegar
   3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
   Hot pepper sauce to taste ( a few drops to 1/4 tsp.)
   Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, then core and shred (by hand or food processor). Combine the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor to make the dressing. (Or chop the onions finely and mix well by hand.) After adjusting the seasoning level of the dressing, pour over the shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Toss well.
   Tex-Mex Coleslaw can be made up to 2-3 days ahead. Stir well and re-check seasoning level before serving. Try for a mild, but not overpowering, tang.