Salad Time!

It's hot as Hades out there, kiddies. Cooking is the last thing on your mind. The idea of lighting up that stove---ug! Even the old barbecue grill starts looking unappetizing. Still, we need sustenance. That means, salad time!---that ole stand-by. And by that I mean using fresh summer greens (with some canned stuff when needed. It doesn't hurt).
Given below are given some quick and easy salad dishes. No cooking necessary. The recipes start from the simplest to a more substantial Salad Nicoise (which uses boiled eggs---and those you can get at the deli). Anyway, Here goes.

Basic Avocado Salad: Take one medium to large ripe avocado; peel, and cut into slices length-wise. Place on a serving plate, drizzle with olive oil and red-wine vinegar. Sprinkle with fresh or dried oregano, and a pinch of salt. That's it. Serve with bread.

Cucumber Salad: In a salad bowl, place 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly. In another smaller bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar; 2 tablespoons olive oil; 1/4 teaspoon salt; and 1 tablespoon white or red wine vinegar. Pour over cucumbers and marinate 15-20 minutes. You can serve the cukes as is or, to liven it up more, you can stir in 1/2 cup sour cream and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives.

Broccoli Salad: In a large salad bowl, combine 2 pounds fresh broccoli, washed, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces; 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese; and 1 medium red onion, sliced thinly. In another smaller bowl combine 1 cup mayonnaise; 2 tablespoons sugar; and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Add to salad and toss to coat.

Veggie Salad: In a bowl, mix one head cauliflower, broken into florets; 1 head lettuce, washed and dried thoroughly; one medium red onion, sliced thin; and one cup fresh or frozen peas. In another smaller bowl, combine 2 cups mayonnaise; 2 tablespoons sugar; 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese; 1/4 teaspoon salt; and 2 teaspoons white vinegar. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Green Salad: Rinse and drain well one head Bibb lettuce, 1 bunch fresh spinach, 1 bunch escarole lettuce, and 1 bunch endive. Tear into bite-sized pieces and toss in a large salad bowl. In a blender or food processor combine 1/2 cup olive oil; 1/4 cup red wine vinegar; 2 tablespoons sugar; 1 teaspoon dry mustard; 1 teaspoon celery seed; and 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled. Pour over salad greens and toss gently. If desired, you can garnish with cooked and crumbled bacon (if you can stand the idea of cooking anything).

String Bean Salad: Marinate overnight in half a cup white vinegar: one pound fresh or frozen green beans, and 1 cup black olives, with salt and pepper to taste. Next day, combine 1 cup sour cream; 1/2 cup mayonnaise; 2 tablespoons chopped chives; 1 teaspoon lemon juice; 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard; and 1 teaspoon horseradish. Drain beans and olives from marinade, and toss lightly with the dressing ingredients.

Three Bean Salad: In a mixing bowl, combine 1 can (16 ounces) garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained; 1 can (l6 ounces) red kidney beans, drained; 1 can (16 ounces) white Cannellini beans, drained. Add 1/2 cup prepared Italian dressing; 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar; 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning; 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix together and refrigerate 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Drain and serve.

Salad Nicoise

1-2 heads Romaine or Boston lettuce, washed and drained
1 medium green pepper (pimento), slice thinly
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 hard boiled eggs, quartered
12 big or jumbo pitted olives
2 cans tuna fish (in water), drained and broken into chunks
1 (2-ounce) can anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon mustard (preferably dijon)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1. Line a large salad bowl with the lettuce leaves.
2. Arrange the green pepper, onion, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, eggs, and olives, in groups on top of the lettuce. Put the tuna fish chunks in the middle.
3. In a small bowl, combine the anchovy fillets, garlic, mustard, olive oil and vinegar. Pour over the salad, cover and chill for 30 minutes.

There you have it. Some traditional, and not so traditional salad dishes. If nothing still gets you, then just make some ripe tomato sandwiches with mustard and mayo on sliced bread. My mom use to do this during the summers back in East Harlem, and we loved the suckers.

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