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Thursday, July 7, 2011

July salad

It is July! That means it is picnic season. Or, if you're me, actually-having-to-pack-a-lunch-to-work season. Or maybe potluck cookout season. At any rate, it is a time for salads, and I got my mother to send me our family favourites, so here they are.


This is addictive--I think it's the dill and garlic--and has lots of yummy veggies in it. Looks attractive too, although apparently I ate it before taking a photo because I can't find a picture on my computer.

3 1/2 cup  (rotini) pasta   [[The store was out of rotini when I went, so farfalle are also delicious]]
1/4 lb        snow peas or green beans
3 cups       cauliflower, in small pieces
1 cup         thinly sliced carrots
2               sweet peppers (green, red, yellow or mix), chopped
2               green onions, chopped
1/4 cup      fresh parsley 
1 tsp each  dried dill weed and either basil or origano
2               cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup      red wine vinegar
1 tbsp        granulated sugar
1/3 cup      oil
3 tbsp        water
salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook pasta.  Drain and rinse under cold water.
Blanch snow peas or green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water. Cut in 2" pieces. [[N.b. I was using those fresh snap peas and cooking them seemed a waste, but then I also dislike cooked vegetable generally.]]
In large bowl, combine cauliflower, carrots, peppers, green onions, parsley, dillweed, basil or oregano, snowpeas or beans,pasta
Dressing: In bowl, combine garlic, vinegar and sugar; mix well with whisk. Add oil and water; mix well. Pour over salad and toss to mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 10 servings (1 cup each).

NOTE: This is so much more delicious the longer you let it sit in your fridge. 


A lot of potato salads are kind of mushy and sweet and weird; I don't like that. This one is mostly potato-y; the secret is in making a good dressing.

Potato salad

2 lbs potatoes (about 6 medium)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup italian dressing (or, what I do, oil-and-vinegar dressing)*
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 hard cooked eggs, cut up.

Heat salted water to boiling. Add unpared (and washed) potatoes. Cover, cook till tender. (Betty Crocker says 30 to 35 minutes; might be a bit long. Keep an eye on them, you want them "done" but still firm enough to cut into pieces.) Cool; peel; cut into cubes. Mix with onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix with italian dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just before serving, add mayonnaise. Toss until potatoes are well coated. Stir in celery and eggs.

* My mother cleverly does not divulge what her dressing is, exactly, but it's probably a lot like our house salad dressing, which includes a touch of Dijon and garlic. 

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