That little unexpected, unseasonal spurt of sun and heat we had, immediately preceding the monsoon-like stint we've just weathered our way through, had me thinking salads.
Which, in turn, prompted me to ask if you could send along some new and different recipes to meet what I foresaw then, and still foresee now, as a hot-ticket menu item this summer.
Happily, Barry McWilliams answered the call, firing off the how-to for not just one, but three, totally different, sure-to-please salad inventions.
About the first, he tells us, "I improvised this potato salad a couple of years ago," and says of the second, "This is a recipe from some friends that makes a quick and easy potluck dish."
The third recipe? We'll get to that in a future Forum column.
Meanwhile, let's add to our repertoire:
Improvised chopped potato salad
2-3 pounds potatoes, red and yellow combined, scrubbed and diced (leave red skins on)
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
4-5 sweet pickles, chopped
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
Shake of pepper
Cook potatoes in boiling water just until tender; drain and set aside to cool. When cool, turn into large bowl and add celery, red and yellow peppers, cucumber, green onions, sweet pickles and boiled eggs.
Toss gently to mix.
In small mixing bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper; stir to mix thoroughly, then pour dressing over potato mixture and toss to combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Cover and chill until needed.
Pickett's pea salad
1 package peas, thawed
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped, cooked bacon
1/2 cup chopped cashews
Turn peas and celery into suitable bowl; mix and add green onions, sour cream and bacon.
Stir together well, then cover and chill.
Just before serving, stir in the cashews.
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