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Other Summer Salads
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 5:55 pm    Post subject: Other Summer Salads Reply with quote

Here's something I saw on The Barefoot Contessa and tried last night. It was intriguing to see her make it. It was better to taste. If she gave amounts, I promptly forgot them. But it's an easy "throw it together; adjust it as you like" thing. I also forget what name she gave it. I'm just calling it:

Pesto Peas with Spinach Salad

• frozen peas
• baby spinach
• commercial or homemade pesto
• pine nuts/piñolis

She made this all from commercial products. How fast and easy since these are foods that don't suffer from the commercial process.

She cooked her peas briefly and then shocked them to retain their bright green color. While the peas cooled, she put packaged baby spinach leaves in a bowl. Then she pan toasted the pine nuts and set them aside to cool.

At serving time she added the peas to the spinach, poured the pesto over, sprinkled on the nuts and tossed it all together.

It was lovely and I recommend it.
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Dawna



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 125
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks very interesting - I'm not the biggest fan of peas, but I'd give it a try.

What are some other of folk's favourite summer salads? I love lentil salads with a lemon and mint vinaigrette, and couscous salads (made like Tabbouleh, but with couscous instead of bulgur wheat). We have them both all the time, in the summer!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just love tabouleh too. I use bulgar -- which I am very fond of -- and soak it in lemon juice for that acid bite.

Here's one we had last night: Roasted Lima Beans.

Let me tell you, if I read this recipe I wouldn't give it a second thought. Lima beans and olives are a certifiably weird combination! But I must have been hungry the day I first saw it at a ready-made salad bar 'cause I gave it a try and was smitten! When I brought some home, my oldest tried it and loved it. Not much surprise -- she's been willing to try anything since she was 2 and we broke her in on Indian and Middle Eastern food. One by one everyone in the family tried it and now I can't keep it in the house. So, I had to try to imitate it 'cause Whole Foods wouldn't share the recipe. So this is my version of

Roasted Lima Bean Salad

• a package of frozen baby lima beans, thawed
• 6 or 8 good sized pimiento stuffed olives, sliced
• a scant 1/4 cup of sweet onion (I prefer Walla Wallas or Vidalias) chopped in large pieces
• 4 to 6 cloves garlic (if they're large, halve them)
• salt
• very coarsely ground pepper
* olive oil

Mix the ingredients and put them in an oven-safe serving dish. Roast at a low temperature, stirring from time to time, until the garlic is soft and beginning to brown. I did these on the BBQ at about 200 degrees for an hour or an hour and a quarter.

Equally good served warm or cold. I have also tossed Marcona almonds in the cold version for some crunch and marinated sun-dried tomatoes for the color contrast.
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Dawna



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 125
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think my aunt makes a similar dish, but hers has a lot of bacon in it. Everything's better with bacon, right? Isn't that the forumla for culinary success? Double the chocolate or add bacon...
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sort of making a summer soup from the vegetables/weeds that I'm picking from the field. It is really a cold soup, but I'll include it under the Summer Salad topic.


    bag of dandelions
    20-50 heads of wild garlic
    1 head of cabbage
    branches of rosemarry
    anything else from the garden like basil and parsley
    8 oz mustard
    1 can of tomato paste
    pepper


Simmer in large pot for several hours. It doesn't taste great if your ratio of dandelions to cabbage is high, but it's nutritious.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you eat your summer soups cold or hot?

I, personally, just love cold gazpacho in the summertime. But I also love hot soups anytime. I've been enjoying a posole from leftover pork for several days' lunches. And we've also recently had mulligatawny that was delicious.

I wonder if anyone has a recipe they recommend for a cold cucumber soup.
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Pesto Man



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Location: New Orleans Louisiana

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Other Summer Salads Reply with quote

"She made this all from commercial products. How fast and easy since these are foods that don't suffer from the commercial process."

The recipie sounds wonderful. However I CANNOT agree that commercial (ie grocery-store) pesto does no suffer compared to its fresh made version
the essence of good pesto is freshness (mine goes into the processor the day it is picked) to make a shelf stable product that is shipped all over the country and end up on shelfs (or warehouses) for months at a time,. one has to blanch the basil, and add ingredients to keep it "fresh", futhermore they frequently skimp on the type of oil used. cutting olive oil with cheaper "generic: ones. Next time you age in the grocery, read the label!!

You are far better off making your own, or finding a local maker at a farmers market!

the opinion brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Pesto Man!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pesto Man- I would completely agree with you. ...except that, even tho I'd count myself a pretty good cook, every once in a while I find products that are as good as mine -- even if they're not the same. When that happens, I don't have any particular problem using them. Often, I'll have the commercial product and not the individual ingredients. These things include a pasta sauce, a pesto (I grow basil but I rarely have that much on hand) and a hummus. I like mine too and when I plan for them and have the ingredients I'll do 'em. But I really don't have a de facto prob with convenience.

Naturally, the recipe would work great with homemade pesto. ... or freshly shelled peas, for that matter.

Wonderful to hear your point of view on this and I'm sorry the first thing we did was sorta disagree so a hearty "welcome"! Wink
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rebecca



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 77
Location: near a pan of spanakopita

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I prefer to make my own pesto, I have found some good-quality commercial pestos that rival homemade. My only problem with the commercial products is the price. They're so expensive!

My favorite summer salad is a rustic Greek salad:

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 T fresh chopped or 2 t. dried basil
2 T fresh chopped or 2 t. dried oregano
2 T fresh chopped or 2 t. dried dill
fresh ground black pepper to taste
dash of salt
juice and peel of 1 lemon
olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste
1 pound feta cheese, crumbled
handful of kalamata olives

The amounts can vary according to taste. Everything goes into a big bowl. Toss completely and serve with either crusty French bread or pitas. It's wonderful on a summer evening with a tall cool glass of iced tea!
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Pesto Man



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Location: New Orleans Louisiana

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, no problem whatsoever... and I really don't thing we're disagreeing very much. I also don't have any problem with commercial products per-se
I use them frequently for convience, speed, and sometimes just for the unbeatable quality! My problem was with the T.V. show when ms Garten rather blithley said that pesto didn't suffer from the commercial process!!

Now I realize that by making my own for sale @ our local farmers market, pesto has become a product that I am hyper-critical about Wink but most if not all of the mass-market products that I have encountered suffer considerably when compared to the freshly made product If you have a product you like, by all means USE IT!! In fact, I might use it!!! one of the sad secrets of the biz is that by spending so much time making the stuff for sale, I don't always have any for my own use!! (sorta like the cobblers children needing shoes) any way no problem at all,,, in fact I can already tell I am going to like it here a lot!!! Surprised
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I would like a gin martini, straight up, olives on the side, as dry as my wit, as clean as my conscience.
and... as cold as my heart!!!!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rebecca- Yum! Sounds like what I think of as a "Greek" salad (we had a long discussion on "Greek" salads once...).

I'm not so fond of the green peppers, myself. And I like Kalamata olives and anchovies in mine as well. But, they are wonderful summer fare, aren't they! Wink In fact, this may serve as my reminder that it's time to break out my Greek cookbook and experiment with some more unfamiliar recipes.

Pesto Man- I'm in awe if you can raise enough basil to make a commercial pesto! If snails don't get mine, the California sun and dry air do. So, I keep a pot growing outside and another growing in my kitchen under lights so I have enough to season food. Whatever we think about commercial pesto (I'm betting yours is great!) I'm sure we ALL agree there's NOTHING on the planet like fresh basil! Wink
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rebecca



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 77
Location: near a pan of spanakopita

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have a local farmers' market, Rainey, where you can get enough fresh basil to make pesto on your own? That's what I do. Basil grows well here in Missoula, Montana, but I do not have a garden at all (I live in an apartment with shady northern exposure). I turn to my local farmers market when I want to make pesto or can other fresh veggies and fruits.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yes! We have wonderful farmers' markets on Sat & Sun. There are others some days during the week if I want to search them down and do some driving. I also have a Whole Foods with terrific produce very close to my house.

But when I want herbs I don't have in my garden I tend to go to the garden center and buy a 4" pot from which I can snip some leaves from the tips and plant the rest.
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JustMe



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my favourite summer salad is a broccoli buffet salad with broccoli, raisins, feta cheese, red onion, sunflower seeds, & bacon with a yogurt/mayo/lemon dressing. it needs to sit for a day to soften up the raw broccoli. always a hit.
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JustMe



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey wrote:
I'm sure we ALL agree there's NOTHING on the planet like fresh basil! Wink
Absolutely! I can't walk in my garden without sticking my face in a basil plant....well, maybe running my fingers through the leaves...it has to be the most perfect smell on earth! I think I have 3 or 4 kinds growing this year.
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