Sliced Beet Salad

Beet Salad

This salad is testimony to just how good beets can be. If you have made my Cucumber Salad, you already know that I like to serve it with this salad. They are meant for each other.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 pounds red beets, trimmed of greens and washed (about 5 medium-large)

1 cup thinly sliced white onion (1 large)

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup flavorless vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon drained prepared horseradish

1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat, add the beets, and simmer until fork-tender (30-40 minutes, depending on the size). Drain, let cool, peel and cut into this slices. Put the slices in a glass serving bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients to the beets and toss gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and chill.

Toss the salad again just before serving.

Makes six to eight servings.

Healthy tip: Beautiful and delicious, this salad is a good source of potassium and important antioxidants. Summer markets are bursting with beets in a variety of colors that can’t be beat.

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Pea Salad

Pea Salad

My daughter Laura shared this recipe with me, and when I served this salad at one of my tasting dinners, my cousin Ruth, who is a wonderful cook, wanted to know what the “seasoning” was. I said. “A touch of sugar?” to which Ruth replied, “No, it’s something else.” Seeing how there are so few ingredients, I said, “The vinegar?” Ruth shook her head, suspecting, I think , a special ingredient. There are no special, or complicated ingredients in this. It reminds me of an “Oma” salad–a lovely combination that is sweet and simple and green–even without lettuce–easy to make, and, apparently, intriguing. I still don’t know what seasoning Ruth thought she tasted.

Ingredients:

1 (16 ounce) bag peas

1/2 cup thinly sliced celery

1 cup thinly sliced scallions, green and white parts

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Fresh pepper, to taste

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon white vinegar

Directions:

In a salad bowl, gently combine the peas, celery, scallions, and green pepper. Sprinkle the sugar, salt, and pepper to taste over the vegetables and toss. Add the mayonnaise and vinegar and toss to combine well. Cover the salad with plastic wrap and chill for about an hour. Before serving, taste and adjust the seasonings, if desired.

Makes six to eight servings.

Healthy tip: Substitute peas for sugar snap peas which are lower in calories and higher in vitamins, minerals, folic acid and dietary fiber than shelled peas.

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Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

This salad gets better and better tasting as it stand. I love it the first day, and the second day, too. There is no third day; it’s gone by them. You want to slice the cucumbers as thin as possible, literally see-through, if you can. A mandoline does the job perfectly (so will a sharp knife and a steady hand).

If you are wondering where the oil in the dressing is, there isn’t any. I don’t make it with oil. If you like oil in salad, add it, but only a little.

This salad pairs exquisitely with our Sliced Beet Salad. There is nothing like the combination of colors, flavor and texture.

Ingredients:

5 or 6 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced paper-thin (about 9 cups sliced)

3/4 tablespoon coarse kosher salt

3/4 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

Directions:

Put the cucumber slices in a large colander, sprinkle with the salt, and toss to combine. Place the colander over a bowl and let the cucumbers drain for about one hour. (Quite a bit of liquid will drain off). Transfer the slices to a large serving bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and stir well. Add the onion and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve well chilled.

Makes six to eight servings.

Healthy tip: Few foods are more refreshing than cooling cucumbers.  Low in calories and great for hydration, this oil-free salad is a summertime winner.

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Green Bean and Red Onion Salad

Green Bean and Red Onion Salad

This is my version of Oma’s Bohnensalat, green bean salad. The addition of fresh herbs in mine. I love green beans cooked until they are a little soft; others like them crisp. It is up to you as to how long to cook them. This is pretty in its own simple way and goes well with heavier dishes, like brisket or goulash. The salad will taste best if you make it slightly ahead of time, which allows the flavors, especially the red onions, to develop.

Ingredients:

1 pound green beans, tips removed

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

3 tablespoons flavorless vegetable oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Fresh pepper, to taste

Directions:

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the beans and boil them gently until they are cooked to your taste. Drain and immediately run under cold water until cool. Pat the beans dry with paper towels.

In a serving bowl, combine the beans with all the remaining ingredients, and toss. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Or, cover tightly and chill if serving at a later time.

Taste, and adjust the seasonings before serving.

Makes six servings.

Healthy tip: Crispy or tender, this salad is deliciously low in calories, fat and cholesterol.  Green bean salad is an easy crowd pleaser and also great as a nutritious, filling  snack between meals.

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