The salad days of summer

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

With summer upon us, I thought you might enjoy a few cool salad recipes. I also love grilled fresh peaches, so I am sharing this recipe with you that includes another favorite of mine: raspberries. All of these recipes are from a new cookbook I picked up, "Picnics, Potlucks and BBQs" published by CQ Products. It is a nice little book filled with great summertime recipes to use for the events in the book title. I hope you enjoy these recipes and that they help you to stay cool in the summertime heat.

Berry Grilled Peaches

4 ripe peaches

1 cup fresh raspberries

2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar

4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat grill to low. Wash peaches, cut in half and remove pits. Place one peach, cut side up, on a square of aluminum foil and fill the cavity with 1/4 cup raspberries. Sprinkle the berries with some of the brown sugar and lemon juice. Fold the foil over the peach half so it is completely covered. Repeat entire process with remaining peach halves. Cook peaches on grill for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from grill and let cool slightly before unwrapping peaches. Serve peaches warm.

Balsamic Green Bean Salad

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook green beans in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked but still firm. Drain and cool. In a medium bowl, stir together green onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar and oil. Pour over green beans. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Feta and Tomato Pasta Salad

1 (16-ounce) package spiral pasta

2 green onions, chopped

1 (6-ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup oil extra-virgin olive oil oil

2 cups chopped fresh tomato

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked but still firm. Drain and rinse pasta under cold water. In a large bowl, toss pasta with chopped green onions, feta cheese, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and chopped tomato. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Mandarin Walnut Mixed Green Salad

6 cups torn mixed salad greens

1 1/2 cups mandarin oranges, drained

1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger root

3 cloves garlic, minced

In a large bowl, place salad greens, oranges and chopped walnuts; toss lightly. In a blender or food processor, combine the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, mustard, soy sauce, minced ginger root and minced garlic. Blend thoroughly and set aside. Drizzle dressing over salad greens just before serving.

Key Lime Pretzel Surprise

When I was in the grocery store this week I noticed they had real Key limes in stock. Key limes are small limes with a different flavor than regular limes. Take the extra time to juice them for a great refreshing taste.

1/3 cup butter

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 cups crushed pretzels

1/4 cup Key lime juice

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (8-ounce) carton whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and then mix in sugar. Remove from stovetop and add crushed pretzels; mix well. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick spray. Transfer pretzel mixture into pie plate. Use a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper to press the mixture into the pan to form the crust. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before continuing. In a medium bowl, combine lime juice and sweetened condensed milk; mix well. Pour lime mixture into prepared crust and refrigerate overnight. To serve, top each slice with a dollop of whipped topping or use a pastry bag to pipe the whipped topping over the whole pie. Makes 8 servings.

Have a wonderful week and, until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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