Salads may not be the first thing you think of when planning your Easter menu, but I find them to be very popular with my family.
Even though Easter Sunday this year isn’t until March 27, the way time has been flying lately, we are sure to be saying, “What? Easter already?” and then rushing to the crowded grocery store to buy ingredients. Okay, that may just be how things go with me. Here are some salad recipes that will fit in nicely at your dinner table, at any time, really, not just Easter.
Romaine and Mandarin salad
9 cups Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 can (11-oz.) good-quality Mandarin oranges, drained
1 can (8-oz.) sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 green onions, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
Salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup chopped pecans (toasted if you like)
1. In a large salad bowl, mix Romaine, Mandarin oranges, water chestnuts, celery and green onions.
2. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, sugar, vinegar, parsley, salt, pepper and pepper sauce; shake well.
3. Just before serving, sprinkle salad with chopped pecans. Shake dressing and pour over salad; toss to coat evenly. Makes about 12 servings.
Spinach salad with salmon and white beans
Because of the salmon, this is more substantial than "regular" salads, so it would be a nice choice for a brunch item. Also, feel free to season the salmon before baking, with something like soy sauce, teriyaki, garlic, etc. You can also add strawberry slices and even leave the salmon off if you wish. Or leave out the white beans! So versatile, just do as you wish!
4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (15.5-oz.) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup prepared vinaigrette dressing
1 package (11-oz.) fresh baby spinach
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1. Preheat oven to 400. Place salmon on a greased 15-by-10-by1-inch baking pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 11 to13 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Allow to cool slightly.
2. While salmon is baking, toss the beans with vinaigrette dressing in a large salad bowl and set aside.
3. Just before serving, add the spinach and red onion slices to the bowl. Arrange salad in four smaller salad bowls and top each with a piece of baked salmon. Makes 4 servings.
Fruit salad with citrus dressing
Start this recipe the day before you plan to serve it for best results.
* For syrup:
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons Triple Sec, optional
* For salad:
2 medium kiwi fruit, peeled, sliced and halved
2 medium ripe pears, peeled and chopped
2 medium Red Delicious apples, chopped
2 medium navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
1 medium pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
* Citrus dressing:
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. To make a syrup, combine the water, 1/2 cup sugar, orange juice, lemon juice and orange peel in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Cool. Stir in Triple Sec if desired.
2. In a large bowl, combine the kiwi, pears, apples, oranges, grapes and grapefruit; add the prepared syrup and gently toss. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve fruit salad with a slotted spoon; and drizzle with the citrus dressing. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Grape salad with creamy dressing
1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 pounds seedless red grapes
2 pounds seedless green grapes
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Add the red and green grapes, toss to coat evenly.
2. Transfer the grape salad to a nice serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans just before serving. Makes up to 24 servings.