Monday, May 17, 2010

Three Great Salads

Recently, I've come across three amazing recipes for summer salads that I'd like to share with you. Summer is definitely a great time for salads, so with the upcoming season around the corner, try one of these recipes if you're looking for a crowd pleaser.

1. The first salad is my mom's recipe. Black Bean Couscous Salad is a light Caribbean dish with great heat. She makes it all the time, including at her own party a few weeks ago. Needless to say, I'm not the only one who loves it.

Black Bean Couscous Salad:

1 cup uncooked couscous

1¼ cups chicken broth

3 tbs. olive oil

2 tbs. fresh lime juice

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

½ tsp. cumin

8 green onions, chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

¼ cup frozen corn, thawed

2 15 oz. cans black beans, drained

salt and pepper to taste

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 2 quart or larger sauce pan and stir in couscous. Cover pot and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, vinegar and cumin. Add green onions, red pepper, cilantro, corn and beans and toss to coat.

Fluff couscous well, breaking up any chunks. Add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. I had Momma Kaye's Macaroni Salad for the first time this past Saturday at a BBQ. My friend Patrick made his mom's dish and I was so impressed I had to ask for the recipe! Unlike most macaroni salads, this one is unique in that it incorporates lots of fresh veggies like cucumbers and tomatoes. The vegetables lighten up the salad and prevent the mayonnaise dressing from making it taste too heavy. One of my favorite aspects of this recipe is that, as Patrick explained, it's made almost entirely "to taste." What a great excuse to eat while cooking ;) and have a fail-proof way to make it taste just right.

Momma Kaye’s Macaroni Salad:
I large box of elbow macaroni2 large cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 jar of chopped pimentos, drained
2 medium tomatoes, diced
Celery seeds

Mustard (optional)

Cook macaroni as directed an drain. Cool the macaroni completely. In a large bowl, mix the macaroni, cucumbers, onion, eggs, bell peppers, and pimentos. Add enough mayonnaise to the mixture until it is fairly moist. Add a splash of yellow mustard (or spicy mustard) if you prefer (remember less is more here). Add a few dashes of celery seeds and salt. Use lots of fresh ground pepper. Once you

have the flavor and moisture you desire, gently fold in the diced tomatoes. Cover the salad and place in the fridge until completely cool (I prefer to make this at least a half day in advance and let chill). The salad will absorb the mayonnaise, so it is best add a bit more just before serving.

3.Pan-Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad was made by my friend Brad at the same BBQ last weekend. It's Mark Bittman's recipe and has a wonderful balance of flavors as well as a great spiciness from the chilies.

Pan-Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad

1/4 pound bacon, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
4 to 6 ears corn, stripped of their kernels (2 to 3 cups)
Juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
2 cups cored and chopped tomatoes
1 medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
2 fresh small chilies, like Thai, seeded and minced
Salt and black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, more or less.

1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to render fat; add onion and cook until just softened, about 5 minutes, then add corn. Continue cooking, stirring or shaking pan occasionally, until corn begins to brown a bit, about 5 more minutes; remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Drain fat if you wish.

2. Put lime juice in a large bowl and add bacon-corn mixture; then toss with remaining ingredients. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 4 servings.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yum, Olivia! I love salads for summer! I'll share these with my husband, he's the real foodie in the family (lucky for me!). So glad you stopped by Little Blue Deer so I could find you, I'm definitely following, lovely blog! XO!