As promised, I have been going through recipe files and cookbooks, searching for salad recipes that you can make ahead of time. This is especially handy if you are hosting a family dinner or get-together for a holiday, and as I write this, the stores are filling shelves with Easter baskets, candy, stuffed toy rabbits and chicks and greeting cards. (Personally, it feels like to me that the stores jump the gun a lot on holidays. We’re still reeling from Valentine’s Day, haven’t even celebrated St Patrick’s Day – and Easter STUFF is already on the shelves of department stores and supermarkets).
There are probably dozens, if not hundreds, of potato salad recipes. This recipe is fairly simple and will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator. It’s from an Ohio community cookbook. To make
#1 POTATO SALAD you will need:
5 lbs potatoes
1 large white onion, diced
1 ¼ c. celery, chopped
1 4-oz jar diced pimiento, drained
2 cups mayonnaise*
¼ cup mustard
¼ cup milk
8 slices bacon, cooked drained on paper towels, and crumbled
Peel potatoes, dice into bite-size cubes and boil until tender enough to pierce with a fork. Drain and let cool. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, mustard and milk and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the cooled potatoes, celery, onion, crumbled bacon and mayonnaise mixture. Toss lightly; add salt and pepper to taste. Store in a container with a tight fitting lid (like a Tupperware bowl). Keep Refrigerated.
Sandy’s cooknote*When a recipe calls for mayonnaise, my first choice is Best Foods (or Hellman’s, east of the Mississippi)—unless the recipe specifically calls for something else, like Miracle Whip.
Another make-ahead salad that improves after a day or two of marinating in the refrigerator is a cucumber salad. One time when a Filipino girlfriend was visiting me, she began eating the cucumber salad and couldn’t stop. There are a lot of variations of cucumber salads but the one we grew up on in Ohio is this German Cucumber Salad. To make
GERMAN CUCUMBER SALAD you will need
2 medium size cucumbers, thinly sliced*
2 TBSP salad
1 small onion diced
¼ cup sour cream**
1 TBSP white vinegar
1 TBSP water
Place sliced cucumbers in colander; cover with salt and mix well. Let stand at least half an hour. Squeeze all excess water from cucumbers and place in a bowl with the onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vinegar and water. Pour over the cucumbers and onion; add salt and pepper to taste. Store in covered bowl in refrigerator.
Sandy’s cooknote: *To peel or not to peel, that is the question. You can make the salad either way but if you are not peeling the cucumbers, be sure to scrub them good with a vegetable brush. Cucumbers are one of those vegetables often waxed before you get to them in the supermarket.
**no sour cream? Don’t despair. You can substitute mayonnaise and it will be almost just as good.
ORIENTAL CABBAGE SALAD
To make this salad you will need:
1 large bag of tri-colored coleslaw
2 packages chicken-flavored Ramen noodles
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup cooking oil (vegetable, peanut or olive)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 small can cashews
1 small bag sunflower seeds
Remove flavor packets fro Ramen noodles and crush noodles well. Set aside. In a bowl, combine sugar, apple cider vinegar, oil and flavor packets. Mix well. In a large bowl, combine coleslaw and chopped green onions. At this point, you can cover and store in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, mix in the crushed Ramen noodles, cashews and sunflowers seeds and mix well.
*The first time I made this salad, I added the crushed Ramen noodles along with the coleslaw and green onions and refrigerated it overnight. I thought the noodles became too mushy. If I make it again, I will add them with the cashews and sunflowers.
24 HOUR VEGETABLE SALAD
This is a great make-ahead salad and there are a lot of versions of it, but this one comes closest to the first one I ever tasted. A friend of my mother’s house sat for us while we drove our camper to Oregon in 1978. When we returned, mom’s friend Joan had made the 24 hour Vegetable salad for us to try.
To make 24 Hour Vegetable Salad you will need:
3 cups torn romaine lettuce
Salt, pepper and sugar
1 ½ cups shredded Swiss cheese
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
½ lb bacon, crisp cooked, drained and crumbled
3 cups torn leaf lettuce
1 (10 oz) frozen pkg peas, thawed
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 TBSP sliced green onion with tops
Place romaine in bottom of large bowl*; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sugar. Top with one cup of cheese, then layer of egg. Salt generously. Next layer in order half of bacon, leaf lettuce and peas. Spread mayonnaise over top, sealing to edge of bowl Cover and chill 24 hours or overnight. Garnish with remaining cheese, bacon and green onion. 10-12 servings.
*A large glass bowl makes a pretty presentation with this salad. **
There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of coleslaw recipes. The one I make most often is a KFC copycat coleslaw but this next recipe is an Old Fashioned Cole Slaw that would be especially nice for a potluck or cookout.
To make OLD FASHIONED COLESLAW you will need:
1 large head of cabbage, finely shredded
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 green bell pepper, chopped fine
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups sugar, divided
¾ cup oil
1 cup vinegar
1 TBSP celery seed
1 TBSP salt
In large bowl combine vegetables, mix and sprinkle with one cup of sugar and set aside. In small saucepan combine oil, vinegar, celery seed and salt and remaining cup of sugar. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Pour hot liquid over vegetable mixture, stirring lightly to mix well. Let stand until cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. Makes 8 servings.
PLAY IT AGAIN KFC COPYCAT COLE SLAW
8 cups finely chopped cabbage (about 1 head)
¼ cup shredded carrot (1 medium)
2 TBSP minced onion
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper (white pepper if you have it)
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup mayonnaise *we prefer Best Foods/Hellman’s)
1 ½ TBSP white vinegar
2 ½ TBSP lemon juice
Combine sugar, salt, pepper, buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar and lemon juice in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add cabbage, carrots and onion. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Keeps for weeks in the refrigerator!
Sandy’s cooknote: if you use one of those packages of coleslaw mix you can skip the cabbage and carrot and just add chopped onion to the mix. I also like to double all the dressing ingredients because we like our coleslaw a little on the soupy side.
*I called this Play it Again because it is one of the make-ahead salad recipes in my June 2009 post.
PENNY’S SAUERKRAUT SALAD
Penny is my Oklahoma penpal with whom I have been friends since the late 1960s (as close as I can remember). When we drove across country to spend a summer in Cincinnati in 1970, we stopped to visit Penny & her family at their home in Skiatook, near Tulsa. We were treated royally and after a sumptuous breakfast the next morning, Penny sent us on our way with a huge bag of her specialty chocolate chip cookies.
To make Penny’s Sauerkraut Salad you will need:
1 (32 oz) package sauerkraut drained
1 cup sliced celery
½ cup sliced green bell pepper
½ cup chopped onion
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup each oil and vinegar
In bowl, combine sauerkraut, celery, onion, and green pepper. In another bowl, mix together sugar, oil and vinegar. Add to sauerkraut mixture and marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving. Serve chilled with beef, pork or sausage.
To make Crabby salad you will need:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 TBSP milk
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 cup chopped celery
2 TBSP chopped green bell pepper
½ cup chopped green onion
1 small can (or 4 oz jar) chopped pimiento
1 small can chopped ripe olives
2 cups crab (or chicken or tuna)**
1 small can Chinese noodles
Mix together the mayonnaise, 2 TBSP milk and 2 TBSP red wine vinegar in a mixing bowl. Add the celery, green pepper, chopped green onion, the pimientos (drained) and the ripe olives. Mix and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving add 2 cups crabmeat and 1 small can Chinese noodles.
**You can substitute chicken or tuna for the crab in this salad but then it won’t be crabby anymore.
You may have noticed by now that I rarely share gelatin fruit salads or anything with marshmallows – I have an aversion to my SALAD being sweet. But there is a simple fruit salad in which all the ingredients are one cup each. My girlfriend Neva used to make this and some other fruit salads that had sour cream in them. In her honor I am posting
NEVA’S ONE CUP FRUIT SALAD
To make Neva’s one cup fruit salad you will need:
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup coconut
1 can fruit cocktail, drained
1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup sour cream
Mix all ingredients and chill overnight.
APPLE TORTELLINI SALAD
For the Salad you will need:
3 cups cheese tortellini, frozen
1 cup green apples, chopped
1 cup red apples, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
½ cup walnuts chopped
For the Dressing you will need:
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup plain yogurt
½ tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp curry powder
¼ tsp ginger
Cook tortellini as directed on package. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl combine tortellini, apples and celery and toss lightly. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, curry powder and ginger. Mix well. Pour dressing over salad; mix gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Just before serving stir in walnuts.
WILD RICE TURKEY SALAD
To make Wild Rice Turkey Salad you will need:
½ cup wild rice, washed
½ cup walnuts, toasted
½ lb smoked turkey, cut in strips
¾ cup raisins
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup olive or grape seed oil
¼ c. balsamic vinegar
Pepper to taste
Cook the wild rice according to package instructions. Drain. Toss all ingredients together. Serve on a bed of lettuce or spinach. May be made the day before. ***
In one of my regional cookbooks I found this recipe that sounds similar to a recipe in my files for Texas Caviar although I think the latter was made with black beans. This recipe is called Pickled Black-Eyed Pea salad. To make
PICKLED BLACK EYE PEA SALAD you will need:
4 cups cooked black eyed peas, drained (can be canned)
1 medium onions, sliced thin
1 green pepper, diced
½ cup celery, cut in small pieces
1 cup salad oil (I like canola oil)
¼ cup wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Combine vegetables. Mix remaining ingredients in blender or shake vigorously in a quart jar. Pour over vegetables and store, covered, in refrigerator. Keeps as long as a week in the refrigerator. Makes 10 servings.
When I had finished typing the above, I was off on a tangent searching for my Texas Caviar recipe. I found it but this one also calls for black eyed peas. I might have substituted black beans when I was making it. To make
TEXAS CAVIAR you will need:
1 can (14 oz) black-eyed peas, drained
1 can (15½ oz. white hominy, drained
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 green onions, very thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
½ cup chopped onion
¼ to 1/3 cup chopped cilantro or parsley (Fresh cilantro is an acquired taste; use less if you aren’t crazy about it, or use parsley instead)
1 cup picante sauce
Combine all ingredients; mix lightly. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain. Makes 7 cups. Serve Texas Caviar as a veggie side dish (good for a BBQ) or as a dip, with tortilla chips.
PAT’S MARINATED PEA SALAD
The first time we tasted this was at a luncheon our friends Pat & Stan hosted for us. I had to have the recipe. This keeps well in the refrigerator –for a week or two, at least. I think I had a batch keep very well for over a month in the refrigerator. I’m not sure why it’s called a pea salad when the recipe contains more corn and green beans than peas. Maybe it should have been Pat’s Marinated Mystery Pea Salad!
To make Pat’s Marinated Pea Salad you will need
1 can (12 oz) shoe peg corn, drained
1 can (16 oz) French style green beans, drained
1 can (8½ oz) English peas, drained
1 cup chopped celery
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 jar (2 oz) pimientos, drained and chopped
1/3 cup cooking oil
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
½ tsp garlic salt
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for one or two days before serving. ***
MARINATED VEGETABLE SALAD is another good “keeper” – my recipe card notes that it stays fresh in the dressing for days.
To make Marinated Vegetable Salad you will need:
1 jar (7 oz) artichoke hearts, undrained
1 1/3 cups Italian dressing
¼ cup parsley chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 cup cauliflower pieces
1 cup broccoli pieces
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium cucumber, sliced
1 package (10 oz) frozen Brussels sprouts, thawed and drained
Mix undrained artichokes, Italian dressing, and parsley. Pour over carrots, green pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, cucumber and Brussels sprouts. Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours. Drain vegetables, reserving marinade for future use. Salad stays fresh in dressing for days.
MJ’s CARROT COINS
To make MJ’s carrot coins, you will need:
2 bunches (about 2 pounds) carrots
1 large onion
1 can undiluted tomato soup
½ cup cooking oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp dry or prepared mustard
¾ cup vinegar
1 tsp salt
Peel carrots and slice diagonally. Cook until tender. Slice onion and separate into rings and set aside. Cook next 7 ingredients until boiling. Drain carrots and pour hot mixture over carrots. Add onion rings and stir to mix. Refrigerate. Keeps forever!
I don’t know about you, but I love corn in every way, shape and form. I like it fresh on the cob, grilled, or cooked in the microwave (easy!) – I like it frozen or canned. Fresh from our own garden, even better. I like it as a vegetable or a salad or in cornbread or made up in those little sweet cakes you get at El Torito’s restaurant.
Here is a Corn Salad recipe you will like.
To make Corn Salad, you will need
1 12-oz can white corn, drained
1 cup chopped celery
1 onion, chopped
½ cup sugar
½ cup vinegar
1 jar chopped pimientos, drained
1 green bell pepper, chopped
½ cup cooking oil
Combine corn, pimientos, onion, celery, and green pepper. Mix together the sugar, oil, and vinegar. Our over combined vegetables. Place in covered container in refrigerator to Marinate. ***
From an Iowa regional cookbook is this recipe called Garden Medley. To make GARDEN MEDLEY you will need:
1 cup green peppers (Bell peppers)
1 cup red onions
1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 cup cauliflower
2 cups celery
1 cup carrots (shredded coarsely)
1 cup sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt and a dash of pepper
½ cup salad oil
1 TBSP basil
Chop vegetables into bite size pieces. Shake last 6 ingredients together in a quart jar. Pour over raw vegetables and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
Sandy’s Cooknote: For more make ahead salad recipes, please refer to my post “Make Ahead Salad Recipes” in June, 2009. As for me, I worked up an appetite for Pat’s Marinated Pea Salad so I bought the ingredients at the supermarket a while ago.