Salad Suppers: Lighten Up Meals As Temperatures Rise

IN THE KITCHEN

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It's time for porch suppers (possibly porch breakfasts and lunches, too) and salad suppers are the best for dining al fresco -- in my opinion.

With the leftover meat from that big Easter dinner, making a satisfying meal with a salad is a cinch.

Did you have prime rib for your dinner? Then try a beef and vegetable salad.

Beef Salad 1

1 pound cooked prime rib, carved across the grain into thin strips

1 each green, red and yellow bell pepper, sliced thin

1, 6-ounce package fresh Portobello mushroom caps, chopped

1/2 cup Italian dressing

1, 5-ounce package spring mix or baby salad greens

1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Chill four salad plates.

Combine steak, peppers and mushrooms with dressing.

Divide salad greens onto four chilled plates and top with meat mixture.

Garnish with cheese. Serve with garlic toast.

Beef Salad 2

2 cups cooked roast beef, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 tablespoon chives or scallions, chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

Salad greens

1 teaspoon parsley

Combine the beef, celery and chives (or scallions).

Combine the mayo with the vinegar and mustard and toss with meat mixture.

Divide salad greens into four servings and top each with meat mixture and garnish with parsley.

Parisian Salad

1 to 1-1/2 cups strips of cooked beef

1 cup sliced cooked potatoes

1 onion, parboiled and sliced thin

1 tomatoes, sliced

Soft lettuce (i.e. butter leaf), torn into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup French dressing

1 tablespoon minced parsley

Mix beef with potatoes, onion and tomatoes. Place on torn lettuce and top with dressing, then mix and garnish with parsley.

Russian Salad

2 cups cooked beef, diced

1/2 cup cooked beets, diced

1/2 cup pickles, diced

1/2 cup cooked potatoes, diced

1 cucumber, peeled and diced

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

2 tablespoons olives, chopped

1 cup sauerkraut

1 cup prepared kidney beans

1/2 cup French dressing

1/2 teaspoon mustard

Mix meat with the vegetables. Combine dressing with mustard and pour over meat and vegetables. Toss well.

If ham was the meat of choice for your holiday dinner, it can be the main ingredient in a variety of salad suppers as well.

Salad Platter

1/2 pound sliced ham, cold

1/2 cup celery, diced

1 cup seedless white grapes (or other)

4 tomatoes, quartered

1/4 cup French dressing

1 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

On sides of platter, arrange ham, either in slices or rolls. Combine celery and grapes with a little of the dressing, place on platter. Sprinkle tomatoes with basil and sugar, place on platter. Use remaining dressing to cover all.

Ham Salad

2 cups ham, diced or sliced into thin strips

1 cup celery, diced or sliced into thin strips

2 small sweet pickles, chopped

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1 tablespoon mustard

1 teaspoon pickle juice

1/3 cup mayonnaise

Salad greens

Combine ham with celery, pickles and eggs. Mix the mustard and pickle juice into mayo to create dressing. Toss ham and dressing mixes and serve on salad greens.

Russian Ham Salad

3 cups ham, diced

1 cup cooked potatoes, diced

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 cup pickle, diced

1 tablespoon capers

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons caviar

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Combine ham, potatoes, onion, pickle and capers. Mix lemon juice and caviar into mayo. Blend the two mixtures and serve.

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