A Trio Of Summer Salads

By the end of this week we will officially be in the summer season. This is when any smart cook starts to think about chilled salads and desserts. Not only do they appeal to those eating them, they also keep the kitchen cooler. Who wants to roast a turkey in July? So keep your kitchen (and yourself) cool by making these summer salads.
  

Savory Three-Bean Salad

Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

This salad can be done with any three beans you enjoy eating. If you do not have the traditional beans available, you may substitute freely. To maintain the visual appeal try to keep the three beans of distinctly different colors.

Ingredients

15 ounces green beans, canned drained
15 ounces red beans drained
15 ounces garbanzo beans (chickpeas), canned drained
1 medium yellow onion
3 slices bacon finely chopped
2 teaspoons savory
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing

How to Make It

Finely dice bacon and cook well. Drain off excess fat. While bacon is cooking, peel and dice the yellow onion.

Drain and rinse the green beans, red beans, and garbanzo beans. Combine in a large bowl. Add the bacon, yellow onion, and crushed savory. Pour in the Italian salad dressing and mix well. Chill for at least two hours and serve.

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Southwestern Cole Slaw

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

This slaw uses jalapeno peppers and spices to liven this traditional cabbage salad. Slaw dates back to Medieval times, at the very least, where the word was used in Holland to describe a salad made from thinly sliced vegetables.

Ingredients

6 cups cabbage shredded
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 jalapeno minced fine
1 large mashed garlic clove
1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

How to Make It

Shred and chop the cabbage and other vegetables and combine in a large bowl. In another bowl combine remaining ingredients (garlic through sugar). Pour over cabbage mixture and stir well. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least one hour.

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Asian Cabbage Salad

Prep Time: 2 hours

This cabbage salad is a great hit whenever I bring it to church potlucks. The crunchy ingredients combined with a tart dressing work well with other foods. If you can’t find Chinese cabbage (sometimes called Napa cabbage) use green cabbage instead.

Ingredients

3 ounces oriental flavor instant ramen noodles
4 cups Chinese cabbage shredded
4 each green onions sliced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds toasted

How to Make It

Crush the noodles slightly and place in a colander in the sink. Reserve the seasoning packet for the dressing. Pour 4 cups boiling water over the noodles to soften them, but not cook them. Allow to drain and cool. While the noodles are cooling, shred the cabbage and slice the green onions and place them in a large bowl.

Break up any large chunks of the noodles with your hands. Place the noodles and the sesame seeds in the bowl with the cabbage and green onions. In a cruet or screw-top jar, combine the oriental noodle seasoning packet, vinegar, sugar, oil, and pepper. Shake to mix. Pour over the cabbage-noodle mixture and toss well. Cover and chill at least one hour. Just before serving stir in the toasted almonds.

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