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September 1992



Miami Herald: Food
September 1992

Salad Season
Cool, crunchy summer supper tames the heat

What can you do for dinner when it's hot and humid? Serve cool salads as a main dish. I'm not talking about a few leaves of lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and a sprinkling of shredded carrot, but the kind of salad you can really sink your teeth into.

The recipes that follow are for those of us who would rather prepare cooked ingredients in the cooler hours of the morning, assemble them right before dinner, and sit down to an attractive, satisfying meal without breaking a sweat.

To make a variety of main dish salads, you need an array of ingredients on hand. This way you can prepare a meal with just a quick stop to pick up a piece of fresh fish or a few chicken breasts. I recommend keeping the following on hand:

A good virgin olive oil
Good quality red wine vinegar
Balsamic vinegar
Dried and fresh herbs
Fresh parmesan cheese
Dijon mustard
Fresh pepper

I also like to have a variety of lettuces, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, and a good cheese. If there's a can of water-packed tuna in the cupboard, you can toss it in for a quick-delicious meal.

Grilling meats, fish and poultry is a wonderful way to add extra flavor and is easy in terms of preparation and clean up. A piece of grilled fish, slightly warm, on top of mixed greens with a rich-flavored dressing is a complete meal.

Such a wide variety of lettuces are available now that it's fun to experiment. Arugula is a favorite with its strong, slightly spicy flavor and delicate leaves. Be forewarned, though, that it needs a couple of soaks in cold water as it tends to be quite sandy.

Another less-known lettuce is radicchio. With its purple leaves striped with white, it's a wonderful contrast to other lettuces and gives a dramatic look to an otherwise ordinary salad. It has a crisp, almost bitter taste and is best as an accent. Don't forget the more familiar lettuces such a Boston, Red Leaf and Romaine.


Steak and New Potato Salad with Watercress and Endive
Pasta Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Summer Tomatoes
Roasted Chicken Salad with Zucchini, Peppers, and Fusilli
Ginger Salmon Salad

This article appeared in the September 1992 issue of the Miami Herald. It features tips and techniques for main-dish summer.


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