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Summer's the time for these lean and refreshing salads.

Light in calories and full of flavor, these refreshing salads boast a leanness that might win approval from a health spa. Unlike salads that use dressings with a high proportion of fat, these entree-size ones use a minimum of oil.

Vinegar or lime juice, assertively seasoned, is the base for the three lively dressings. Use them in the recipes that follow, or try them with other vegetable and protein combinations. All would be good on simple mixed green salads.

In the first salad, soy, sesame oil, and vinegar lightly coat crisp celery and succulent chicken. In the second, calamari strips gently cook without heat in lime juice, then are mixed with a tart mint dressing, watercress, and watermelon. And in the last recipe, hot chillies and refreshing cilantro flavor wine vinegar for a zesty dressing that you mix with tomatoes, shrimp, and crunchy jicama.

Sesame Chicken Salad Water 2 whole (1 lb. each) chicken breasts, split 3 tablespoons sesame seed 6 large stalks celery, cut into thin diagonal slices, about 3 cups 2 medium-size red bell peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips, about 3 inches long Soy dressing (recipe follows) 2 green onions, ends trimmed and onions cut into 3-inch lengths, then into thin lengthwise shreds 4 small celery stalks with leaves

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, bring about 3 quarts water to boiling. Add chicken pieces, cover pan tightly, and remove from heat. Let stand until chicken is no longer pink in thickest part (cut to test), 16 to 18 minutes. Lift out chicken and let cool. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin and bones. Tear meat into shreds. (If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill up to overnight.)

Place sesame seed in a 6- to 8-inch pan over low heat and stir often until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool and set aside.

Mix chicken with sliced celery, red pepper, and soy dressing. Mound equal portions of chicken mixture on 4 dinner plates. Sprinkle with green onion shreds and sesame seed. Garnish with small celery stalks. Makes 4 servings.

Soy dressing. Stir together 6 tablespoons rice vinegar (or 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar mixed with 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar), 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoons sesame oil (optional), 1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger, and 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced. Makes 2/3 cup.

Squid and Watermelon Salad 1 pound giant squid (calamari) steaks, cut into 1/4-inch-wide, 3-inch-long strips 6 tablespoons lime juice 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion Mint dressing (recipe follows) Salt About 3/4 pound watercress 1 piece watermelon, about 4 pounds

In a bowl, mix squid strips with lime juice. Cover and refrigerate until the squid is opaque throughout (cut to test), about 30 minutes. Stir in onion and the mint dressing. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Add salt to taste.

Remove enough tender sprigs from watercress to make 2 quarts; discard tough stems. Wash, drain, and wrap in paper towels. Place sprigs in a plastic bag and chill until crisp, at least 30 minutes or up to overnight; reserve any extra watercress for another use.

Cut watermelon crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut off rind, if desired. Remove as many seeds as possible. Cut 4 slices in half. Place 2 pieces on each of 4 dinner plates. Remove rind from remaining fruit and cut fruit into pieces 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide to make 2 cups.

Add small watermelon pieces and crisped watercress sprigs to squid mixture, and stir to mix. Place equal portions of salad on each plate alongside large watermelon slices. Sprinkle salads with salt to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Mint dressing. In a bowl, stir together 6 tablespoons lime juice and 3 tablespoons sugar until the sugar dissolves. Mix in 1/2 cup minced fresh mint leaves and 1 tablespoon olive oil or salad oil. Makes 1/2 cup dressing.

Shrimp and Jicama with Chili Vinegar Chili vinegar (recipe follows) 2 cups shredded peeled jicama (about 9 oz.) 1 pound small cooked and shelled shrimp 4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 4 large tomatillos (about 2-in. size), husked and sliced Cilantro (coriander) sprigs Salt

Mix 1/3 cup of the chili vinegar with jicama and 1/3 cup with the shrimp; reserve remainder.

On 4 dinner plates, arrange tomatoes and tomatillos, overlapping slices slightly.

Mound shredded jicama on top or alongside tomato slices. Place shrimp on top of jicama. Spoon remaining chili vinegar over tomatoes and tomatillos. Garnish with cilantro sprigs; add salt to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Chili vinegar. Stir together 2/3 cup white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 to 3 tablespoons minced seeded fresh hot chili, and 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro. Makes 1 cup.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Jul 1, 1985
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