Sometimes a nice chilled salad is just the thing to hit the spot. Other times, a salad makes a great compliment to a main dish. Whether you just want a quick snack or a unique course for a meal to impress friends or family, you should start by opening your mind to new recipes. What better way to impress your friends’ tummies (and your own!) than to serve something different? To get you started, this article has four recipes for simple yet unique salads that you are bound to love!
Spinach and Cranberry Salad
1 lb spinach, rinsed and torn into pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp minced onion
3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 tbsp paprika
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Heat a small skillet at a medium heat and melt the butter. Add the almonds and cook until toasted. Allow the almonds to cool. In a large bowl, mix together the spinach, cranberries, and almonds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, white wine vinegar, vegetable oil, cider vinegar, poppy seeds, onion, paprika, and sesame seeds. Just before serving, toss the spinach in the dressing mixture.
Broccoli Salad with a Twist
1 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
3 tbsp mayonnaise
4 bacon strips, cooked and chopped
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp white vinegar
1/3 cup mandarin oranges
In a large bowl mix together the broccoli, bacon, onion, and cheese. In a separate bowl, combine the mayo, sugar, and vinegar-mix well. Pour the sauce over the broccoli mixture and mix together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour. Just before serving, sprinkle chilled mandarin oranges over the top.
Pear and Pecan Salad
1 bag Italian salad greens
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup pecan halves
1 pear (peeled, cored and diced)
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
Toss all ingredients (except for dressing) in a bowl. When ready to serve, drizzle a bit of Italian dressing over the mixture and toss well to ensure an even coating. Garnish with lemon or mandarin oranges.
Pistachio Fruit Salad
1 cup reduced-fat whipped topping
1 package instant sugar-free pistachio pudding mix
1 can fruit cocktail, drained
1 can crushed pineapple
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup maraschino cherries
handful of mini marshmallows
Drain the pineapple juice into a large bowl. Whisk in the pudding mix for about two minutes. Add pineapple, oranges, fruit cocktail, cherries, and marshmallows. Carefully fold in the whipped topping to keep it fluffy. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.