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Thoughts from an Epicure: When the weather heats up, stay cool as a cucumber by making a salad


Although we often eat salads at any time of year, spring and summer are our favorite times for them. I like a large tossed salad for dinner, especially when it’s hot and humid outside.

I keep ingredients on hand for salads so that we can have one any time. Local lettuce is here. In addition, there’s organic lettuce available at the supermarket. Right now, I’m looking forward to locally grown tomatoes. But until they’re here, I’m buying California or Canadian tomatoes. Although the Canadian ones come quite a distance, they’re tasty. I also keep hard-cooked eggs on hand, along with several other things.

When making a salad, always wash refrigerated lettuce and dry it well. I use a lettuce spinner for this, which works well. Start with a cooled salad dish or bowl. Then, gently tear the lettuce to bite-size. Use plenty. Now, add cut up tomato and a hard cooked egg cut into eight wedges. If the salad is for dinner and I don’t have many other ingredients to add, I might cut up a second egg. Next, add whatever you may have on hand such as yellow bell pepper, pitted black or green olives, chives, and a dressing. I use Ranch if I don’t feel like making my own. However, most of the time, I make a dressing. One of my favorites is three parts olive oil and one part blackberry balsamic vinegar, a gift from a California friend. I mix it well and keep it refrigerated. After adding the dressing, I stir the salad, then enjoy my meal.

I sometimes add croutons I’ve made. On a slice of bread, I put olive oil and lots of garlic powder. The oil helps hold the garlic. I next place this in our toaster oven until the bread is light brown. When done, I cut it into half inch squares.

Enjoy and stay safe!

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