Sister series, part 5

Food, People / Thursday, June 7th, 2012


…got me going on the most amazing homemade salads in the world.

One warm and beautiful day about three years ago, she cooked the quintessential summer meal for an extended family shindig.

(It makes me feel very happy, using quintessential and shindig in the same sentence. A dandelion floating in a crystal goblet.)

Chastin served grilled hamburgers, of course, with all the trimmings, and a luscious salad: fresh greens, chunks of apple, craisins, sugared walnuts, and a sweet-n-sour poppy seed dressing.

Since then, all my best salads are spin-offs of this one. It lends itself to endless variation. You can top a plate with grilled chicken for a fantastic supper!

Greens Fruit Vegetables Cheese Crunchies
Red leaf lettuce Strawberries, grapes Garden cucumbers Feta     (the best!) Sugared pecans
Chopped Romaine Fresh orange slices Broccoli, red onion Shaved Parmesan Crushed Ramen noodles and toasted nuts
Spinach Pears, craisins Chunks of celery Cubed mozzarella Croutons
Green leaf lettuce Blackberries, strawberries, and/or blueberries Sugar snap peas Sliced almonds
(and, of course, Chastin’s:) Apples, craisins Sugared walnuts


Here’s how to sugar nuts:

Beat 1 egg white with a fork till frothy. Stir in desired nuts, toss to coat. Add white sugar (or a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon), stirring till nuts are thickly coated. Place in single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350° 20-25 minutes or until golden-brown.

And here’s my mom’s best sweet-and-sour dressing recipe:

1 cup sugar

1 cup oil

½ cup vinegar

½ onion, chopped fine (or ½ t. onion salt)

1½ teaspoons salt

1½ teaspoons mustard

1½ teaspoons poppy seeds or celery seeds

Put all but seeds in blender; mix very well. Add seeds.

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Wendy Zook
10 years ago

This inspired me tonight. I just used what I had on hand. So I ended up with apple, bacon, cheddar and green onions on iceberg lettuce; topped, of course, with the posted dressing recipe! Oh, so good!

The dressing recipe is a keeper. I make almost all my salad dressings and I am always excited to find a new one. 🙂

10 years ago

Thanks for the dressing recipe, Shari. I made a double batch after absentmindedly putting in twice the mustard it called for. I can tell I’ll have no trouble using it up!

Wendy Zook
9 years ago

Back again. I just served this salad dressing with a sub bar yesterday. It is wonderful that way too! Thanks again for posting it; we are enjoying it so much!