When we have a family gathering like we did over the Fourth of July weekend, some family members bring a salad or side dish. This time my sister-in-law Cathy also brought a recipe.
And what a great recipe it is. In fact, my husband is still raving about the Watermelon Feta Salad, which has become a regular addition to our summer menu. This recipe traveled from Pembroke Pines, Fla., courtesy of Maureen O'Neill, who found the recipe at the Publix supermarket. She gave it to Cathy, who in turn gave it to me.
The recipe calls for arugula. Arugula has what some would say a bitter mustard flavor. But you can switch to any other green if you like. I used Boston lettuce. What I really like about this recipe is that it's easy to make, and it easily can be doubled or tripled.
Help for special diets
Anyone coping with gluten-free diets or food allergies knows how difficult it is to eat out, especially when you're traveling. Check out the "Let's Eat Out with Celiac/Coeliac & Food Allergies!" guide by Kim Koeller and Robert La France (R & R , 2011, $26.95). It provides an in-depth analysis of dietary restrictions for readers who must manage their food allergies.
There's also "Let's Eat Out! Allergy Free Passport," which focuses on negotiating the most popular cuisines: American, Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Mexican and Thai. Chapters include information about ingredients, food preparation, what questions to ask, and communicating your food requirements.
The guide ($26.95) can be found online or at most book stores. For information about the passports ($24.95), go to allergyfreepassport.com or call 1-312-952-4900.
Monroeville's Janet Balas writes: "In a recent conversation with my daughter-in-law, she mentioned that she had fond memories of a carrot cookie that she used to buy from Crabtree & Evelyn. She said it was a crispy, rather than a chewy cookie, with carrots in the batter, but baked in the shape of Peter Rabbit. Her oldest son, who was a toddler at the time, loved them, too. I'm trying to find a similar recipe for her with no success and would appreciate any help from others."
WATERMELON FETA SALAD
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups arugula greens (about 5 ounces)
1 cup sliced red onions
8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
2 pounds watermelon slices, or quarters, cut into bite-size pieces
4 ounces feta cheese, cut into bite size pieces
Whisk oil, vinegar and salt to blend; set aside. Place arugula, onions and tomatoes in salad bowl.
Add vinaigrette and toss to coat. Add melon and cheese.
Serves about 4 to 6.
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