Red, White, & Blue Salsa

Red, White & Blue Salsa

Red, White & Blue Salsa

This is the perfect salad/salsa/side for the July holidays.  Sweet strawberries and blueberries combine with crunchy jicama, green onions, cilantro, and a citrus vinaigrette for a sweet-tart, lip-smacking good dish.  Scoop it with a tortilla, as it's a refreshing change from tomato-based salsas. It's great served alongside grilled meats as its brightness is a great counterpoint to their smokiness and richness. Or, just eat it with a spoon, as a tasty little side.  And can you think of anything more red, white, and blue than this?  Give it a try this 4th of July!  Serves 4, may easily be doubled or tripled.

1 cup 1/2-inch diced, peeled jicama

1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried

1 cup fresh clean strawberries, cut into 1/2-inch dice (measure the diced strawberries)

1/4 cup thinly-sliced scallions

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon honey

2 Tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

pinch of dried, ground chipotle pepper (more if you like things spicy!)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Place the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Whisk together the remaining ingredients, then toss with the berries, jicama, scallions, and cilantro.  Cover and refrigerate for an hour to allow the flavors to marry.  This salsa is best eaten the day it's made.

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Asparagus, Cucumber & Rice Salad

This is a most unusual, and delicious, salad!  I once served it to a group of Japanese businessmen at a luncheon I catered, and they gave it rave reviews!  That was the litmus test for me, and this salad was on my catering menu from that day forward. This is a great summer salad, cool, yet satisfying.  A cup of chilled soup, piece of grilled chicken or salmon, and a serving of this salad makes for a perfect hot weather dinner. Serves 6

1 3/4 cups water

1 cup long-grained rice

1 pound of asparagus, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups diced English cucumber

3 green onions, chopped

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons sugar

1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

2 1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Colorful lettuce and fresh dill sprigs

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add the rice, return to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.  Fluff with a fork; transfer to a bowl.

Cook the asparagus in salted boiling water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water until cool, drain well, and pat dry with a paper towel.

Add the asparagus, cucumbers, and green onions to the rice in the bowl.

Combine the Dijon, sugar, vinegar and dry mustard in a small bowl.  Gradually whisk in the oil.  Add the chopped dill. (The salad can be made up to this point and refrigerated separately and held for up to one day.). 

Mix the dressing into the salad.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Line a large bowl with the lettuce and mound the salad in the bowl.  Garnish with sprigs of fresh dill.

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