From Bellville, Ohio, Gayle Parker sent a snappy recipe for Italian Tossed Salad that pressed-for-time cooks can squeeze into any menu. Simple and colorful, it complements a casual lunch or a fancy holiday dinner, she writes.
It's a little different from plain old iceberg lettuce and tomatoes. Canned kidney beans add protein and texture, and the pepperoni and other fixings give it a fresh zesty taste.
I belong to a camping club that meets monthly, says Gayle. This salad is easy to prepar
"THIS RECIPE was Mom's scrumptious scheme to get her kids to eat vegetables. She never had any trouble when she served this colorful crunchy salad. Mom thought this salad was a real bonus for the cook since it must be made the night before."
I'm a 77-year-old great-grandmother and have been making this satisfying salad for years. It's my most requested recipe for family gatherings. It's simple to make ahead of time and looks lovely with all of its tasty layers. Dijon mustard gives a nice kick to the dressing.
-Noreen Meyer, Madison, Wisconsin
“In my family of six, it’s hard to find a vegetable or salad that everyone will eat, but they all raved about this one,” enthuses Susie Clayton of South St. Paul, Minnesota. “With garden-fresh basil, this salad is easy, but mouthwatering.”—Susie Clayton, South St. Paul, Minnesota
"I love to put small variations on this salad, depending on what I have on hand, but this version is my absolute favorite. I just fell in love with the flavor combinations."
Kristin Kossak, Bozeman, Montana
A friend who does a lot of catering fixed this salad for our staff Christmas party several years ago, and we all asked for the recipe. The unexpected sweet-salty mix and lovely dressing make it a hit with everyone. —Arlene Muller, Kingwood, Texas
Ruth Haywood’s colorful Strawberry-Bacon Spinach Salad is sweet and crunchy with a tangy dressing. “I made this recipe for our prayer group, and everyone enjoyed it,” Ruth writes from Lake Charles, Louisiana.
"The recipe for this beautiful blend came from a local berry farm some years ago," notes Linda Jo Wahlgren of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. "We like to take the sweet and savory salad on picnics to accompany cold chicken and a loaf of crusty bread."
Meet the Cook: One reason I particularly like this recipe is that it's so versatile. I've served the salad with poultry, ham and pork all throughout the year and even used it to add color to the table at Christmas. Recently, when I brought this for a dinner at church, one lady asked if she could take home the little that was left for her husband's lunch the next day - and he very rarely eats salad or fruit. Right now, my husband and I are in the middle of building our retirement home out in the country. We have four grown children and five grandchildren.
-Patricia McNamara, Kansas City, Missouri