One of my childhood friends moved to Italy 20 years ago. During a recent visit to see her, I enjoyed a scrumptious salad made with tortellini and fresh vegetables. I fell in love with the dish and have been trying to recreate ever since. How'd I do? —Kelly Mapes, Fort Collins, Colorado
MY GRANDMA often made this light garden salad. I especially like to serve it in spring and summer, when we can use fresh vegetables from our backyard garden.
The tangy Italian dressing is true to tradition. Crisp and refreshing, this salad complements any meal.
-Rosalie Wright, San Jose, California
This was my grandma’s favorite salad. It’s colorful and has a sweet-sour blend to tempt any taste buds. Even my kids like it (don’t tell them spinach is good for them)! With the increasing popularity of spinach, more farmers in our state are growing this crop than ever before.
My husband loves this salad, especially during summertime. He says he feels like he's eating a healthy salad and getting his steak, too! I always serve it with some great homemade bread."
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Pan sauteing the gnocchi eliminates the need to boil them, while creating a wonderful tasty crispy coating on them. The baby bellas lend a real earthiness to this Italian-influenced salad.—Fran Fehling, Staten Island, New York
Here's a simple recipe for lettuce wraps that's a nutritious option for a luncheon or dinner party. For fun, serve the filling on a platter with lettuce leaves on the side, and let your guests wrap their own. —Mary Beth Vultee, Ocean Beach, North Carolina
"A variation of this recipe was originally served as a side dish at a popular French restaurant," says Eileen Herr from Indianapolis, Indiana. "I added a few more ingredients to make it a cool and hearty meal. The recipe is very adaptable—it's also delicious with chicken and snow peas."
"In this delicious main-dish salad, savory strips of broiled streak are lightly dressed along the water chestnuts, mushrooms and onions, then tossed with crisp snow peas," details Janeen Kilpatrick of Fairbury, Illinois. "Ketchup and ginger add a bit of zip to the sweet dressing."
Cool cucumber and avocado combine with spicy marinated steak to create a fun and tasty balance of flavors your guests will love. If the spice is too much, remove the cayenne and red pepper flakes from the avocado mixture.—Ning Watson of San Diego, California