With Brussels sprouts for the green and cranberries for the red, I make a cheery Christmastime salad. Refreshing and versatile, it works with any kind of nut or dried fruit. —Cameron Stell, Los Angeles, California
Grilling out? You may want to serve this refreshing, make-ahead salad at the barbecue. A creamy Italian dressing enhances the chopped vegetables, cheese and pasta. —Joan Huggins, Waynesboro, Mississippi
I modified the original recipe for this chicken salad to make it healthier. The ingredients are so flavorful that my changes didn't take away from the taste. This refreshing salad never lasts long at our house. Even if I double the recipe, my husband asks, "Why didn't you make more?"
-Kristi Abernathy, Lewistown, Montana
I write a food column for our local newspaper, and I consider myself a pretty good judge of recipes. But I'll admit I was surprised by this one—I didn't think the usual ingredients would go together as well as they do. —Connie Blommers, Pella, Iowa
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
“This salad is a light and delicious side dish for almost any meal. The sweetness of the apples, raisins and grapes combines well with the tart goat cheese and dressing.”
-Radelle Knappenberger of Oviedo, Florida
I tasted this tangy dressing for the first time at a friend's house. She gave me the recipe, and now I make it every week. I always keep some in my refrigerator. It tastes much better than bottled blue cheese dressing and is a snap to make.
-Barbara Nowakowski, North Tonawanda, New York
Cashews add a nice crunch to this grilled turkey and spiral pasta combo. I first tasted this salad at a baby shower and asked the hostess for her recipe. Since then, I've served it for many occasions.
-Karen Wyffels, Lino Lakes, Minnesota
“My son David always ordered the salmon sandwich at a local pub," shares Susan Griffiths of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. "In trying to replicate it, he came up with this salad. It's the only recipe he's ever made and our entire family thinks it's great.”
Cream cheese and yogurt form the light dressing that coats this fast fruit medley. The salad is a snap to assemble because it takes advantage of canned peaches, pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges you likely keep in your pantry. Miniature marshmallow add a sweet touch.
We love when opposites attract. A sweet and sour gingery dressing goes hand in hand with soft Soba noodles, edamame and crunchy slaw. Add grilled shrimp or chicken for a protein-packed finish. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina