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Our Quickest, Easiest Salad Recipes

From creamy layered salads to fluffy gelatin delights (and some healthy ones, too), here are our quickest easy salad recipes.

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Layered Veggie Tortellini Salad Exps Mtcbbz17 36157 C02 22 1b 2

Layered Veggie Tortellini Salad

Tortellini and a Parmesan dressing give this layered salad an unexpected twist. It's great for a potluck. —Dennis Vitale, New Preston, Connecticut
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Strawberry Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing Exps Sdam17 43225 D12 07 5b 9

Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

My family is always happy to see this fruit and veggie salad on the table. If strawberries aren’t available, substitute mandarin oranges and dried cranberries. —Irene Keller, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Potluck Antipasto Pasta Salad

I love trying new recipes, and this one for Italian pasta salad tops all other varieties I've tried. With beans, cheese, sausage and vegetables, it's a hearty complement to any meal. —Bernadette Nelson, Arcadia, California
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Mixed Fruit With Lemon Basil Dressing Exps Cwam18 40989 C12 13 7b 4

Mixed Fruit with Lemon-Basil Dressing

A slightly savory dressing really complements the sweet fruit in this recipe. I also use the dressing on salad greens. —Dixie Terry, Goreville, Illinois
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Exps12347 Mrr133247b07 30 4b Web 3

Creamy Coleslaw

For me, this is the best coleslaw recipe because a package of shredded cabbage and carrots really cuts down on prep time. This creamy coleslaw recipe is great for potlucks or to serve to your family on a busy weeknight. —Renee Endress, Galva, Illinois
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Red White And Blue Berry Delight Exps Thjj19 32653 B02 20 9b 5

Red-White-and-Blue Berry Delight

Loaded with fresh strawberries and blueberries, this luscious JELL-O is perfect for any Fourth of July celebration! —Constance Fennell, Grand Junction, Michigan
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Grandma S Spinach Salad Exps Sddj17 34135 D08 05 3b 9

Grandma's Spinach Salad

With all its fresh ingredients, this pretty spinach salad was my grandma’s favorite. Even my little ones like it (but don’t tell them spinach is good for them)! —Shelley Riebel, Armada, Michigan
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Exps190265 Cw163680b09 01 6b 1

Lemon Cranberry Quinoa Salad

As the family cook, I appreciate how easy this is to throw together on a busy weeknight. Plus, this salad never gets boring. One of my favorite variations is to substitute diced fresh mango for the cranberries, cilantro for the parsley, and lime for the lemon juice and zest. —Mary Shenk, DeKalb, Illinois
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Kansas Cucumber Salad Exps Thjj19 403 B02 19 5b 5

Kansas Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers are my very favorite garden vegetable, so I use this recipe often. I got it from a friend years ago. I've heard this refreshing dish keeps very well in the refrigerator, but it goes so fast around our house, I've never found out for myself. —Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
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Three Green Salad Exps Hca18 1595 C06 08 7b 6

Three-Green Salad

For a crisp, refreshing side dish, this tasty salad can't be beat. It's the perfect salad to go with lasagna. —Gina Squires, Salem, Oregon
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Exps32535 Bos2930251d 10 23 2b Web 7

Creamy Grape Salad

Everyone raves when I bring this refreshing, creamy grape salad to potlucks. For a special finishing touch, sprinkle it with brown sugar and pecans. —Marge Elling, Jenison, Michigan
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BLT Macaroni Salad

A friend served this BLT pasta salad, and I just had to get the recipe. My husband loves BLT sandwiches, so this has become a favorite of his. It's nice to serve on hot and humid days, which we frequently get during summer here in Virginia. —Mrs. Hamilton Myers Jr., Charlottesville, Virginia
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Cool Beans Salad Exps Opbz18 120578 B06 07 4b 24

Cool Beans Salad

This protein-filled dish could be served as a colorful side dish or a meatless main entree. When you make it, double the recipe because it will be gone in a flash! The basmati rice add a unique flavor and the dressing gives it a bit of a tang. —Janelle Lee, Appleton, Wisconsin
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Sliced Tomato Salad

I got this recipe from my grandmother. It's a perfect platter to serve with burgers or hot sandwiches. —Kendal Tangedal, Plentywood, Montana
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Grilled Peach, Rice & Arugula Salad

This hearty salad was created when I needed to clear out some leftovers from the fridge—and it became an instant hit! The grilled peaches are the ultimate "tastes like summer" salad booster. —Lauren Wyler, Dripping Springs, Texas
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Tzatziki Potato Salad

My son has an egg allergy, so this potato salad is perfect for him. For extra color, add radishes, apple and garlic dill pickles. —Cindy Romberg, Mississauga, Ontario
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Connie's Tortellini Salad

Toss satisfying cheese tortellini and mozzarella with refreshing veggies for a substantial potluck salad. Sometimes I keep a bowl of this in the fridge for family members to dig into when they need something fast. — Connie Eaton, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Exps183147 Th143194c06 19 6b 2

California Citrus & Avocado Salad

The awesome flavors in this salad remind me of my childhood in Southern California. My great-uncle had an orchard, so our family meals were filled with avocados, citrus fruits and nuts of all varieties. —Catherine Cassidy, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Exps103184 Uh153291d05 01 2b 6

Colorful Spiral Pasta Salad

Tackle gatherings with a bright pasta salad. This tricolor toss-up with broccoli, tomatoes, olives and a hardworking dressing is one of the easiest cold pasta salad recipes you could take. —Amanda Cable, Boxford, Massachusetts
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Refreshing Shrimp Salad

Avocado, strawberries and shrimp are wonderful together in this filling yet light salad. Balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette dressings go well with the salad, as do Asian-inspired dressings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Orzo Vegetable Salad Exps48575 Cw1996974b01 27 3bc Rms 2

Orzo Vegetable Salad

Heading to a potluck and need something to share? Tangy lemon dressing over cool orzo and vegetables is everything you want in a light side dish. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
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Exps4271 Mc163887d03 24 4b 1

Fresh Fruit Bowl

The glorious colors of the fruit make this a festive salad. Slightly sweet and chilled, it makes a nice accompaniment to a grilled entree. —Marlon Kirst, Troy, Michigan
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Bacon Pea Salad Exps Thjj17 166658 D02 02 5b 4

Bacon Pea Salad

My husband absolutely loves peas. My middle son isn't the biggest fan, but he loves bacon. So, I combined the two, and it was perfect! This pea salad is an awesome side dish, especially for barbecue. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Pineapple Coleslaw

When I was a child, my mother often served this salad with multicolored marshmallows sprinkled on top, much to my delight. The marshmallows added a touch of sweetness that really complemented this salad's tangy flavor. —Betty Follas, Morgan Hill, California
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White Bean Arugula Salad

My red, white and green salad is inspired by the Italian flag. Top it with shaved Parmesan. —Malia Estes, Allston, Massachusetts
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Exps152173 Th143192d02 06 3b Rms 2

Avocado & Artichoke Pasta Salad

A squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of cilantro and a little avocado make this a creamy and zingy pasta salad. —Carrie Farias, Oak Ridge, New Jersey
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Swift Strawberry Salad

Swift Strawberry Salad

A simple blend of syrup, orange juice and caramel topping forms the light dressing for the fresh berries and the crunchy cashews found in this sensational salad. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Green Salad with Dill Dressing

With a big holiday meal, a light colorful salad is the perfect side dish, especially with this flavorful dressing. I like to make this pretty, tasty salad for the holidays or anytime. —Lucy Meyring, Walden, Colorado
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Watermelon Blueberry Salad Exps Thjj19 132371 B02 20 10b 3

Watermelon-Blueberry Salad

People love the unique combination of flavors in the dressing that tops the fresh fruit in this salad. It's so refreshing on a hot summer evening. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Macaroni Coleslaw Exps Mrmz16 43675 B09 16 5b 7

Macaroni Coleslaw

My friend Peggy brought this coleslaw to one of our picnics, and everyone liked it so much, we all had to have the recipe. —Sandra Matteson, Westhope, North Dakota
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Tangy Poppy Seed Fruit Salad

For a fruit salad that’s delightful, we combine berries and citrus with a honey-lime dressing flecked with poppy seeds. —Carrie Howell, Lehi, Utah
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Spinach Salad With Rhubarb Dressing Exps Cwam18 8428 B12 13 6b 3

Spinach Salad with Rhubarb Dressing

Spinach salad is excellent with this tangy topping, which really perks it up. A friend shared a similar salad dressing recipe with me and I modified it a bit. The rhubarb adds rosy color and mouthwatering flavor.—Twila Mitchell, Lindsborg, Kansas
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Honeydew Prosciutto Salad Exps Jmz18 152605 B03 01 4b 2

Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad

For parties, I turn melon and prosciutto into an easy salad with a honey mustard dressing. To add zip, stir in fresh basil and mint. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington
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Quick Ambrosia Fruit Salad Exps Bmz19 41971 B11 29 11b 6

Quick Ambrosia Fruit Salad

I start this with plenty of fruit, add the yogurt for dressing, then mix in just enough marshmallows and coconut so it tastes like the fresh and creamy version I grew up with. It’s a well-loved recipe in my home now. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Grandmother S Orange Salad Exps Sddj19 335 C07 24 1b 2

Grandmother's Orange Salad

This orange salad dessert is slightly sweet and tangy, too. It adds beautiful color to any meal and appeals to all ages! —Ann Eastman, Santa Monica, California
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Summer Orzo

Summer Orzo

I’m always looking for fun ways to use the fresh veggies that come in my Community Supported Agriculture box, and this salad is one of my favorite creations. I like to improvise with whatever I have on hand, feel free to do the same here! —Shayna Marmar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Chinese Spinach-Almond Salad

This recipe combines power-packed spinach, a good source of vitamins A and K, with other veggies, lean meat and crunchy, heart-healthy almonds. Reduced-fat dressing adds a light Asian flavor and touch to each hearty serving. Mary Ann Kieffer - Lawrence, Kansas
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Chilled Fruit Cups

This refreshing frozen salad is easy to assemble ahead and serve to a group at breakfast - or any time of day. It's a convenient and colorful addition to a holiday buffet. —Andrea Hawthorne, Mozeman, Montana
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Exps185574 Sd153321c01 30 2b 2

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

In our new cookbook “The Kitchen Decoded,” we include tabbouleh salad because it's super simple and filling. Try red quinoa for a slightly earthier flavor. —Logan Levant, Los Angeles, California
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Kale Slaw Spring Salad Exps Bmz19 197793 E11 30 8b 7

Kale Slaw Spring Salad

My parents and in-laws are retired and like to spend winters in Florida. This tangy spring salad welcomes the snowbirds back for our Easter celebration! —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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Antipasto Salad Platter Exps Bfbz19 32447 C01 17 2b 2

Antipasto Salad Platter

I used to work in a pizza shop where this salad was the most popular item on the menu. The dish is perfect for nights when it’s just too hot to cook. —Webbie Carvajal, Alpine, Texas
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Warm Apple Pistachio Spinach Salad Exps Mcmzsp17 197366 B01 10 3b 10

Warm Apple & Pistachio Spinach Salad

I'm really not a salad person, but this unusual salad is actually worthy of bringing to a dinner party or even eating by itself. It's also super quick and easy to make. —Justine Kmiecik, Crestview, Florida
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Peachy Tossed Salad

I like to serve this refreshing salad in the summer, when the lettuce in my garden is fresh and sweet peaches are in season. It's a real treat, especially when served with pork. —April Neis, Lone Butter, British Columbia
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Ranch Potato Salad Exps Wrsm17 28598 D03 15 4b 1

Ranch Potato Salad

I make this creamy potato salad with cheese, bacon and ranch salad dressing. My sister asked for the recipe as soon as she tried it. —Lynn Breunig, Wind Lake, Wisconsin
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Spinach Blueberry Salad

Blueberries are a fun surprise in this salad. I received the recipe from a co-worker's wife, and it's become one of my favorites. —Heidi Gilleland, Lees Summit, Missouri
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Pistachio Mallow Salad Exps Cpbz19 17322 E11 06 4b 8

Pistachio Mallow Salad

This fluffy pistachio salad is a real treat since it's creamy but not overly sweet. It's easy to mix up, and the flavor gets better the longer it stands. It's perfect for St. Patrick's Day, served in a green bowl. -Pattie Ann Forssberg, Logan, Kansas
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Grilled Apple Tossed Salad Exps Sdas17 33475 B04 06 4b 7

Grilled Apple Tossed Salad

The grilled apples in this salad combine so well with the blue cheese, walnuts and balsamic dressing. I like to serve it on pink Depression glass dessert plates from my great-grandmother. —Paul Soska, Toledo, Ohio
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Greek Couscous Salad Exps Hck 196349 17 A08 12 5b 5

Greek Couscous Salad

Bright flavors and crisp raw veggies make a satisfying salad that's hearty enough to be a full meal. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Berry Nectarine Salad

I've been making this recipe for years. Whenever my family has a summer get-together, everyone requests it. The nectarines and berries look beautiful together, and the topping is the perfect accent. —Mindee Myers, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Mexican Layered Salad Exps Cpbz19 43129 B11 06 1b 5

Mexican Layered Salad

Here’s another popular dish I like to prepare in advance, adding the cheese and chips just before serving. It’s a slightly different version of the traditional layered salad.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Citrus Melon Mingle Exps Mcsmz17 21770 D01 04 3b 6

Citrus Melon Mingle

This refreshing fruit salad has a hint of mint, honey and ginger that adds subtle flavor to the sweet combination of melons, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple and bananas. —Doris Heath, Franklin, North Carolina
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Creamy Blueberry Gelatin Salad Exps36472 Nbc143387b01 17 2bc Rms 2

Creamy Blueberry Gelatin Salad

Plump blueberries and a fluffy topping star in this pretty, refreshing salad. My mom's blueberry salad was served at every holiday and celebration. Now my grandchildren look forward to sampling it at holidays. —Sharon Hoefert, Greendale, Wisconsin
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Pear Harvest Salad Exps Opbz18 41764 E06 07 3b 5

Pear Harvest Salad

We came up with this delicious salad trying to use up leftover turkey after Thanksgiving. We think you'll love it, too! —Nancy Prewitt, Beaverton, Oregon
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Balsamic Three Bean Salad Exps164481 Sd143204d12 06 1b Rms 4

Balsamic Three-Bean Salad

Here's my little girl's favorite salad. She devours it just about as fast as I can make it. I suggest preparing it ahead of time so the flavors can get to know each other. —Stacey Feather, Jay, Oklahoma
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Cranberry Fluff

This fluffy fruit salad gets its sweet-tart flavor from cranberries and whipped cream. We like it because it's not as sweet as many other "fluffs." I'm often asked for the secret to this luscious holiday salad. —Lavonne Hartel, Williston, North Dakota
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Hot Spinach Apple Salad

With a light sweet-tangy dressing, the spinach doesn’t wilt and the apples retain their crunch. We serve this salad with homemade bread. —Denise Albers, Freeburg, Illinois
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Honey Poppy Seed Fruit Salad Exps Hca19 24734 C10 02 7b 6

Honey Poppy Seed Fruit Salad

This colorful fruit salad with poppy seed dressing pairs well with any morning entree and takes just 10 minutes to assemble. The subtle honey sauce in this salad steals the show. —Dorothy Dinnean, Harrison, AR
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Mediterranean Romaine Salad Exps144689 Th2379797c11 15 4bc Rms 3

Mediterranean Romaine Salad

This salad is my standard—I always make sure I have the ingredients on hand so I can whip up this easy salad anytime. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Strawberry Feta Tossed Salad Exps Sdam18 24185 B11 30 11b 3

Strawberry Feta Tossed Salad

A neighbor served this light, wonderful salad at a summer barbecue. I’ve since tried it with many ingredient combinations, but this one draws the most compliments. -Lisa Lesinski-Topp Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
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Exps117057 Thca163696c03 06 4b 2

Pomegranate-Cranberry Salad

Juicy pomegranate seeds give cranberry gelatin a refreshing twist. For the crowning touch, top the salad with whipped topping and a sprinkling of pecans. —Lorie Mckinney, Marion, North Carolina
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Company Green Salad Exps162929 Thhc2377565b08 27 2b Rms

Company Green Salad

I partially put this salad together and take the remaining ingredients (candied nuts, seeds, rice noodles and dressing) to mix in at the potluck. Works perfectly every time. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Onion Orange Salad Exps Fttmz19 2843 E03 13 5b Rms 6

Onion Orange Salad

People always enjoy the bold flavors in this delightful salad. It’s both delicious and beautiful. —Zita Wilensky, North Miami Beach, Florida
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Layered Garden Bean Salad Exps165754 Hck143243d09 17 5b1 Rms

Layered Garden Bean Salad

For easy entertaining, cover and refrigerate the salad a few hours before guests arrive so you don't have to bother with last-minute assembly. Turn it into a light lunch by adding sliced rotisserie chicken, salmon or tuna. —Melissa Wharton, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Cranberry Mandarin Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

I prefer to use spinach or other dark leafy greens because they are tastier than iceberg, and also because of the amount of calcium they contain. I'm always looking for ways to boost my calcium intake since I can't eat dairy. —Holly Bauer, West Bend, Wisconsin
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Nectarine and Beet Salad

Nectarine and Beet Salad

Beets, nectarines and feta cheese make for scrumptious additions to mixed greens. While the combination of ingredients may seem unlikely, I guarantee it will become a favorite salad on your home menu. —Nicole Werner, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Roquefort Pear Salad

Guests at a barbecue we hosted one summer brought this cool, refreshing salad. Now it's a mainstay at many of our gatherings year-round. The mingling of zesty tastes and textures instantly wakes up the taste buds. —Sherry Duval, Baltimore, Maryland

Amy Glander
Amy is a book editor at Taste of Home where she gets to pour her passions for food and storytelling into trade and series cookbooks. When she’s not writing or editing, you’ll find her antiquing, cooking and baking from her favorite vintage cookbooks and exploring Milwaukee’s urban beauty with her digital SLR in hand.

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