Certain menus require the clean, tart piquancy of a well-made salad. A leafy green tossed salad is often the answer but if the green salad seems too light, a welcome alternative is the vegetable salad.
Here are some recipes that combine fresh and lightly cooked vegetables in hearty salads.
One uses apples, an economical fruit, to make a sweet-tart salad that is excellent with meat or poultry dishes. And with a light soup and bread, the Alsatian cheese salad is perfect for lunch or early supper or whenever a light meal is apropros. Beet, Roquefort, and Walnut Salad 10 medium-sized beets 1/4 cup mild salad oil 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup shelled walnuts 1 cup sour cream 1/4 pound Roquefort cheese Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Scrub beets. Trim the tops and the roots. Cook in boiling water until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and cool. Peel beets and cut into julienne strips.
Toss beets with oil, vinegar, and salt. Cover and chill. Let the beets return to room temperature before serving.
Just before serving, toss walnuts and sour cream with beets. Crumble Roquefort cheese over the salad, and grind on black pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8. Moroccan Salad 2 small eggplants 1 teaspoon salt 2 tomatoes, cut in large dice 4 scallions, sliced thin 1 cucumber, cut in large dice 1 green pepper, diced 1 sweet red pepper, diced 1/4 cup parsley, minced Dressing 2 garlic cloves, crushed 3 tablespoons lemon juice 3 tablespoons sesame butter 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 teaspoons cumin seed 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/2 teaspoon oregano Salt to taste Spinach leaves Yogurt or sour cream for topping
Peel eggplant and slice into 1/2-inch rounds. Place eggplant on baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and let stand for 30 minutes.
While eggplant stands, mix together all ingredients for the dressing.
Rinse and dry eggplant. On an oiled baking sheet, broil the eggplant until it browns lightly on both sides. Avoid overcooking. Eggplant should be tender enough to cut with a fork.
Cut the warm eggplant into bite-sized pieces. Toss with dressing and let cool for several hours, unrefrigerated.
Just before serving, gently toss the other vegetables, except for spinach leaves, with eggplant and dressing. Serve on spinach leaves with yogurt or sour cream topping. Waldorf Salad Deluxe 2 tablespoons orange juice 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 cup yogurt 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind 2 teaspoons honey 6 large tart apples, preferably Yorks or Jonathans 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced 3/4 cup shelled walnut pieces
To make dressing, mix together orange juice, lemon juice, yogurt, mayonnaise, orange rind, and honey. Cut unpeeled apples into 1/2-inch dice. Mix apples, celery, and walnuts with dressing. Serve on lettuce leaves garnished with orange slices. Alsatian Cheese Salad 3 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch rounds 1 cup frozen green peas 2 cups broccoli florets 2 cups cauliflower florets 3 scallions, finely sliced 3 cups assorted mild cheeses, cut in 1/2-inch dice. (A mixture of mild Havarti, Jarlsburg, and Cheddar is nice.) 1/2 cup parsley, minced Dressing: 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup yogurt 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons celery seed 1 tablespoon dried tarragon 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Bring two quarts of salted water to a boil in a large kettle. First, drop in the carrots, let the water return to a boil, and cook 1 minute. Remove carrots to a colander and rinse under cold water.
Blanching each vegetable separately, repeat this process with peas, broccoli, cauliflower, and scallions.
Drain vegetables well and pat dry with paper towel. Toss together in a large bowl. Gently toss cheese in with vegetables.
Stir the dressing together and pour over salad. Add parsley, toss and serve on greens garnished with assorted pickles and fresh vegetable sticks.