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Salad Days Of Summer Are Here

It's June and the salad days of summer are here. With everything from leaf lettuce to spring onions and radishes, the garden is a veritable salad bar ready for the picking.

Main course salads fit right in to busy summer schedules. They are easy and quick to prepare and offer a colorful and healthy change of pace from meat and potato meals.

Today's recipes include: Salmon Caesar Salad, Turkey Club Salad, Provencal Pasta Salad, Shrimp Nectarine Salad, Peach and Arugula Salad.

SALMON CAESAR SALAD

10-oz. Caesar salad mix (lettuce, dressing, croutons), 1 yellow, red or green pepper (cut in matchstick strips), 1/4 c. sliced ripe olives, 6 oz. smoked salmon, cubed

In large salad bowl combine lettuce and dressing from salad mix, pepper strips, and olives; toss gently to coat. Add salmon and the croutons and cheese from mix; toss before serving. Makes three main dish servings.

TURKEY CLUB SALAD

6 slices bacon, 1 lemon, 1/4 c. light mayonnaise, 1 sm. garlic clove, crushed, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper, 8 slices whole wheat bread toasted and cubed, 1 head lettuce, 8 oz. deli baked turkey breast (cut in strips), 2 tomatoes

In 12-inch skillet cook bacon over medium heat until browned. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Coarsely crumble bacon and set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Prepare dressing: from lemon grate 1/2 tsp. peel and squeeze 1 T. juice. In small bowl mix lemon peel and juice with mayonnaise, garlic, salt and pepper until blended; set aside. Prepare croutons: to bacon fat in skillet add cut up whole wheat toast and cook over medium heat two minutes, tossing to coat. In large salad bowl place lettuce cut into bite size pieces; top with turkey, tomatoes, croutons, and bacon. Sprinkle with lemon peel strips for garnish. Just before serving toss salad with dressing until evenly mixed. Serves six.

PROVENCAL PASTA SALAD

12 oz. bow tie pasta, 2 med. red peppers, 2 T. olive oil, 1 onion, chopped, 1 sm. eggplant, cubed, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper, 1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved, 1 c. loose packed fresh basil chopped, 1/3 c. kalamata olives, pitted and halved

In large saucepot prepare pasta in boiling salted water as label directs. Reserve 1/4 c. pasta cooking water. Drain and rinse pasta under cold running water; drain again. Roast peppers if using fresh ones. Preheat broiler. Line broiling pan (without rack) with foil. Cut each pepper lengthwise in half; discard stems and seeds. Place peppers, cut side down, in broiling pan. With hand, flatten each pepper half. Place pan in broiler 5 to 6 inches from heat and broil peppers until skins are charred and blistered, 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap foil around peppers and allow to steam at room temperature 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove peppers from foil. Peel off skins and discard. Cut peppers into 1/2 inch pieces. In nonstick skillet, heat oil until hot. Add onion and cook about 10 minutes or until tender and golden, stirring often. Increase heat to medium high. Add eggplant, garlic, pepper and 3/4 tsp. salt and cook 8 minutes longer or until eggplant is tender and golden, stirring often. To pasta, add roasted peppers, onion mixture, tomatoes, basil, olives, and reserved pasta cooking water; toss gently. Transfer pasta mixture to serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate if not serving right away. Serves 6.

SHRIMP AND NECTARINE SALAD

dressing:1/4 c. oil, 3 T. fresh lime juice, 1-1/2 inch fresh peeled ginger, 1-1/2 T. honey

salad:

1 head Boston lettuce, cut up, 1 lb. cooked deveined shrimp, 2 lg. ripe nectarines, 1 lg. avocado, halved and sliced thin lengthwise, 1/2 c. red onion, sliced thin, 1 c. fresh basil, cut in strips

Process dressing ingredients in blender or food processor until ginger is finely chopped. Pour into a large salad bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss to mix and coat. Serves 4.

PEACH AND ARUGULA SALAD

4 slices bacon, 2 T. fresh parsley, chopped, 2 T. olive oil, 2 T. rice vinegar, 1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper, 8 c. arugula, trimmed, 3 ripe peaches, peeled/sliced, 2 T. minced shallots

In 10-inch skillet cook bacon until browned. With slotted spoon remove bacon to paper towels to drain. In small bowl with wire whisk mix parsley, oil, vinegar, shallots, mustard, salt and pepper until dressing is blended. In large bowl, toss arugula and peaches with dressing until coated. Sprinkle with bacon. Makes 6 accompaniment servings.