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Memorial Day Weekend--it's all about the salads

Updated on January 22, 2015
Cast your vote for Memorial Day--lots of salads!

It's More than a Holiday

In our family, Memorial Day weekend is more than a holiday or an extra day off. My husband's birthday is May 27, so Memorial Day weekend always involves a birthday celebration. And, since it's a weekend, why have a one-day birthday.?

(Mr. CarbDiva has a pretty sweet deal going on here, don't you think?)

I'll be cooking and baking a-plenty in these next few days, but one day will certainly include a barbeque. Here are the salads we will be enjoying.


Broccoli Salad

Cook Time = 30 seconds, Prep Time = 10 minutes, Servings = 4-6

  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the broccoli florets and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the pot and place immediately into the bowl of ice to halt the cooking process.
  3. Drain the cooled broccoli.
  4. Stir together the broccoli, red onion, dates, sunflower seeds and chopped bacon in a large bowl. Set aside.
  5. Prepare the dressing by mixing together the mayonnaise, yogurt, red wine vinegar, and sugar.
  6. Add the dressing to the broccoli combination in the large bowl. Toss to coat.
  7. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Why is it named Green Goddess?

The dressing is named for its tint. The most accepted theory regarding its origins points to the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. In 1923 the executive Chef, Philip Roemer created a salad to pay tribute to actor George Arliss and his hit play The Green Goddess.

Green Goddess Chicken Salad

Cook Time = none, Prep Time = 10 minutes, Servings = 4

  • 2 cups salad dressing (see below)
  • 6 cups salad greens (any combination of leaf, romaine, spinach, arugula, etc.)
  • 3 cups cooked, chopped chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  1. Toss the salad greens with 1/2 cup of the dressing and divide among 4 salad plates.
  2. Arrange the chicken, avocado, and tomato on top of the greens.
  3. Serve additional salad dressing on the side.

Green Goddess Salad Dressing

  • 3/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • 3/4 cup fresh chives
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

Puree the herbs, lemon juice and salt in a food processor. With the processor running add the oil in a slow stream. Scrape down the sides and then stir in the yogurt. Process until smooth.


Wild Rice Asparagus Salad

Cook Time = 45 minutes, Prep Time = 10 minutes, Servings = 4

  • 2 cups wild rice, uncooked
  • 3 cups sliced fresh asparagus (see note below)
  • 1 cup smoked salmon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  1. Cook wild rice according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water, drain, and set aside.
  2. Combine cooked, cooled wild rice with asparagus, salmon, dried cranberries, and hazelnuts. Mix well.
  3. Prepare dressing, add to salad, and toss.

Dressing: Combine white wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt in small mixing bowl.

NOTE: How to prepare asparagus

Grasp each asparagus spear with two hands. Bend. It will break where the spear changes from "woody" to "edible". Throw away the woody end. Next use a vegetable peeler to remove the "scales". Start just below the tip and gently scrape to remove the scales and tough skin. Now cut off the tips (which are VERY tender), and then diagonally slice the stem into 1/4-inch slices.

© 2014 Linda Lum


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