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As summer shimmers, we keep thinking about food — much of it cold and light.

Salad solutions continue below, here three times with gelatin. A.E., thinking about lettuce-free, easy-store salads, encourages other readers to send salads with roasted vegetables, no sweetness and yes-crunch. She added, "I bought the biggest and most beautiful artichoke but now can't find a recipe for a dipping sauce that is at least a little bit healthful. Can your readers help?

 

APPLE SALAD

For today, we've got cool stuff. Betty Domal began by saying, "Maybe the person that wanted a salad not lettuce based might like this one. I take it to potlucks year-round. And people really like it."

Autumn Apple Salad

1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

2/3 cup sugar

3-ounce package lemon gelatin

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup diced unpeeled apples (1 to 2 Gala)

1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts (I like to use 1 cup of English walnuts)

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup whipped topping, thawed (I use about half of an 8-ounce tub)

Lettuce leaves for serving the salad (optional)

In a saucepan, combine pineapple and sugar; bring to a boil, and boil for 3 minutes. Add gelatin; stir until dissolved. Add cream cheese, and stir until mixture is thoroughly dissolved. (Cut it in small cubes to help dissolve it quicker.) Let cool 30 to 45 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Finely chop the apples, nuts and celery. (I use a small Black & Decker food chopper.)

After mixture is cool, fold in apples, nuts, celery and whipped topping. Pour into a 9-inch square baking pan. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares and, if you want, serve on lettuce leaves. Makes 9 to 12 servings.

 

PIMIENTO SALAD

Pat Treadwell was also thinking of gelatin salads. Both of her favorites contain canned pineapple, as does the recipe above. Lemon dominates Ms. Treadwell's vegetable and cheese version; cherries (as in pie filling), the second.

Sunshine Pimiento Salad

1 (6-ounce) package lemon Jell-O

2 cups boiling water

1 (5-ounce) jar pimiento cheese spread

1 cup mayonnaise

1 (15 1/4-ounce) can crushed pineapple

1 cup finely chopped celery

1/2 cup shredded carrots

Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Add pimiento spread, and mix well. Add mayonnaise, and mix well. Add pineapple, celery and carrots. Put in a 9- by 13-inch dish. Refrigerate.

 

COLA SALAD

Cherry Coca-Cola Salad

1 can cherry pie filling

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

2 small or 1 large cherry Jell-O

1 can crushed pineapple

6 ounces Coca-Cola

Boil for 5 minutes the cherry pie filling, sugar and water. Add cherry Jell-O. Allow to cool somewhat, then add pineapple and Coca-Cola. Put in a 9- by 9-inch dish, and refrigerate.

 

THANK-YOU NOTES

Jane Anne Seale had searched her recipe box for two missing favorites. No luck. Then last week you produced them both: lemonade pie and layered green salad. She is grateful. And Charlie Coulter provided the long-sought Town and Country cookbook Nancy S. of Florida sought last week.

 

LEMONADE 2 WAYS

Barbara Mann has kept a recipe from the Times Free Press a little over 13 years, "all this time because it's wonderful."

Lemonade

For the sugar syrup:

Grated zest of 2 lemons

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

In a medium saucepan combine the zest, sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 15 minutes.

For the lemonade:

Sugar syrup

2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 12 lemons, with half of the rinds reserved and roughly chopped

3 cups cold water

Transfer syrup to a 2-quart pitcher. Let cool.

Add the lemon juice, chopped lemon rinds and cold water. Stir well to combine. Chill until very cold. Serve over ice. Makes 2 quarts.

Rose Secrest's lemonade solution is brief. "Lemonade is made up of half Meyer lemons and half water. You then will need little or no sugar to sweeten it. If you want sugar regardless, make sure to create sugar syrup using the water."

 

MEMORABLE SOUP

You will enjoy the lighthearted soup story shared by Ms. Secrest.

"Last week I made a soup. When I tasted it, I said, 'Oh, yum. Now, which fancy restaurant recipe or cookbook had this in it?' It took me a while, and then I said, 'Oh, yes. This was me trying to answer Fare Exchange. Uh-oh. Now, what did I put in it?'"

She thought it through, with the results that follow.

Zucchini Soup

Zucchini

Basil

Parsley

Green bell pepper

Freshly ground green peppercorns

Green onions

Goat cheese

Green chili oil (made from jalapeno peppers and hot pepper vinegar)

Olive oil (optional)

Why no amounts? Because I threw in there everything green I had, in whatever quantities I had. I then simmered this gently with no high heat.

At this point, what does one do with the goat cheese? Usually, the recipe says to crumble it up and sprinkle it on top, but it is much better simply to melt it into the hot soup before you blend it. I made mine vegan, which means I used potato and soy milk.

Now I needed to concoct the green chili oil. I broiled jalapenos like you would red bell peppers; that is, they come out of the oven soft, blistered, and black. I chopped them finely and mixed them with hot pepper vinegar. You could also blend this with a grassy olive oil.

I thought spooning the jalapeno concoction into the soup would ruin it. Instead, I had come up with a fabulous dish.

Sometimes, when we are leaning over the soup pot as it simmers on the stovetop, we can fear ruining the whole pot with one miscalculated ingredient. For an experienced cook like Ms. Secrest, though, such cooking offers nothing but serendipity.

This week I am thinking that, despite warmer weather, summer is a fine time for soups. It all began with a 3-year-old, whom I happen to adore, who loves the soup-for-lunch tradition in her day care in a faraway country. This weekend on Facetime from her home she sipped (did not slurp) her alphabet soup, and as she filled her spoon she identified each letter in the edible alphabet.

Her entire menu is learning, and so may it always be. Well, so may it be for all of us, this great virtue of teachability: in the kitchen, at the dinner table, and in all of life.

 

REQUESTS

* Salads made with roasted vegetables

* Healthful artichoke dip

 

TO REACH US

Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

Email: chattfare@gmail.com

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Jane Henegar
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