published Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Broccoli does the heavy lifting in lettuce-free salads that last

Good morning, June readers. Here’s the short-form of today’s requests: tomato pie as once served at Olde World Bakery in St. Elmo, sugar-free granola, recipes using the sweetener xylitol, petticoat tails cookies and soft thumbprint cookies without nuts.

Our mail began this week with a reminiscence about the Olde World Bakery in St. Elmo, where there was a wonderful tomato pie served up. Patti Walker hopes that someone has that recipe and would pass it on to us.

Secondly, Yeast of the Ridge has a couple of sugar-free questions, first for a recipe for sugar-free granola; and second for a recommendation for “the newly discovered sugar on my grocery shelf, a brown sugar substitute that is xylitol. Have readers had any luck with baking with this powdered sweetener? If so, please send recipes through this column.”

Here is a cookie request, from Faithful Reader, for cookies called petticoat tails, which a reader believes to be a corruption of the French term “petits gateaux.”

That request reminds us to remind you to look for the recipe for thumbprint cookies as sold at Hurt’s Cleaners in Dalton, Ga. I’ve actually sampled one of those cookies, a soft and gentle cookie that has no nuts. If the thumbprint recipe of your choice sounds like that, please send your recipe.

These are salad days, and as such we have some tempting recipes from Emilia Günter, with instructions for a fish course from Betty Bagley. The salad discussion began with an interest in salads without lettuce, the kind that still are good the day after. The first two from Ms. Genter meet that requirement.

Broccoli Salad with Sunflower Seeds

5 cups fresh broccoli florets

1⁄2 cup raisins

1⁄2 cup sunflower seeds

1⁄2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon

1⁄4 cup red onion, chopped

1 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)

Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons vinegar

1⁄2 cup sugar

Combine broccoli florets, raisins, sunflower seeds, crumbled bacon, chopped onion and peas in a large serving bowl. In a separate bowl or large cup, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Add dressing to the salad and toss to mix well. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Broccoli Salad with Craisins

5 cups broccoli florets

1 cup Craisins (Ocean Spray dried cranberries)

1⁄2 cup sunflower seeds

1⁄2 cup real bacon bits (Oscar Mayer brand recommended)

1 small red onion, cut into rings

Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (apple cider vinegar may be substituted)

1⁄2 cup sugar

Combine broccoli, Craisins, sunflower seeds, bacon bits and onions in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Add dressing to other salad ingredients and toss to combine. Chill thoroughly before serving.

As a final gift (for now, at least) from Ms. Genter, here’s a favorite family salad recipe that DOES contain lettuce.

Apple, Pecan and Gorgonzola Salad

Dressing:

21⁄2 tablespoons lemon juice

1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄2 cup canola oil

Combine lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl, and slowly whisk in the oil. Transfer the dressing to a storage container. Makes approximately 1 cup. Dressing will keep in refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.

Salad:

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced small, coated lightly with 1 tablespoon of dressing

1⁄4 cup thinly sliced scallions

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1⁄3 cup pecan pieces, toasted

1⁄2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

1 (4-ounce) bag field greens or mixed greens

1⁄2 cup salad dressing

Combine all salad ingredients (except dressing) in a large bowl. Shake or whisk dressing before use. Add dressing as desired and toss salad gently to evenly coat.

Dressing is very tart by itself, but it works well with salad ingredients.

Betty Bagley weighed in on the salad-without-lettuce question as well. She advised the requester to check out the Warm Bean and Bacon Salad recipe printed May 18 in the food section. She pronounced it “good and easy.”

And while in the good-and-easy department, Ms. Bagley described this “delicious recipe that can be used for any kind of fish fillets and is not fried.”

Fish and Chips

Fish fillet slices

1 bottle creamy Italian dressing

1 (61⁄2-ounce) bag plain potato chips, finely crushed

8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Butter or spray a 9- by 9-inch baking dish. In a bowl, generously coat fish with creamy Italian. (Mayonnaise or any other dressing also may be substituted.) Line bottom of pan with fish. Mix chips, cheese and peppers; spread over fish. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 F oven for 10 minutes. This couldn’t be easier.

At our house it’s time for a celebratory meal. On this morning, the first morning of my 44th year as a married woman, I am both saying grace and returning thanks.

And I thank you too for your good newspaperly company, for almost 44 years.

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.

  • E-mail: janehenegar@gmail.com.

  • Fax: 423-668-5092.

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