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Springtime is salad time

It’s springtime and time to start thinking about salads. North Carolina produces an amazing variety of salad ingredients. North Carolina’s egg farmers are located all over the state from Hyde County to Cherokee County. The farmers have approximately 9 million birds which lay about 7½ million eggs a day. Spinach is now in season as are mixed salad greens. Pecans come in November or December, but can be frozen to make sugar-coated pecans for the Red, White and Blue salad, which features blueberries, coming to market in May.


Egg Salad

Winona Burroughs and Rosa Alice Mayo

Keeping the Faith of a Church and the People. Hatteras United Methodist Church. 2009.


12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

2 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

1 cup mayonnaise

What to do: Mix all ingredients together.


Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Margie Easley

Keeping the Faith of a Church and the People. Hatteras United Methodist Church. 2009.


1 pound fresh spinach

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 small purple onion, sliced and separated

2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced

½ pound bacon, fried crisp

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons white vinegar or red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

2 teaspoons poppy seeds.

What to do

Remove stems from spinach; wash leaves thoroughly and pat dry. Tear into bite-sized pieces. Combine spinach, mushrooms, onion, crumbled bacon and eggs in a large bowl. Combine oil and remaining ingredients in a jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously. Pour dressing over spinach mixture, just before serving and toss. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Red, White and Blue Salad


Sugar Coated Pecans:

1 egg white

1 cup pecan halves

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt


Mixed salad greens

½ cup NC blueberries

½ cup NC strawberries

¼ cup feta cheese

Salt and pepper

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Sugar coated pecans

What to do

Sugar Coated Pecans: Beat one egg white and one tablespoon of cod water together until frothy. Stir in 1 cup of pecan halves into mixture. In another bowl, mix ½ cup of sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir pecans into sugar mixture until well coated. Spread nuts on cookie sheet and bake at 275 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Salad: Wash your greens and top with the ingredients.


Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing


Yield: makes 1 cup of dressing


¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon mustard

1 tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon poppy seeds


Put everything into a jar and blend with an immersion blender, or shake vigorously. You can also use a food processor or a blender to get a good emulsion, too, but an immersion blender is the easiest. Taste to adjust any of the ingredients. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Use this same formula with other citrus like pink grapefruit, lime, orange, or blood orange. Add 1/4 cup of buttermilk or sour cream to this recipe for a creamy lemon poppy seed dressing.


White Bean and Avocado Salad



¼ cup grapeseed oil

3 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced

2 ripe Hass avocados

2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons cilantro or parsley leaves, roughly chopped

1 lemon, zested and juiced (about 1/4 cup)

Kosher salt and black pepper

Pinch of smoked paprika (optional)

What to do

In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high until it shimmers. Add the garlic and cook, stirring carefully, until it just starts to crisp and turn slightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the garlic to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon and set aside the garlic oil.

Halve the avocados lengthwise, pit them, then slice each half lengthwise into two pieces. Peel the avocados, then cut into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the beans, cilantro, lemon juice and reserved garlic oil. Gently toss to coat, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide among 4 shallow bowls or plates. Garnish with lemon zest, fried garlic and a sprinkle of paprika, if desired.



Today’s recipes: this and that

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