Perhaps you have recently noticed the popularity of hot or warm salads. The idea is not new, having long been popular in Europe. But as often happens with food fancies, there seems to be a resurgence.
Now, along with the ubiquitous varieties of hot potato salad, we can also add almost any combination of foods, for many of those served cold and crisp can be just as effective served warm with different but equally interesting results.
A warm salad is often hearty enough for a fine lunch or light supper. The fact that they are not chilled does not mean that they are unsuitable for summer fare. Their ease of preparation makes them ideal for all seasons. Hot Tuna Salad 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil, preferably olive 1 clove garlic, minced finely 1 7-ounce can tuna 2 teaspoons dried basil 1 tablespoon capers, optional 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley 2 scallions, sliced 1/4 green pepper, finely chopped Black pepper to taste Juice of 1/2 lemon
Steam or boil green beans until crisp and tender. Heat oil in skillet and add garlic. Saute a few minutes, but do not brown.
Add green beans, tuna, basil, and capers; saute until heated through. Remove from heat. Add parsley, scallions, green pepper, black pepper, and lemon juice. Serve at once. Serves 2 to 3. Hot Kielbasa-Bean Salad 1 cup dried white beans Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 bay leaf 1 onion stuck with a whole clove 3/4 pound kielbasa 1 cup cubed slab bacon, or diced slices of bacon 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 4 tablespoons cooking oil, preferably olive 2 tablespoons minced shallots 2 large cloves garlic, minced 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 3 tablespoons vinegar
Place beans in large pan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour. Add bay leaf and onion and bring to a boil again. Lower heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until beans are very tender. Add sausage 20 minutes before beans are done.
Drop bacon into boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and dry thoroughly. Fry in butter until almost crisp; put on a double layer of paper towels and set aside. When the beans are done, take sausages out and slice them. Drain beans.
After discarding onion and bay leaf, set aside. In a large skillet, heat oil and add shallots, garlic, and parsley. Cook until soft. Add vinegar, beans, and bacon, then toss lightly and season with salt and pepper. Add sliced kielbasa. Serves 4. Hot Pink Potato Salad 4 strips bacon 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 cup diced onion 4 medium potatoes, boiled in their skins and peeled 1 8 1/4-ounce can beets, drained and liquid reserved Salt to taste 1/4 teaspoon pepper 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
In a medium skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove it to paper towels to drain. Add butter to bacon fat in skillet and melt over moderately low heat.
Add onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring often, until it begins to brown. Add potatoes, beets, and 2 tablespoons of the beet liquid to skillet and mash until fairly smooth.
Add salt, pepper, and vinegar and stir to blend. Crumble bacon over salad before serving. Serves 4. Warm Shrimp Salad 2 cloves garlic 5 sprigs fresh dill Salt and pepper to taste 3 tablespoons cooking oil, preferably olive 3 bulbs fresh fennel, sliced thin and cut into bite-size pieces 1 pound shrimp (about 15 medium), peeled 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill for garnish Vinaigrette dressing: 1 1/2 teaspoons hot mustard 6 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons vinegar Salt and pepper to taste
Combine vinaigrette ingredients. Taste for seasonings.
To 1 1/2 cups water in large saucepan, add garlic, dill sprigs, and dash of salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile , heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat and add fennel.
Cook fennel about 7 minutes. It should remain crisp. Remove to warm serving bowl. Keep warm.
Drop shrimp in pot that is simmering. Turn heat to high. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon. Drain well and arrange over fennel.
Pour vinaigrette over ingredients. Sprinkle with fresh dill, if desired. Toss well. Check for seasoning and serve at once. Serves 4.
Leftover Meat or Poultry Warm Salad
Turn leftover meat or poultry into a warm salad by sauteeing it in butter and adding it to a salad with warm dressing. Do this with turkey, chicken, duck breast, roast beef, steak, or lamb.