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Thumb_8673_Chilled Asparagus With Caper-Shallot Vinaigrette

Thumb_8673_Chilled Asparagus With Caper-Shallot Vinaigrette

The salty capers compliment the green flavor of asparagus really nicely - this is a great light side dish to go with a heavier main course.

Thumb_9945_Road Trip Pasta Salad

Thumb_9945_Road Trip Pasta Salad

Here’s a colorful pasta salad, coated with a silky, creamy goat cheese dressing. It has all the qualities that make it a good snack for the road -- you get your carbs and protein, plus a good smattering of fresh veggies, and you can eat it right out of the container with a spoon. Read more about this recipe at hogwash.

Thumb_11158_Spinach Salad With Bing Cherries, Apples And Brie

Thumb_11158_Spinach Salad With Bing Cherries, Apples And Brie

This unusual salad has a satisfying balance of flavors: slightly bitter spinach; sweet, plump cherries; tart, crisp apples; and rich brie. Slivered almonds add nuttiness and crunch.

Thumb_6990_Potato Salad With Capers And Parsley

Thumb_6990_Potato Salad With Capers And Parsley

Be sure to let the warm, simmered potatoes absorb the champagne vinegar for a few minutes before tossing them with the capers and parsley. The flavor of the champagne vinegar soaks into the potatoes and infuses every bite.

Thumb_10263_Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus With Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette

Thumb_10263_Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus With Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette

The prosciutto makes this an Italian take on a classic Spanish tapas plate. If you found it in Spain, it'd have jamon serrano and maybe some finely chopped peppers sprinkled on top. We like to wrap the asparagus while it's still warm, because the heat sets off just enough of the prosciutto's dark scent.

Thumb_15420_Yellow Gazpacho

Thumb_15420_Yellow Gazpacho

Yellow tomatoes make this gazpacho . . . yellow. It's also chilly (if you refrigerate it for an hour or two), unctuous, full from the bread, and bright. Add more salt, pepper, olive oil or vinegar at the end to suit your taste. Substitute cilantro or basil for the parsley, too.

Thumb_8831_Strawberry Crostata With Cornmeal Crust

Thumb_8831_Strawberry Crostata With Cornmeal Crust

Don’t be a perfectionist about the crust; the whole point is for it to look rugged. Just squish it up around the fruit however you have the urge to do it the first time. Read more about this recipe at hogwash.

Thumb_11224_Watermelon, Tomato And Feta Salad

Thumb_11224_Watermelon, Tomato And Feta Salad

This is adapted from a recipe we read about in The Food Section a couple of years ago. Their version was based on a similar salad served at The Hungry Cat in L.A. The sweet watermelon enhances the tomatoes' inherent sweetness. Salty feta and slightly bitter olive oil make this salad completely satisfying.

Thumb_8322_Dandelion Greens, Pear, Blue Cheese And Walnut Salad

Thumb_8322_Dandelion Greens, Pear, Blue Cheese And Walnut Salad

Dandelion greens might not be your everyday salad fare, but they have a hearty and slightly bitter taste that goes well with sweet pears and rich blue cheese. Don't be deterred by tough older dandelion stems, the leaves are quite tender.

Thumb_10019_Orzo And Wild Rice Salad

Thumb_10019_Orzo And Wild Rice Salad

I used dried currants for some texture and tang, yellow and orange peppers for color and sweetness, and toasted pine nuts for a warm, nutty element." This recipe comes from Tami of Running with Tweezers. She was the winner of Root Source Challenge: Orzo.

Thumb_4738_Carrot Mint Salad

Thumb_4738_Carrot Mint Salad

This carrot mint salad is so simple and easy to make, it's one of our favorites, especially at the last minute. The tang of the vinegar, brightness of the mint and crunch of the carrots are an ideal foil for rich braised or roasted meats. Add a few currants for a surprising sweet note.