Culinary arts students learn to make salads

ALICE ORTIZ/BUY AT PHOTOS.MONROEJOURNAL.COMThe second-year class at Amory High School's culinary arts program recently learned about salads. Preparing salads for lunch are, left to right, Chris Randle, instructor Dianne Young, Jimme Steverson and Christiana Whitfield.

AMORY – The Amory High School culinary arts second year class recently studed salads. As the students were finishing up their chapter on salads, instructor Dianne Young had the class make salads for their lunch.

“Most kids are not used to eating salads, and I wanted them to experience a variety of salads,” said Young. “I bought the ingredients, and the students had to go by the recipe and make the salads. It's good for them to experience different foods. How will they know if they like them if they haven't tried them.”

Italian Chopped Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Salami in Herbed Red Wine Vinaigrette with Garlic Toast Wedge

4 Romaine lettuce hearts, halved and chopped into small dice

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped into small dice

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped into small dice

1/2 red onion, chopped into small dice

1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped into small dice

8 oz. ball fresh, all natural mozzarella cheese, chopped into small dice

1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped fine

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped fine

2 slices French bread or other rustic bread

2 tsp. olive oil

1 garlic clove, papery skin removed and halved

Pinch salt/pepper

Combine the Romaine hearts through parsley in a large bowl. Refrigerate while garlic toast wedges and vinaigrette are made. Make garlic toast wedges by toasting the slices of bread until golden brown; once toasted, drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil onto each slice, and rub the garlic clove half liberally over both slices; sprinkle with a pinch of salt/pepper and cut toast on the bias to make four wedges total; set aside as the salad garnish.

Herbed Red Wine Vinaigrette

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press

1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Pinch ground black pepper

3/4 tsp. sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

In a medium bowl, add all ingredients through sugar; whisk to combine. Next slowly begin adding the oil, whisking until vinaigrette is emulsified.

To assemble the salad:

Pour the vinaigrette over the chopped salad greens and thoroughly toss to coat; check and adjust the salt/pepper, if necessary. Divide the salad equally among four plates; garnish each with a Garlic Toast Wedge.

Creamy Summer Pasta Salad

8 oz. salad macaroni

1 cup tiny broccoli florets

1/2 cup diced cucumber

1/2 cup finely diced red pepper

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1/4 cup very thinly sliced green onion

Dressing:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tsp. white wine or plain vinegar

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt, adjust to taste

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. sugar

Cook the pasta according to directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of Kosher salt to the water as it cooks. Just before the pasta is done cooking, add the broccoli to the pot. Let the broccoli boil for about 30 seconds and then drain everything into a large colander. Rinse well with cold water.

Stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the bowl and stir well to coat. Add the cucumber, pepper, and onions and stir again. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir again just before serving.

Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips

2 kiwis, peeled and diced

2 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and diced

8 oz. raspberries

1 – 16 oz. carton of strawberries, diced

2 Tbsp. white sugar, more or less to taste

1 Tbsp. brown sugar, more or less to taste

3 Tbsp. fruit preserves, any flavor (I used strawberry)

10 – 10 inch flour tortillas or use Stacy's cinnamon chips

Cinnamon Sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 Tbsp. cinnamon

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with melted butter or butter-flavored cooking spray. Sprinkle tortillas with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Spray again with cooking spray, not necessary if using melted butter.

Bake in a preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture. This salsa can also be served with cinnamon graham crackers or cinnamon pita chips. Best when made and eaten the same day otherwise the fruit gives off too much juice and it gets runny.

Waldorf Salad

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. sugar

3 apples, cored and chopped

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 celery stalk, diced

1/2 cup California walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup grapes, cut in halves or quarters

Lettuce leaves, optional

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and sugar. Set aside. In a zip-top bag, add the apples and lemon juice. Seal the bag and shake to coat.  This prevents the apples from browning. Add the apples, celery, walnuts and grapes to the mayonnaise mixture and stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve.

Serve atop lettuce leaves, if desired.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Dip

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 pinch salt

2 cups chopped mini Reese's cups

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add in the cream cheese and cream together again, about 2 minutes. Cream cheese must be soft to mix well. Add the peanut butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix again until everything is well incorporated.

Taste and if you would like sweeter, add more powdered sugar. Fold in chopped peanut butter cups. Refrigerate for at least four hours, but best if overnight.

Before serving, remove from fridge and let soften for about 15 minutes.

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