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Bowlfuls of Fresh and Healthy Onions are in!

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Smoked Chicken Salad With Onions and Dried Cherries
Gazpacho Salad

(Family Features) - Warmer weather takes people outdoors to ball games and picnics, weddings and reunions. With a busy schedule, getting the daily-recommended serving of fruits and vegetables can be a snap with salads.

Today's salads are so much more than just a heap of greens topped with some diced tomato. The combination of ingredients is endless. From pastas to veggies and fruits, salads are bowlfuls of bright colors and tasty textures.

Onions, recently recognized as one of the 12 healthiest foods in Rodale, Inc.'s The 12 Best Foods Cookbook, add flavor, texture and healthful benefits to salads and sandwiches. Dana Jacobi, author of The 12 Best Foods Cookbook says, "Have a heavy hand with onions; they are so good for the heart."

With a higher water content and delicate flavor, spring and summer fresh onions are ideal for salads. Retailers across the United States will have a beautiful selection of fresh yellow, red and white onions from March through August.

Smoked Chicken Salad With Onions and Dried Cherries

Ingredients
  • 4 1/2 cups diced smoked chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 2 1/4 cups diced fresh onions
  • 2 1/4 cups dried tart cherries, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil, minced
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Preparation
    1. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl, and stir gently until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to place on mixed greens or to prepare sandwiches.

Serves
Makes 12 servings.

Gazpacho Salad

Ingredients
  • 1 large tomato, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled in strips and cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 large white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch rings
  • 1 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings*
  • 8 green or red leaf lettuce leaves
  • 8 pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise, for garnish
Dressing
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 slice white bread, crust removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation
    1. In wide bowl, layer tomato, cucumber, mushrooms, pepper and onion.
    2. For dressing, in mini food processor, whirl tomato juice with vinegar, garlic, mustard, paprika and bread. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over layered salad, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
    3. To serve, arrange lettuce leaves on 4 salad plates. Divide chilled salad equally over lettuce. Spoon dressing onto salad and garnish with olives.

Serves
Makes 4 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
* Extra onion can be kept up to 1 week in refrigerator in sealed container to use in salsas, marinades, sandwiches or other salads.

Recipe from The 12 Best Foods Cookbook by Dana Jacobi © 2005 by Rodale, Inc. Permission granted to National Onion Association by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098.

SOURCE: National Onion Association



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