Who would ever think of microwaving a salad? It sounds absurd, we'll admit.
But just stop and think for a minute. There are hot salads, warm salads and wilted salads. And the microwave does them all to perfection.
To prove the point, we offer three microwave salads to save and savor throughout the summer. Although our slaw is served cold, the potato salad and Carrots With Vinegar are traditionally served warm.
If the idea of a warm salad turns you off when temperatures are nudging 90, simply chill these two recipes several hours before serving. They'll be a little less authentic, but no less delicious.
HOT GERMAN POTATO SALAD
2 1/4 pounds red-skinned potatoes of uniform size
1/4 cup water
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into julienne strips
1 medium onion, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 teaspoon salt, about
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Scrub and pierce potatoes. Arrange in single layer in microwave-safe 3-quart casserole with smaller potatoes in center. Add water. Cover with casserole lid and microwave 10 to 12 minutes on HIGH (100% power) until barely tender, rearranging at half time.
Let potatoes stand, covered, 3 minutes. Drain well, then cube while warm into large bowl. Do not peel.
Arrange bacon in doughnut shape in microwave-safe 2-quart casserole. Cover with paper towel and microwave on HIGH 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, stirring at half time, until almost crisp. Lift with slotted spoon onto paper towel.
Stir onions into bacon drippings. Cover with wax paper and microwave on HIGH 3 1/2 to 4 minutes until glassy. Add to potatoes along with bacon and mix lightly.
Combine broth, vinegar blended with flour, sugar and 1 tablespoon parsley in microwave-safe 1-quart measure. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, whisking at half time until dressing boils and thickens.
Add dressing, salt and pepper to potatoes and toss lightly, adjusting salt as needed. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.
1 small cabbage, trimmed, cored and shredded moderately fine
2 medium onions, sliced tissue-thin and separated into rings
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons celery or caraway seeds
Layer cabbage alternately with onions in large bowl.
Combine sugar, vinegar, oil, salt and mustard in microwave-safe 6-cup measure. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH (100% power) 2 to 3 minutes, stirring at half time, until mixture boils.
Stir again and mix in celery seeds. Pour over cabbage and onions and toss well. Cover and chill several hours, tossing occasionally. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
CAROTE ALL' ACETO
(Carrots With Vinegar)
1 1/4 pounds carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup minced onion
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 juniper berries, crushed
Mix carrots and onion in microwave-safe 2-quart casserole. Add vinegar, bay leaf and juniper berries. Cover with lid or vented plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH (100% power) 10 minutes, stirring at half time.
Stir, then cover with paper towel. Microwave on HIGH 5 to 8 minutes, stirring at half time, until almost all liquid evaporates and carrots are tender. Let stand, covered, 3 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.
Note: In ovens of less than 600 watts, increase cooking times about 15%.