Kidney Bean Salad

1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans drained, reserve half the juices (about 1/3 c.)
½ cup chopped onions
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, mix together the beans, 1/3 cup of the juices, chopped onion, vinegar, mayonnaise and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve cold or room temperature.

I got this from my mother, Sylvia Wilkins. It’s a favorite of hers. She eats it spooned over toast and sometimes even simply a plain slice of white bread.


Candied Walnut and Mixed Greens Salad

Italian (Gorgonzola) and Greek (feta) versions

½ c. walnut halves
¼ c. white sugar
3 cups mixed greens
½ c. craisins, dried cherries, chopped dates, or figs
½ c. Gorgonzola or feta cheese
2 green onions, chopped, tops and all
1 T capers or chopped Greek olives (optional)

Whisk together equal amounts of balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a pinch of salt and black pepper to make a balsamic vinaigrette.

Candied walnuts: Place the walnuts and sugar in a skillet over medium heat (do not burn). Stir until sugar melts and is light brown (about 1 minute). Stir to coat walnuts, about 1 more minute. Remove from heat and spread on foil to cool, then break apart if necessary.

Assemble and toss salad ingredients, top with candied walnuts and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette,

Pickled Watermelon Salad


3 1/2 c. water
2/3 c. sugar
1 T salt
1 c. cider vinegar
2 T fresh dill weed chopped
½ tsp minced garlic
2 dashes cayenne
1 tsp. black peppercorns
2 tsp mustard seeds

1 small round watermelon, rind removed, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (about 16 cups)

Garnish: Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley

Combine brine ingredients: water, sugar, salt, vinegar, dill, garlic, cayenne, peppercorns and mustard seeds, in small saucepan and simmer 30 minutes. Strain and cool.

Clean and cut watermelon. Place in a 1-gallon jar (or use two, 2-qt canning jars). Pour strained brine over watermelon to cover, and chill for about an hour. Drain and serve topped with fresh chopped, flat leaf parsley (In our family, we like cilantro.) Makes 1 gallon of salad.

Variation: Mix in chunks of fresh pineapple

Pineapple, Cucumber and Strawberry Salad


Pineapple salad
Pineapple, Cucumber and Strawberry Salad

1 pineapple, peeled and chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced or quartered
2 limes, zested and juiced
1/2 cup cilantro (or parsley), roughly chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper1. Combine all ingredients and toss lightly to distribute the lime juice and zest evenly.

  1. Combine all ingredients and toss lightly to distribute the lime juice and zest evenly.

2. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

3. Serve immediately or keep chilled until ready to serve.