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These salads are fresh, delicious and gorgeous enough to brighten up a picnic table all by themselves.
Crisp iceberg stands the test of time when held up to 24 hours in this layered salad we created based on Tex-Mex ingredients. Layered salads, popular in the 70s and 80s, are making a comeback. For a fun presentation, assemble it in a clear salad bowl, dressing and all, then refrigerate.
24-Hour Tex-Mex Salad
Greek purple-black kalamata olives and feta cheese blend with rice-shaped orzo pasta for this salad at Surdyk's Cheese Shop. The full-flavored dish holds its own at a barbecue with grilled meat.
Surdyk's Greek Orzo Salad
Credit for the original Cobb salad goes to Bob Cobb at his Brown Derby Restaurant in Los Angeles back in the 1920s. We gave it a Heartland twist, with steak instead of chicken. Maytag blue cheese stands in for Roquefort. Use cantaloupe for the avocado, if you like.
Midwest-Style Cobb Salad
This is one yummy and surprising salad in a pizza. We used purchased puff pastry to form the crust that's finished with meat, veggies, cheese and sorrel greens or spinach. Throw it all in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese and wilt the greens.
Deep-Dish Salad Pizza
Crisp and crunchy, this side-dish salad can be paired with burgers or spooned inside a wrap sandwich. Turn the slaw into a main dish by tossing in shredded chicken or chopped cooked ham.
Garden Slaw with Spicy Asian Dressing
Fun three-color pasta, cubed cheese, albacore tuna, roasted sweet red peppers and more blend for a pasta salad with a summer freshness from the basil and Romaine. We sprinkled the salad with cashews for crunch.
You can't go wrong mixing tangy cheese with juicy, fresh pears. Add sprinkling of toasted pine nuts and a splash of olive oil with red wine vinegar, and it's divine. ToSa Euro Cafe in Indianapolis shared this recipe.
White-on-White Pears with Gorgonzola
This version of chicken salad made with two styles of mustard (Pommery and Dijon) gets its crunch from celery and pine nuts. We like the main-dish salad on croissants or slices of sourdough.
Pommery Chicken Salad
We took a summertime staple (a bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwich) and made it a main-dish salad. Creamy mustard dressing makes the perfect topping.
We added a whole new flavor to fruit salad by sneaking some chili powder into the honey-papaya dressing. If you're not quite ready for that kind of adventure, omit the chili powder from the honey/lime/papaya dressing.
Honey of a Fruit Salad
Herb specialist Rosemary Divock of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, tosses edible flowers and greens with a homemade vinaigrette, then adds snipped fresh tarragon, marjoram and chives. "The nice thing about making your own dressing is having some fresh-from-your-garden flavor," she says.
Links:  http://www.midwestliving.com/slide/24-hour-tex-mex-salad-10