Trio of Salads Makes Al Fresco Dining Shine

June 9, 2014 Editorial Staff
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(Family Features) There’s nothing better than enjoying a delicious meal while relaxing with friends and family.

Most of us have that familiar go-to menu that takes little or no planning, but this summer it’s time to try something new. First, move dinner outdoors to enjoy the warmth of the sun or a star-filled summer sky. Then, fire up the grill and showcase summer’s bounty to create this delicious trio of salads for a gathering that truly shines. Regardless of whether your taste buds lean toward sweet or savory, or your appetite is light or hearty – each of these salads is tasty and inventive – and sure to please even the most discerning of dinner guests.

Bright Ideas for Al Fresco Entertaining

David Mirassou, wine expert and sixth generation of America’s oldest winemaking family, offers up these tips:

  • Pressed for time? Chill wine and other drinks in 10 minutes when you layer ice and salt in a bucket, and then fill with cold water.
  • Want guests to keep track of their glasses? Dip the bottom stem of wine glasses in chalkboard paint. Once dry, guests can write their names in chalk or paint pens on their glasses.
  • Looking for conversation starters? Use a chalkboard paper table runner to suggest food and wine pairings, and invite guests to comment on them.
  • Not sure which varietal goes with what food? Use this rule of thumb: Pair lighter foods with lighter wines, and heartier foods with heartier wines.
  • For more recipe and entertaining ideas to brighten your outdoor table, visit or


    Recipe: Grilled Chipotle Caesar Salad Wedges Paired with Moscato


    • 3 cups 1/2-inch cubes of cornbread
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 cup good quality Caesar salad dressing
    • 1 tablespoon Moscato
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 1 teaspoon minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
    • 1 large head romaine lettuce, cut into 4 wedges
    • 1/2 cup diced tomato
    • 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
    • Fresh cilantro leaves (optional)


    News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place cornbread cubes on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil; toss lightly to coat. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once or twice. Stir together Caesar dressing, Moscato, lime juice and chipotle peppers in small bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Preheat grill to high, adding wood chips if desired. Brush small amount of dressing mixture on cut sides of romaine. Place romaine, cut side down on grill. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly charred. Place on 4 salad plates and drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with tomato, cheese, cilantro and cornbread croutons.

    4 servings


    Recipe: Mango Caprese Salad Paired with Riesling



    1. Place mango slices on platter, alternating with mozzarella slices. Drizzle with lemon juice and oil, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil and serve with baguette slices.

    8-10 servings