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Salads – Potato, Rice & Bean


Spring Potato Salad


This is a wonderful potato salad recipe (with no mayo!) which friend, John Plummer of Assumption Parish in Nashville, Tennessee shared with us.


1 lb. New Potatoes (fingerlings are very good in this)

1 Small Bunch Radishes

1 Small Bunch Green Onions (Scallions), Chopped

2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, Chopped

2 Tbsp. Lemon or Lime Juice (or vinegar, if you prefer)

2 T. Olive Oil – or any kind

2 T. Hot Water

Salt & Pepper, to taste


Wash potatoes.  Boil 20 minutes, or until tender.  Let cool, peel & slice. Chop green onions and parsley, and mix with the potatoes. Wash radishes. Trim and slice them. Set them aside. Mix the lemon juice, oil, hot water, salt, and pepper.  Toss this dressing with potatoes and green onions.  Wait and add radishes shortly before eating or they will turn the salad pink.


Vinaigrette Beet Salad

My Russian-New Mexican friend, Luba, brought this wonderful salad to a Lenten Women’s Retreat sponsored by her Albuquerque Parish, All Saints of North America and presented by Mother Cassiana of Holy Protection Monastery of Colorado. Luba (Lubov Alexandrovna Thome) along with her husband, Frank Michael Thome, are both dear people who are active in their Parish’s life and choir.  

4 Boiled Potatoes, Peeled & Cubed

4 Boiled Carrots, Peeled & Cubed

3 Boiled Beets, Peeled & Cubed

1 Onion, Chopped

1 Green Apple, Chopped, Optional

1 Can of Green Peas, Drained (Reserve Liquid)

½ Large Jar Bread and Butter Pickles

4 Tbsps. Olive or Vegetable Oil

Salt, to taste


Boil the vegetables until they are tender but not overcooked. Luba recommends boiling them separately, or at least to boil the beets separately. Combined the Cubed Vegetables with chopped Onion, Apple, Pickles and Green Peas. Dress the Salad with Oil, Salt and Pepper, as necessary for your taste. If too dry, add a bit of the liquid reserved from the peas.


Festive Potato Salad (With No Mayonnaise) 


For a feast which falls within a fast, or for those times when one just prefers not to serve a potato salad with mayonnaise, this is a colorful and festive no-mayonnaise alternative. A perfect potato salad for taking to pot lucks, picnics or to outdoor cookouts.


8 - 10 Lg. Potatoes

½ C. Olive Oil

1 – 2 Lemons, Juiced

1 Tbsp. White or Red Wine Vinegar

A bit of Pickle Juice & Olive Juice

2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced or Pressed

1 Small Hot Red or Green Jalapeño Pepper, Finely Minced

2 Tbsps. Fresh Basil Leaves, Minced

¼ C. Fresh Cilantro Leaves, Minced (Reserve 1 Tbsp. for Garnish)

1 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano, Minced (or 1 Tsp. Dry Oregano or Italian Seasoning)

1 Fresh (Kosher-style) Dill Pickle, Minced

1 Sweet Red Onion, Finely Chopped

1 Sweet Red or Yellow Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped

1 C. Celery, Finely Chopped

½ C.+ Green Olives w/Pimientos, Cut in Half (Reserve some for Garnish)

Salt & Pepper, to taste


Cook the potatoes until done but not overly done. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool. (Potato water can be reserved for stocks, gravy or to use in breads.) Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and the pickle and olive juices.  Add to this, first the garlic and hot pepper, then the minced herbs, and finally, the chopped vegetables and olives.  Stir together and allow this mixture to sit for about 10 minutes. Peel and cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Stir these in to the vegetable mixture.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish the top of the potato salad with the reserved minced cilantro and a few green olive halves. Chill until time to serve.


Rice Salad from Southern Spain

One way to use up leftover rice is in this hearty, cool Valley adaptation of a Spanish-style rice salad.


1 C. Rice, Cooked per recipe

½ C. Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Red or White Wine Vinegar

2 Tbsp. Sour Orange, Lemon or Lime Juice

Orange Peel Zest, from 1 orange

2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced or Pressed

Salt & Pepper, to taste

1 Small Red Onion, Minced

4 Oz. Pimientos (Or, Fresh Red Pepper), Chopped

2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley or Cilantro, Minced

Green and/or Black Ripe Olives, as garnish

2 Ripe Roma Tomatoes, Cut into Wedges


Cook rice. Combine oil, vinegar, juice, zest, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender of food processor.  Cool rice slightly.  Stir in oil and vinegar mixture, onion, parsley or cilantro and pimientos. Toss gently. Cover and chill for several hours.  Serve decorated with pimiento strips, olives and tomato wedges. 


Wild Rice Salad

I like to use a pre-mixed wild rice blend for this recipe.  Another good side dish, salad for the hot summer months.  Leftover rice can also be used in preparing this recipe.


4 C. Cooked Wild Rice Blend (or, ½ Wild; ½ Brown or White Rice)

2 C. Scallions, Chopped (Or, 1 C. Scallions; 1 C. Mild Red Onion, Chopped)

1 Pkg. Sun Dried Tomatoes, Softened & Chopped

½ C. Fresh Parsley, Minced

¼ C. Fresh Mint Leaves, Stemmed & Minced

2 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme and Fresh Oregano, Minced

2 Lg. Lemons, Juiced

½ C. Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper, to taste


Cook the rice and allow it to cool.  Stir scallions or onion, tomatoes, parsley and mint into the rice.  Mix together and whisk the fresh thyme and oregano, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Gently stir this over the rice blend.  Chill for several hours before serving. Garnish the salad with a few sprigs of fresh parsley and mint.


Ensalada de Arroz y Nopales  (Rice & Cactus Salad)

The home we live in is very near St. George’s Church.  Near the driveway is the largest cactus TREE I have ever seen.  Another row of these only slightly smaller trees run part way down the back of the property line.  The former owners used the young and tender leaves (pads) from this prickly-pear type cactus in many Mexican style recipes.  This is one way to enjoy nopales.


1 C. Rice (Uncooked)

1 C. Nopales (3  or so Cactus Pads), Prickles removed (burned off), cooked & chopped

½ C. Onion, Chopped

1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

1 Lime, Juiced

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Tbsp. Balsamic or Wine Vinegar

1 Tsp. Fresh Epazote, Minced

Salt, to taste


Cover the small, young cactus pads (nopalitos) in water and cook until tender.  Cook the rice in 2 C. of water. Let cool.  Mix together the chopped cactus and onion with the rice.  Mix together all remaining ingredients.  Blend well and toss together with the rice salad. Chill.  Serve as a side dish with enchiladas or at a barbecue.


Ensalada de Frijoles (Mexican Kidney Bean Salad)

A good, hearty summer salad (meal!), perfect for those summer fasting periods.

3 Tbsp. Olive or Vegetable Oil

2 Tbsp. Cider Vinegar, Lime or Lemon Juice

2 Garlic Cloves, finely minced or pressed

1/4 Tsp. Powdered Red Chile

1/2 Tsp. Mexican or other Oregano

2 Cups (or a 16 oz. can) Kidney Beans

1 Green Pepper, Chopped

1/2 C. Red Onion, Chopped

1 Tbsp. Pimiento, Chopped (optional)

12 Black Olives, Pitted & Sliced

Leaf Lettuce

Garnish: Piñon Nuts, Shelled (optional)


Greek Lentil Salad

A great, protein-rich salad, perfect for take-to-church or weekend family meals during hot-season or any other fasting seasons. With some pita or crusty bread as an accompaniment, this salad makes a meal in one. When preparing lentils for other meals, extra could be cooked to set aside for this savory salad.


1 Lb. Lentils, Cooked Until Tender (but not mushy), Cooled

1 Lg. Sweet Onion, Diced

4 Ripe Roma Tomatoes, Diced

1 Cucumber, Peeled & Diced

1 Green Bell Pepper, Diced

½ C. Parsley, Minced

Pitted Greek Olives, Chopped, Optional



Juice of 1 Lemon

½ C. Olive Oil

1 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano, Minced

1 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary, Minced

2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Pressed or Finely Minced

2 Tsp. Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste


Mix together dressing ingredients first, and allow them to sit at room temperature while you prepare the salad.  Cook the lentils until tender but not overcooked or mushy. Drain and cool the lentils completely. Dice the vegetables. Mix them together then stir the vegetables into the cooled lentils. Gently stir in the dressing. Allow the salad to sit so flavors can blend. Serve either chilled or at room temperature.  


Aunt Madge’s Bean Salad

This recipe makes a huge bowl. Plenty for company or for a Church dinner! It was shared by our Tennessee friend, Angela Hayes.  Aunt Madge was actually her great, great, great aunt. The recipe was also published (& is used with permission) in a cookbook which Angela edited for her Parish’s women’s group: Taste & See: American Orthodox Cooking, Franklin, Tenn.: St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church AOCWNA, 1999.

1 Can Yellow Wax Beans
1 Can Green Beans  
1 Can Lima Beans
1 Can Kidney Beans
1 Can Chick Peas (Garbanzos)
1 C. Celery, Chopped
1/2 C. Green Pepper, Chopped
1/2 C. Cauliflower, Finely Chopped
2 Lg. Onions, Cut into Rings
2 ½ C.. Vinegar (half cider; half red wine; or part lemon or lime juice)
2 C. Sugar
1 T. Salt, or to taste


Drain beans. Mix sugar and vinegar and bring to a boil. Mix with beans. Add remaining vegetables. Chill well before serving. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours. This is a very large recipe. To reduce the volume, eliminate a couple cans of beans and reduce the amount of the other ingredients.

Ensalada de Ejotes (Mexican Green Bean Salad)

A local favorite, although canned green beans can be substituted, this dish is especially good when fresh green beans are readily available. Simply omit the boiled eggs (or, use tofu instead!) to make a Lenten/vegan version.

3 Cups Fresh Green Beans, Cut
8 Radishes, Cut in thin slices
½ Onion, Chopped

3 Hard Boiled Eggs, Eliminate if during the fast

1 Clove Fresh Garlic, Minced
3 Tsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Wine Vinegar
½ Tsp. Sugar or Honey
½ Tsp. Mexican Oregano, Dry or 1 Tbsp. Fresh, Chopped (or regular)

¼ Tsp. Mexican Marigold Mint, Optional

Baking Soda, tiny pinch
Salt and Pepper, to taste


Cool and peel the hard boiled eggs. Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs. Cook the cut green beans with salt and a pinch of baking soda. Drain well. Place the green beans, the radishes and onion in a salad bowl. Mix the whites of the eggs, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper oregano and sugar or honey. To serve, pour everything over the green beans and sprinkle the chopped up yolks on top. Garnish with flowers from Mexican Marigold Mint, if desired.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Put oil, vinegar or citrus juice, garlic, chile powder and oregano into a small jar with a tight lid.  Shake well.  Let dressing sit while mixing together all other ingredients, except for the lettuce.  Chill for at least 2 hours. Arrange lettuce leaves in a serving bowl or in individual salad bowls. Spoon bean mixture on top of the lettuce.  Garnish with piñon nuts.  Serves 4.


Lebanese Style Lentil Salad, Lentil with Tomato or Garbanzo Salad

(Salatet Adds, Salatet Adds wal Tamatem or Salatet Hummus)

This is an easily made Lebanese fasting day high protein salad, perfect for “oil” days. It is almost “instant” if one is using canned garbanzos in the bean version.


2 C. Green or Brown Lentils

Or: 2 Cans Garbanzo Beans, Drained

½ C. + Olive Oil

¼ C.+ Lemon Juice or White or Red Wine Vinegar, to taste

1 Small Mild Onion, Finely Minced, Optional

2 – 4 Lg. Cloves Fresh Garlic, Finely Minced

1/3 C. Fresh Parsley, Finely Minced

1 Tsp. Ground Cumin or Coriander, Optional

Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

6 + Fresh Ripe Roma Tomatoes, Chopped Small, Optional (Tomato Version)


If lentils are being used, soak them for about a half an hour.  Cook the lentils in water for around 20 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Drain the lentils. Add all remaining ingredients. If you are making the tomato version, chop and add them as well. Adjust lemon or vinegar, oil and spices, to your taste. If garbanzos are being used, simply drain them and add the remaining ingredients.  Stir well, cover and refrigerate until time to serve.  Top with a bit more olive oil and minced parsley or scallions.














¡Gloria a Dios por todo!
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