Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On the subject of cold summer salads

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 6:54 AM

COOL:  Trios Chicken Salad
When the weather turns nasty hot like this, the idea of a hot meal at noontime can be oppressive, maybe even nauseating. The foods we love in the middle of winter aren’t meant for summertime consumption; very few people are going to go out looking for hot pumpkin soup or hot chocolate this time of year.

Cold summer salads, especially here in the South, make up for this. Kept in the icebox (that’s fridge to you youngsters), mixed salads of everything from potatoes to tuna to Jell-O can be made in advance and served up on one’s preferred bread quickly and without a heck of a lot of work. The body stays cool when cool food is ingested.

I have a few favorites when it comes to cold salads around here. Mentioned Taziki’s a while back for its pimento cheese (CBG and Gibb’s Grocery as well) — which fits the definition of a summer salad.


I know I talked about OW Pizza recently; their tuna salad with capers is salty and savory. A little extra saltiness is a good thing with sandwich salads — makes you drink more, which is what you should be doing during summer anyway. The potato salad there with its heavy dose of dill is always a winner in my book.

Now I’ve been introduced to the chicken salad at Trio’s. Here’s a chicken salad that doesn’t have to be sweet to be a treat. Tarragon heavy, the chicken and walnut salad has a hearty zing to it that gives it heft.

Trio’s is also doing something I haven’t seen at any other restaurant in a long time. When you order a chicken salad plate you get banana nut bread with cream cheese — that’s not too unusual — and a bing cherry Jell-O. Jell-O. An upscale restaurant in Little Rock is serving Jell-O. But it works. The real cherries in the dark cherry flavored gelatin is somehow soothing, taking on the whole comfort food ideal. I dig it.

So, what’s your favorite cold summer salad? Tuna? Pimento? Chicken? Potato? Who serves up your favorite?

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