Summer Salad and Alton’s Sangria

by in View All Posts, May 13th, 2009


Our new Memorial Day feature is all about getting summer started with classic picnic foods, burgers, hot dogs, and, yes, sangria. I decided to test out the main featured recipe, Aida’s Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad (how could I resist?!) from the Food Network Magazine.

It was full of fresh, bright flavors. The raw sweet corn pops in your mouth, the avocado adds creamy richness, cherry tomatoes are juicy and acidic, while the mozzarella cheese (get the fresh, good stuff!) adds amazing flavor and texture. This is all pulled together by a lime-cilantro dressing. Confession time: I’m not a huge cilantro lover, so I went easy with it and added some Italian parsley to compensate. I have to say this is the perfect summer salad – no cooking required, ready in 10 minutes and it gets better as it sits, with the flavors melding together beautifully.

“What about the sangria?” you ask. Our sangria article was originally “Sangria 5 Ways” instead of “6 Ways,” until I was alerted that Alton did a Web-exclusive sangria video for us. It’s fresh, new and features Alton in his element, explaining the basics of sangria-making as only he can. After watching, I was able to improvise my own sangria out of a leftover half bottle of wine and other ingredients I had on hand. It’s knowledge I’m happy to have going into this summer!

Oh, and one more thing. Check out this huge hot dog!

- Kirsten, Web Editor

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Comments (6)

  1. Lana says:

    Love love love Alton in all ways – this sangria video no exception.

    I’ve made a salad similar to the one you’re mentioning here, only it had some heat with a few roasted jalapenos. Try it! totally yum.

  2. Kirsten says:

    That’s a great idea, Lana! I’ll be making this one again soon, and I can’t wait to try adding some heat.

  3. Robin Koury says:

    I have to attest that Aida’s corn salad is positively scrumptious! I found the recipe few hours before my belated Cinco de Mayo party and it was the hit of the evening! Sangria is by far my favorite summer drink. I love that its made in a pitcher and guests can help themselves. This makes it the perfect drink selection for parties and summer picnics. Thanks for all the great tips from Alton Brown!!

  4. Hazel Smith says:

    thanks for the mouth-watering good ideas. It all looks perfect. I’ll try it! Gram

  5. Lana says:

    Kirsten, you brought up an interesting point about cilantro. Many people, including my mother, hate cilantro! They say it tastes like soap (or stinky old shoes, etc). Some say there's a genetic tendency or predisposition – have you heard that before?

    Anyway, I'd be interested in a straw poll around the Food Network – how many like and do not like cilantro? And for those who don't, what ingredient substitutions do they make? Like you, I'll use Italian parsley – not that the flavor is the same at all, but the leaves are green and flat, I guess.

    I'm sure you have more important things to do, lol – but I think it might make an interesting future blog post. Thx.

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