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For ideas on summer salads, look to the library for inspiration

By Edward Hirst

Rowan Public Library

According to Wikipedia, a salad is a dish consisting of small pieces of food, which may be mixed with a sauce or salad dressing. They are typically served cold.

Salads can incorporate a variety of foods including vegetables, fruits, cheese, cooked meat, eggs, grains and nuts. To me they mean a delicious, cool meal during the hot days of summer. It’s a simple concept, enjoying a light and delicious main course salad as a healthy, fresh alternative to more traditional meals.

Garden salads use a single type or mixture of leafy greens like lettuce or spinach. Other types include bean salad, tuna salad, Greek salad and pasta salad. The sauce used to flavor a salad is called a salad dressing. Most salads are served cold, although some, such as German potato salad, are served warm.

The 359-page book, “Salad As a Meal,” by author Patricia Wells, gives readers hundreds of recipes inspired by her Provencal garden. The recipes range from the most basic to the most adventurous. An entire chapter is devoted to dressings and sauces. Some recipes are accompanied by color photographs. The book includes resources for finding ingredients, a list of essential kitchen equipment and items essential for a pantry.

“Mediterranean Fresh,” written by Joyce Goldstein, is 351 pages of one-plate salad meals. There are seven salad chapters divided by leafy green, fruit, vegetable, grain and bean. Two chapters feature either fish or meat as the main ingredient. The book provides 110 recipes for salads and 30 recipes for salad dressings. Most salad recipes offer the choice of additional or alternative ingredients and salad dressings.

Summer movie series: Headquarters, Tuesdays, starting at 6:30 p.m. Free popcorn and lemonade served. Aug. 9, “Ice Castles” (PG13) — A young skater with Olympic dreams is blinded in an accident and attempts to overcome the tragedy with the help of her loving boyfriend. Aug. 27, Saturday Morning Cartoon Festival, 10:30 a.m.-noon, East branch, Rockwell, featuring Donald Duck. Light refreshments.

Friend of RPL Concert Series: Headquarters, Aug. 30, 7 p.m.; doors open 6:30. Bob Carlin, one of the best-known clawhammer banjo players. He has traveled through the country and the world with his Southern banjo style. He is also a music producer and traditional music researcher. Free.

Book Bites Book Club: South (China Grove), Tuesday, Aug. 30, 6-7 p.m. Free, open to the public. We discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. “Peter Pan.” Need a copy? Call 704-216-7731.

Displays: Headquarters, Communities in Schools and Anime; East, pottery collection by Lennie Cooper; South, dolls, by Rowan County Doll Society.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.

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