Just about every home cook has at least one special dish they are “known for.” It could be called a signature dish, family favorite or legend, a personal creation or something that is just downright delicious that’s requested whenever family or friends get together.

Salads can become one of these dishes. Your prize-winning dish doesn’t always have to be an appetizer, entrée or dessert. Spring and summer call for salads so try some of these new ideas and see if your family and friends will be requesting a special salad from you whenever you have to bring a “covered dish.”

Confetti Corn Salad

• 2 pkgs. (10 oz. ea.) frozen corn, thawed

• 2 –cups diced green pepper

• 2-cups diced sweet red pepper

• 2-cups diced celery

• 1-cup minced fresh parsley

• 1-cup chopped green onions

• 1/2-cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

• 2 tsp. cumin

• 1 1/2 tsp. salt

• 3/4 tsp. black pepper

• 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

• 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

• 3 tbsp. olive oil

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 6 tbsp. Limejuice

In a large bowl, combine the first 12 ingredients. In a microwave-safe dish, combine oil and garlic. Microwave uncovered, on high for 30 seconds. Cool. Whisk in limejuice. Pour over corn mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Lemon, Pineapple, Apple Congealed Salad

• 20 oz. can crushed pineapple (do not drain)

• 2/3-cup sugar

• 1 (3 oz. pkg.) lemon Jell-O

• 1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese

• 1-cup diced Gala apple, not peeled

• 1/2-1-cup chopped pecans

• 1-cup chopped celery

• 1-cup Cool Whip

In a saucepan, combine the pineapple and sugar; boil for 3 minutes. Add the Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Add the cream cheese (cubed), stirring until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Cool. Fold in the apple, nuts, celery, and Cool Whip. Pour into 9-inch square dish. Chill until firm. Cut into squares and serve on lettuce leaf.

Dublin Potato Salad

• 3 large white potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs.)

• 2 tbsp. white vinegar

• 2 tsp. sugar

• 1 tsp. celery seed

• 1 tsp. mustard seed

• 3/4 tsp. salt, divided

• 2-cups finely shredded cabbage

• 12 oz. cooked or canned corned beef, cubed

• 1/4-cup chopped dill pickle

• 1/4-cup sliced green onions

• 1-cup mayonnaise

• 1/4-cup milk

Cover potatoes in lightly salted water and boil until tender. Drain, peel, and cube. Combine vinegar, sugar, celery seed, mustard seed and 1/2 tsp. salt. Drizzle over still warm potatoes. Cover and chill.

Just before serving, gently fold in cabbage, corned beef, pickle and onion.

Combine mayonnaise, milk and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt. Pour over salad and toss gently.

Peach Tree Slaw

• 1 (6 oz.) container peach yogurt

• 2 tbsp. mayonnaise

• 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

• 6-cups 3-color cole slaw mix

• 2 cans (8 oz. ea.) diced peaches, drained

• 1/2-cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, whisk yogurt, mayonnaise and vinegar. Add remaining ingredients and toss until thoroughly combined. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes 4-5 servings.

Sandra’s Cool Fruit Compote

• 1 can peach pie filling

• 1 can Mandarin oranges, drained

• 1 large can pineapple chunks, drained

• 1 jar Maraschino cherries, drained

• 2 bananas, sliced

• 1-pint strawberries, halved

Combine all ingredients and chill. Tastes even better the next day.

— Judy O’Daniel’s “Country Gourmet” column appears in the Times-Journal weekday editions.

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