Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest Winners and Finalists―Salads and Sides

See the top recipes from past contests, and learn how to enter yours.

Fresh Mediterranean Salad Recipes

Becky Luigart-Stayner

2009 Category Winner: Fresh Mediterranean Salad

"The key to enjoying food is to slow down, take a sip of wine, linger. As an artist, I think presentation is just as important as taste. I like to take the time to plate things nicely―if the salad looks beautiful, it just tastes better." ―Michele Zanta, Plantation, Fla.

View Recipe: Fresh Mediterranean Salad

Braised Baby Artichokes

Becky Luigart-Stayner

2008 Category Winner: Braised Baby Artichokes

"I simply love the taste of this unique little vegetable. The recipe has a bit of lemony tang, and I opt for a Vidalia onion to complement that flavor. The easy preparation ensures that the dish comes out the same every time you make it. " ―Nikki LoRé, Rochester, NY

View Recipe: Braised Baby Artichokes

Monday Morning Potato Rolls and Bread

Becky Luigart-Stayner

2008 Finalist: Monday Morning Potato Rolls and Bread

“I make a fairly traditional Sunday meal of chicken and potatoes for my family. I hated to see the leftovers go to waste, so I used the mashed potatoes to create these delicious rolls. I experimented with 10 variations before settling on this version. My kids and husband love the rolls so much that they never last until Tuesday!” ―Catherine McMichael, Saginaw, Mich.

View Recipe: Monday Morning Potato Rolls and Bread

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Becky Luigart-Stayner

2008 Finalist: Black-Eyed Pea Salad

"Organic tomatoes bring the best flavor to this vegetarian dish. I pick them straight from my garden, but you can substitute canned diced tomatoes." ―Judy Holder, Elk City, Okla.

View Recipe: Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Oatmeal Knots

Howard Puckett

2007 Category Winner:
Oatmeal Knots

"I am continually looking for ways to incorporate more omega-3s and whole wheat into my diet. Making yeast breads has always been an important tradition in my family, and I enjoy working with more nutrient-rich ingredients for this part of our meal."
―Melissa Hinrichs, Omaha, Nebraska

View Recipe: Oatmeal Knots

Video: Melissa Hinrichs shares the story behind her recipe

Asian Green Bean Salad

Howard Puckett

2007 Finalist:
Asian Green Bean Salad

"I created this make-ahead dish to have after a long day at work. Snow peas can be substituted for the beans. Garnish with a cilantro sprig."
―Linda Dalton, Stoughton, MA

View Recipe: Asian Green Bean Salad

Video: Linda Dalton shares the story behind her recipe

Light and Fresh Potato Salad

Howard Puckett

2007 Finalist:
Light and Fresh Potato Salad

"My husband doesn't like mayonnaise, so I created a potato salad with a vinaigrette. I experimented and realized how little oil I need. Add the dressing while the potatoes are still hot. It really helps the vinegar permeate the potatoes."
―Elsie Gonto, Savannah, Georgia

View Recipe: Light and Fresh Potato Salad

Video: Elsie Gonto shares the story behind her recipe

New-Fashioned Apple and Raisin Slaw

Howard Puckett

2006 Category Winner:
New-Fashioned Apple and Raisin Slaw

"This slaw is a healthier version of an original family recipe. It is creamy and delicious, and takes about five minutes to make." 
―Kelly McWherter, Houston, TX

View Recipe: New-Fashioned Apple and Raisin Slaw

Poached Pear and Greens Salad

Howard Puckett

2006 Finalist:
Poached Pear and Greens Salad

"I made a poached pear dessert and thought the pears would be delightful in a salad. If white balsamic vinegar is not available, Champagne vinegar works well, too." 
―Margee Berry, Trout Lake, WA

View Recipe: Poached Pear and Greens Salad

Theresa's Double-Tomato Soup

Howard Puckett

2006 Finalist:
Theresa's Double-Tomato Soup

"I omitted the heavy cream that is usually found in tomato soups in order to make this recipe lighter. I don't miss it because pureeing creates a nice, creamy texture." 
―Theresa Larsen, Redlands, CA

View Recipe: Theresa's Double-Tomato Soup

Roasted Vegetable-Rosemary Chicken Soup

Howard Puckett

2005 Category Winner:
Roasted Vegetable-Rosemary Chicken Soup

"This hearty soup has a wonderful flavor because the vegetables are roasted first, which caramelizes and intensifies the taste." 
―Bev Jones, Brunswick, MO

View Recipe: Roasted Vegetable-Rosemary Chicken Soup

Colorful Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad

Howard Puckett

2005 Finalist:
Colorful Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad

"I worked at a natural foods market and discovered all kinds of new grains. Since then, I have been experimenting in the kitchen and came up with this recipe during the peak of summer's harvest." 
―Margee Berry, White Salmon, WA

View Recipe: Colorful Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad

Asian Coleslaw

Howard Puckett

2005 Finalist:
Asian Coleslaw

"I think recipes should appeal to a wide range of tastes. This one is excellent in the summer."
―Christina Keyes, Española, NM

View Recipe: Asian Coleslaw

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