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Desperation dinners: Green salad with strawberries a speedy side

Poppy-seed salad dressing is a bit retro — think the 1980s — but we're campaigning for a resurgence. The slightly sweet, slightly creamy dressing is the perfect counterpoint for a toss of baby lettuces, feta cheese and red-ripe strawberries.

No wonder this is Alicia's favorite go-to side salad most any night of the week. It'll dress up a rotisserie chicken — or if you happen to have some of that chicken leftover, simply double the ingredients and add the chicken (or even shrimp) to make this a satisfying main dish.

For our homemade poppy-seed dressing from our "Desperation Entertaining!" cookbook, please visit our Web site at Otherwise, a bottled dressing does the trick.

Menu suggestion: Rotisserie chicken

Alicia's Favorite Summer Side Salad



Start to finish: under 10 minutes

5 cups prewashed baby field greens

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup sliced (not slivered) almonds

1/4 cup poppy-seed dressing (see cook's note)

Cook's note: For a quick homemade poppy-seed dressing, check our Web site at Bottled dressing can also be used.

In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss together lightly. Divide into four salad bowls or plates, and serve. (If you want to make the salad ahead, be sure not to dress it until right before you serve, as the greens will wilt quickly under the dressing.)

Yield: 4 servings

Approximate values per serving: 160 calories (59 percent from fat), 11 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 8 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 179 mg sodium

Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross are co-authors of "Desperation Dinners!" (Workman, 1997), "Desperation Entertaining!" (Workman, 2002) and "Cheap. Fast. Good!" (Workman, 2006). Contact them at Desperation Dinners, c/o United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, or send e-mail to Or visit the Desperation Dinners Web site at © Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross. Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.