Summer Salad and Alton's Sangria

By: Kirsten Vala
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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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