Azarbaychan Salati

(Azerbaijan Salad)

May: National Salad Month

As warmer weather approaches in our side of the world (southwest USA), we like to cool off with a side salad comprising cucumbers and tomatoes. So many combinations of a cucumber-tomato salad exist in almost every country. In Azerbaijan, red bell pepper and green onions are included, and an olive-lemon dressing gives this salad some bright, citrusy undertones. Try Azarbaychan salati for a simple Eurasian mix during National Salad Month.

(Adapted from National Public Radio)


  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced (we used roma)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch of green onions/scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Chop the cucumbers, dice the tomatoes and red bell pepper and chop the green onions/scallions. Place in a large mixing bowl.

In a measuring cup, combine the olive oil with the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper and onions. Mix well. Serve chilled.


  • Search our blog for other salad recipes for National Salad Month.

Waldorf Salad

May: National Salad Month

We enjoyed our weekends walking around New York City, less than an hour’s train ride from where we once lived in Woodbridge, New Jersey. There is so much hustle, bustle, excitement and variety in the Big Apple. One time, we just happened upon a parade (one of several but can’t remember the occasion). Then it started to rain. We sought shelter at a famous jewelry store nearby, which gave Islander an opportunity to browse at all the baubles. Looking like a drenched rat, with a dangling button that she forgot to sew on her $14 K-Mart coat (originally $78 but deeply discounted on an off-season sale!), she was ignored and mostly got snooty stares from the salespeople. Well! We continued walking around Manhattan when the rain subsided, passing by the front of the famous Waldorf-Astoria, the scene we most remember from the first “Coming to America” movie. Recalling the recent rude experience from the jewelry store, we did not dare enter the luxury hotel.

Besides the Eddie Murphy film, we know the Waldorf-Astoria for its Waldorf salad—something that Islander’s Mommy would make for the family. The original salad comprised of only lettuce, celery, apples and a mayonnaise dressing—cheap ingredients for a not-so-cheap hotel. Over the years, lemon juice, grapes or raisins and walnuts have become popular additions, elevating the salad to something as iconic as the hotel after which it was named. The recipe that follows is close to what her Mommy used to make.

So if you have a beer budget but champagne tastes, try this easy and affordable Waldorf salad, especially during National Salad Month.


Ingredients (Original)

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 big apple, chopped
  • 2 cups lettuce (optional torn into smaller pieces)


  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup grapes, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted


In a mixing bowl, stir in the mayonnaise (with lemon juice, if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped apples (and grapes, if using) in the bowl.

Add the celery and mix well. Toast the walnuts, if using. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a salad plate. Put the apple mixture on top of the leaves. Garnish with parsley and walnut pieces, if using. Serve chilled. Yield: 2-4 servings.


  • The mayonnaise dressing is probably what makes this salad “rich”, if not for the cheaper ingredients. For a lighter dressing, combine two tablespoons of mayo plus two tablespoons of plain yogurt instead. Or substitute the mayo for all yogurt.
  • Search our blog for more salad recipes for National Salad Month.

Strawberry Salad with

Balsamic-Yogurt Dressing

May: National Strawberry Month

We have attended both the Poteet and Pasadena strawberry festivals—the only two of their kind in Texas. Poteet (outside of San Antonio) holds theirs in April while Pasadena’s (in the Houston area) event is this month. We enjoy experiencing the energy in the carnival-like atmosphere, seeing cute strawberry mascots and royalty (scholarship winners) wearing red walking around the festival grounds and tasting everything made with strawberries (shortcakes, ice cream, jams and jellies, drink mixes and more)!

It is also getting warmer (hot!) in Texas so we like to cool down with something light featuring this month’s fruit: strawberry salad with balsamic-yogurt dressing. Strawberries are abundant now at our local grocery stores and we buy them in bulk there, if not at the festivals. For National Strawberry Month, mix some fruit with vegetables and make a strawberry salad with balsamic-yogurt dressing.


For the balsamic-yogurt dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil, extra virgin
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ tablespoons plain yogurt


In a bowl, combine the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar. Stir in the minced garlic. Add the maple syrup or honey.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the yogurt. Mix until the salad dressing is creamy.

For the strawberry salad

  • 2 cups mixed greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 3-4 strawberries, sliced
  • toasted almonds (to sprinkle)


In a salad bowl, place the mixed greens. Sprinkle feta cheese and bacon. Arrange the sliced strawberries on top. Pour about 3+ tablespoons the salad dressing. Sprinkle the toasted almonds. Serve immediately.



  • This is a colorful and complementary salad. The greens are balanced by the red strawberries (like on the color wheel) and the bitterness of the vegetables is tempered by the sweetness of the fruit.
  • Search our blog for more strawberry recipes.