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Try pierogi as a salad base

Thursday, June 19, 2003

By Nancy Anderson Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Are you looking for an alternative to traditional potato or pasta salad for a picnic this summer?


We were looking for an alternative Countdown to Dinner recipe this week because we couldn't reach the creator of the recipe we'd tested.

Along came Mrs. T's Pierogies, riding to the rescue with a bag of freshly made salads featuring the 'Burgh's favorite potato-filled pasta.

Mrs. T's wanted to draw attention to "the potential of pierogies as salad ingredients" -- not just bedfellows for butter and onion. In the business this is known as "expanding product use."

We were only too happy to find out if they lived up to that potential.

One was Dilled Pierogi Potato Salad, which I chose for this column because it had fewer ingredients, and the other was a chopped salad. Both were delicious and would complement any party or backyard barbecue.

They arrived fresh and crisp from the kitchen of Duquesne Club executive chef Keith Coughenour (Mrs. T's had spared no expense), who had created them that morning.

Also tucked into the goodie bag were apples, cookies and bottled water. Altogether, a lovely lunch.

Dilled Pierogi Potato Salad

  • 16.9-ounce package Mrs. T's Potato & Onion pierogi or 1 12-ounce Potato & Cheddar 'Rogies (mini-pierogi)
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Black pepper
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped pickles or relish

In a large saucepan, heat pierogies in boiling water until they float, about 6 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine ranch dressing with red pepper, celery, onion, vinegar, dill and black pepper (and chopped pickles if using) until well blended. Add mixture to pierogies, toss gently, cover and chill. Serves 3 to 4. (Garnish with ripe tomato wedges before serving.)

Nancy Anderson can be reached at nanderson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3549.

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