Southwestern Summer Sizzler

Bring the heat, spice and lively flavors of southwestern cuisine to your table, and your next get-together will really sizzle. These recipes make entertaining with a southwestern flair simpler and quicker than ever when from-scratch ingredients are paired with convenient prepared options. Each is ready in 20 minutes or less.

The Quintessential Salsa. A sassy salsa is a perfect starter. Southwestern Bean Salsa takes advantage of ready-to-use canned southwestern bean salad. Loaded with black beans, kidney beans, corn, hominy, peppers and seasonings, it’s a flavorful jump start for this quick-to-prepare salsa. Simply mix in tomato, avocado, jalapeÒo and a splash of lime juice for a salsa that is sure to wow.

Refreshing Salads. Serve a cool salad for the entrÈe. Sweet and sour Harvard beets take center stage in Baja Bacon Beet Salad, and preparation is super simple. The sweet-tangy beets, paired with mango, crumbled bacon and greens, are tossed with a pepper jelly dressing that provides just the right kick of heat to this vibrant – both in color and flavor – salad. Or, for Southwestern Bean and Vegetable Salad, simply combine ready-to-use canned southwestern bean salad with a variety of fresh, crunchy vegetables – bell pepper, radishes, celery and jicama strips. Mix in green onions and tomatoes and serve on a bed of mixed salad greens. This recipe comes with a built-in dressing from the bean salad.

A Signature Beverage. Give your get-together the special touch of a signature beverage – something unique, unexpected and memorable. Beet Sizzler in a Glass is a perfect toast to southwestern cuisine. This beverage blends refreshing vegetables – beets, tomato, cucumber, celery and bell pepper – with a double dash of heat from cayenne and hot pepper sauce for an eye-opening finish. Jarred pickled beets make it extra easy – just open the jar and blend the beets and liquid with the other ingredients.

For more recipes and serving ideas using READ Salads, visit

For more recipes and serving ideas using Aunt Nellie’s Beets, visit

Southwestern Bean and Vegetable Salad

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Makes 6 servings

1 can (15 ounces) READ Southwestern Bean Salad, undrained

1 cup chopped bell pepper (any color combination)

1 cup sliced radishes

1 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup jicama strips

1/2 cup sliced green onion

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Chopped cilantro, optional

1. In large bowl, combine bean salad, bell pepper, radishes, celery, jicama, onion and tomatoes. Cover and chill, or serve at room temperature, topped with cilantro, if desired.

Serving suggestion: Spoon salad over mixed salad greens.

Southwestern Bean Salsa

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Makes 3 cups, about 2 tablespoons per serving

1 can (15 ounces) READ Southwestern Bean Salad, drained but not rinsed (some liquid should remain)

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 small avocado, chopped

1 small jalapeÒo, minced

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/4 cup queso fresco crumbled cheese

Tortilla chips, sliced jicama, pita chips, vegetables

1. In medium bowl, combine bean salad, tomato, avocado, jalapeÒo and lime juice. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with chips and vegetables, as desired.

Baja Bacon Beet Salad

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Makes 6 servings

1 jar (15.5 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Harvard Beets, drained

1-1/2 cups cubed mango

6 cups baby spinach/baby lettuce mix

1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon


1/2 cup jalapeÒo pepper jelly

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. In medium bowl, stir dressing ingredients together; set aside.

2. In large bowl, combine beets, mango and baby spinach/lettuce mix. Drizzle with half of dressing; toss to coat. Arrange salad on serving platter. Sprinkle with bacon. Serve extra dressing on the side.

Beet Sizzler in a Glass

Preparation time: 15 minutes / Makes 4 servings

1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Pickled Beets, undrained

4 cups tomato juice

1 cup peeled and diced seedless cucumber

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1 tablespoon hot red pepper sauce or as desired

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

1. Place all ingredients except salt and pepper in blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

Source: Aunt Nellie’s and READ (Seneca Foods Corporation)

Courtesy of Family Features

More from Around NYC