Do you learn visually or aurally (by seeing or hearing)? Of course, we use both if we are fortunate to have both senses intact. However, since I learn primarily visually, I have a hard time if I am only told about a recipe and do not write it down or see it written.

A true example of this happened recently with a four-ingredient recipe.

Several years ago, a longtime Longviewite (sort of part-time now) served a wonderful salad at a gathering we both attended. I went person to person until I found out Bob Cargill brought it.

He said that it was so easy because it had only three ingredients plus an easy vinegar and oil dressing salad dressing. I remember going home and making it the next day, but I never wrote it down.

Well, the years passed. Have you noticed how time really does fly? I never got around to making it again or sharing it with you. I saw the Cargills at a recent Texas Shakespeare Festival production (more about that later), and he reminded me that I never did share the recipe with the rest of East Texas.

It is not only easy — made with ingredients that we keep on hand, even the fresh greens are almost always in our fridge — it is very good and nutritious. I made the salad last night, and it really is as good as I remembered it was. Here is the recipe, finally. Never, ever give me a recipe without my writing it down, even if it has only one or two ingredients.

Bob Cargill’s Good, Really Easy Salad

This is a method more than an exact recipe. I am giving you the amounts that I used last night.

4 cups fresh spring greens, romaine or fresh spinach (I prefer fresh, tender spinach)

1/3 cup salted peanuts (I used Virginia peanuts)

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon (or more) seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Mix greens, peanuts and raisins. In a small jar with a lid, mix oil, vinegar, salt, sugar and any other seasoning you like. I added a dash of Lawry’s California Garlic Powder. Shake well, and pour over salad just before serving. Makes 2-3 servings.

I have a recipe I really meant to share with you last month when gardens began to produce zucchini in large amounts. I am sad as I write this, because the good friend who gave the recipe to me is moving from Longview back to New York. We share a common love for reading and cooking. Her name is Daryl (yes, she is a woman friend), and she served this to me recently at a luncheon. It is easy and nutritious, and you know that when zucchini start producing, you have to use them fast.

Daryl Pentecost’s Zucchini Tots

4 medium zucchini

3/4 cup bread crumbs

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 eggs

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

Salt to pull moisture from zucchini

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Grate zucchini into a medium bowl and salt generously. Allow zucchini to set for 20 minutes as the salt draws out moisture. Pour zucchini into a clean dishtowel, and wring it out over the sink.

Return zucchini to bowl and add bread crumbs. Add cheddar cheese, eggs, garlic powder and pepper. Mix until well blended. Measure by tablespoon and roll mixture into ovals about 2 inches long. Makes about 20-24. Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until the “tots” are crunchy.

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist and has written three self-published cookbooks. Her column appears in the News-Journal’s Taste section each Wednesday. Write her at or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.