Friday, May 30, 2014

Food Friday: Side Dish Salads for the Grill Season

Last weekend’s good weather put me in a grilling mood.  Grilled burgers, chicken, and hot dog invariably means side dishes and I have a nice list of summery salads to serve with grilled food.

A favorite is Spring Salad.   I've been making this salad for over 20 years.  It’s a mix of broccoli, cauliflower, bacon, and grated cheese in a dressing that is tangy.  

This past week, I also made a dish that came my way via T.  She calls it Corn Bean Mash.  I call it delicious.  It’s best on day two and can be served as a salad, a dip for tortilla chips, or a filling for lettuce wraps.  

I also made Confetti Cole Slaw.  

This recipe is an adaptation from one my mom makes and I don’t even know the original origin.  It’s pretty on the table, comes together quickly,  and goes with most any grilled food.

- small head of red cabbage, chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 4 green onions, sliced
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin
1 clove of garlic, crushed
dash of ground pepper

Mix salad ingredients.  Combine dressing; shake and toss with slaw when ready to serve.

Finally, I mixed up some good Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad.  

Mine is an adaptation of the original Pioneer Woman recipe and it’s flexible, in that you can change up the list of ingredients.  Sometimes I add in green pepper; other times I swap it out for the red pepper and use a Vidalia onion instead of green onion.  The key is that it’s flexible and all you need to do is make sure the macaroni is cooled before you mix in the dressing.

- 4 cups of elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions, rinsed and cooled
- 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped black olives
- 3-4 chopped green onions

- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoons white vinegar
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- milk to thin dressing for pouring.....usually about 1/4 cup

Cook the macaroni in lightly salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Set aside.

Mix together mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Splash in enough milk to make it pourable.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside. 

Place cooled macaroni and chopped ingredients in a large bowl and pour 3/4 of the dressing. Toss and add more dressing if you'd like. (Dressing will seem a little thin, but it will thicken up as salad chills.)  Keep the extra dressing to mix in just before serving, as needed.

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. 

These salads will turn up on the supper table at my house all summer long.  That's tasty!

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