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Block Party Dish

Our annual block party is coming up and I need a dish that will feed eight, preferably not meat. We always have an over abundance of pasta-based dishes. Any recommendations for fast and easy? Thanks.

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  1. Cole slaw with broiled split soyrizo.

    chickpeas, cold boiled potatoes cukes & onions with a tahini-lemon-garlic dressing (garlic croutons on top for crunch)

    cellophane noodles with mixed steamed & chilled veggies (broccoli, carrots, snow peas, celery, cauliflower, etc.) in a sesame-soy-ginger dressing

    1. i vote for a quinoa dish, or a chopped Turkish Sheperd's salad (Coban Salatasi).

      here's my Coban recipe...

      GHG's Coban Salatasi (Turkish Shepherd's Salad)

      4 medium tomatoes
      1 medium cucumber (seedless, if available)
      1 medium-size mild onion (i prefer red or bermuda)
      2 large jarred pepperoncini (banana peppers)*
      6 tablespoons olive oil
      2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
      1 teaspoon dried oregano
      1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
      juice of half a lemon (1-2 tablespoons)
      kosher salt
      fresh cracked black pepper
      1 large handful flat leaf parsley

      grated mizithra cheese or crumbled feta cheese for serving

      Halve the tomatoes, squeeze gently (don't crush them!) to remove the seeds, and discard seeds. Peel cucumber, and slice in half, lengthwise. If cucumber contains seeds, remove them by scraping gently with a spoon, & discard seeds. Dice the tomato, onion & cucumber, and combine in a large bowl. Remove & discard the stems from the pepperoncini, chop the peppers very finely, and add to the other vegetables.

      In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano and mint; season dressing to taste with salt & pepper.

      Pour dressing over vegetables, toss well, and allow to sit, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes (the longer, the better).

      When ready to serve, roughly chop the parsley and sprinkle over salad (don't toss - i prefer to allow each diner to mix it into their serving after it's plated).

      Serve with cheese on the side (i always fold 1-2 tablespoons into my serving).

      Enjoy!

      *Note: traditionally, this salad contains green bell peppers, but i can't eat them raw. if you don't like the bite from the pepperoncini and you're okay with green peppers, feel free to omit the pepperoncini, and add 1 cored, seeded & diced medium green pepper.

      and some threads about quinoa & other grain salads...
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/506992
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/576845
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/568822
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/469041
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/326750
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/393723
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/615639
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/536165

      1 Reply
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Great idea! Everyone always seems to love a healthy salad at these types of events, and most people don't think to bring it! You can serve the crumbled geta on the side, just in case people don't want it or don't eat cheese.

        1. Well, it's not terribly fast and easy, but it's good and does well at room temp. Ratatouilie dressed with basil pesto, extra grated cheese on the side for sprinkling. Or just a huge platter of a variety of dead-ripe tomatoes, pesto on the side.

          I haven't done it yet, but the first picnic I go to this year I'm taking the watermellon/feta/black olive salad. It would need to be in another bowl with ice or freezer packs to keep it really cold.

          4 Replies
          1. re: nemo

            keep the watermelon separate until just it's serving time. The salt from the feta & olives makes the watermelon bleed profusely, so it turns into a kinda funky looking pink soup. I unfortunately found this one out the hard way.

            1. re: weezycom

              Thanks for the tip! Guess that wouldn't be a good dish to take if it will be sitting on a buffet for a while. Rats. I was thinking that would be my picnic contribution this year.

              1. re: nemo

                It disappears pretty quickly...so it might work. You could "mix it" in two batches..in different shifts.....so it stayed a bit fresher. It's worth the trouble...it's a great salad.

                1. re: perk

                  try watermelon, feta cheese, fresh lime and mint.

          2. Stromboli....always a hit.
            Buy pizza dough at your local pizza place, stuff it with salami, ham, crumbled sausage, pepperoni, etc.