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Jul 28, 2010 01:19 PM

Please help me with salad/appetizer ideas for block party

The party will be cookout style with the hosts providing burgers, chicken, and hot dogs. We just moved to the neighborhood a few months ago so I'm really looking forward to meeting all of the neighbors and the chowhound in me wants to bring something that impresses. My first thought was a roasted corn salad, but I have a hunch that there will probably be more than one person who signs up for that. I can go to the farmer's market in the morning so recipes/ideas that could highlight the early august bounty would be fantastic.

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  1. How about Corn and Black bean Salad

    1. What about a confetti orzo salad? You could use chopped red bell pepper, corn, peas, green onions, tossed with cooked orzo, and then make a vinaigrette of your choosing to toss the salad with when you get there.

      1. This is a NYT recipe that I found on Ciao Chow Linda's blog. I've made it twice for experimentation's sake and gave it away to eager offices and friends. It is very rich, and cutting small slices is difficult -- you almost have to cut a slice and then cut that slice again. It needs a LOT of fresh dill. That totally makes the dish. I never put out honey, but a few people thought it was a dessert and needed some sweetness, so consider the honey. I always thought it was a savory appetizer. Use a serrated knife.

        Is fresh dill available where you are? I regret, that's the only nod to the farmers' market for this recipe. But you mentioned appetizer, so take a look.

        1. What about a melon (s), kalamata olive and crumbled feta salad? It's fantastic and absolutely beautiful; can also be done with cubed fresh peaches and tomatoes added.

          1. Tomato salad - I've been using the campari tomatoes, but heirloom cherry tomatoes would be great too - quarter tomatoes, toss with thinly sliced shallots- let sit for a few hours - then toss w/ lot's of chopped fresh tarragon and a vinaigrette made with rice vin, little mustard, s&p, olive oil - make sure to add enough salt to the finished salad, it makes a huge difference - serve over very lightly dressed arugula (or leave it undressed so it won't wilt).

            Or - Pesto pasta salad - make pesto (basil, toasted pine nuts, parmesan, lemon zest, s&p, olive oil) - mix with a little mayo (this keeps is creamy and green) toss w/ cooked pasta and one or all of the following - 1/2'd grape tomatoes, steamed string beans, roasted peppers, cubed mozzarella....etc.....