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Side Dish for a cookout that is not potato salad

roxlet Jul 31, 2010 06:16 AM

We are invited to someone's house today and they are doing the basics -- grilling steaks, burgers and dogs. They are doing potato salad and asked us to do a side. Creativity seems to be at a low ebb this morning, and all we seem to be able to come up with is barbecued beans. There are Muslims joining us, thus no pork. Any thoughts?

  1. i
    Isolda Jul 31, 2010 01:59 PM

    I often bring gazpacho to cookouts. Really, it's a liquid salad, and most people love it because it's not your usual picnic fare. You can eat it out of clear plastic cups, which is gorgeous, but you will need to supply these yourself. You should also make some croutons, preferably with tons of olive oil. This is too late for you today, but try it the next time you're asked to bring a summer side dish.

    1. geminigirl Jul 31, 2010 01:11 PM

      just made these for a cook out. I'm not a big green beans fan but I really like them with this recipie. I only blanch the beans as I like the flavor much better when not "cooked"


      1. cookingasshole Jul 31, 2010 11:47 AM

        I make this chipotle dip stuff that is really easy and well received. You can turn down the heat if you want:

        In a large bowl mix:
        5 chipotle peppers
        3 jalapenos
        1/2 a white onion
        2 garlic
        1 large heirloom tomato (or a few regular ones)
        can of corn (drained)
        can of black beans (drained)
        1/4c EVOO
        the juice from 2 limes
        a handful of cilantro
        some freshly cracked pepper.

        1. tcamp Jul 31, 2010 11:37 AM

          Black bean salad. Ingredients depend on what I've got on hand but generally some combo of corn, jalapenos, tomatoes, celery, cilantro, zucchini, sweet onion. Dress with olive oil, lemon or lime juice or wine vinegar, S&P, maybe cumin.

          No dairy, meat or eggs for people to freak out about and always tastes delicious.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tcamp
            rainey Jul 31, 2010 02:33 PM

            I was going to suggest a cold bean salad too. I like them with black beans, Borlotti or cranberry beans, cannelinis or garbanzos.

            I use the same inclusions you do, tcamp. I make my vinaigrette with lemon or lime juice. The citrus just plugs the beans in and gives them a real zing. A little crumbled feta or, if you can find them, perlini mozzarella is also a good addition. If there are no perlini, boccancini quartered work just fine too.

          2. soypower Jul 31, 2010 10:54 AM

            A neighbor brought a beautiful platter of eggplant invotini to the last cookout we had. They were remarkably delicious cold.

            Here's a recipe I found online:

            1. Hank Hanover Jul 31, 2010 09:33 AM

              grill some veggies with salt pepper and olive oil. You might have to put some foil down to ensure the veggies don't fall through the grill. Or you could skewer them then remove the skewers later.

              Skewered fruit would be good too like peaches or pineapple. The slightly hard peaches and nectarines that you are forced to buy at the grocery store are actually an advantage in this application.

              1. chowser Jul 31, 2010 09:12 AM

                Couscous and pesto salad. I add cranberries, pine nuts/nuts, feta, parm, whatever catches my eye.

                1. g
                  gordeaux Jul 31, 2010 08:38 AM

                  My standard is tortellini salad if I don't have any creative ideas.
                  Lots of parsley
                  chopped roma tomatoes
                  good parmesean shreds
                  black olives rinsed in water to remove a good amt of the brine
                  jarred roasted red peppers
                  whatever other summer veggies are on sale (except for green pepper or celery - too overpowering)

                  The vinaigrette is evoo, salt, pepper, lemon juice, plain white vinegar, toasted onion powder, and a serious amount of garlic, and fresh basil pureed.

                  1. mcel215 Jul 31, 2010 08:26 AM

                    I make Ina Garten's Roasted Vegetable, Orzo, Feta Salad as an alternative side at cookouts.
                    It gets rave reviews.

                    1. Caroline1 Jul 31, 2010 07:40 AM

                      A traditional Greek horiatiki salad always goes well with barbecue! It's basically a salad without lettuce. Cut small tomatoes in quarters, then in half so they make sort of a pyramid with a rounded bottom (or you can use large cherry tomatoes cut in half, but plum (Italian) tomatoes don't work too well). Put them in a genrous sized serving bowl. For outdoor picnics I use stainless steel. For inside, I might use cut crystal. Add peeled and seeded cucumbers cut into a similar shape. Add some chunks of bell pepper, some rings or triangles of red onion, and a generous bunch of (preferably pitted) Kalamata olives. Sprinkle with oregano (chopped fresh if you can get it) and toss lightly to mix everything well without bruising. Top it all off with generous sized chunks of good feta cheese, or you can cube it or cut into thick slices to lay on top or around the sides. Drizzle with some fragrant extra virgin olive oil and serve. For those who want some acid with their olive oil, I set out a nice vinegar to spoon over it after plating, as well as a small dish of lemon wedges. It's colorful, it's healthy, and with my friends it's always a hit! Oh, and since feta cheese is fairly salty, I don't salt my salad while making it, but salt is always available at the table.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Caroline1
                        roxlet Jul 31, 2010 09:08 AM

                        Sounds delicious, Caroline1. We had a similar salad frequently in Egypt. Actually when Egyptians said salad, this was usually what they meant!

                        1. re: roxlet
                          Caroline1 Jul 31, 2010 03:05 PM

                          It's ubiquitous in rhat part of the world. The thing I love anout it is, Look, Ma! NO wilting lettuce! It also keeps well should I ever be fortunate enough to have leftovers. If i'm serving lamb, I usually toss in some chopped mint instead of the oregano. Or use both.

                      2. s
                        synergy Jul 31, 2010 06:44 AM

                        cold noodle salad
                        bean salad
                        chopped veggie salad
                        watermelon, feta, mint salad
                        tomato salad
                        asian slaw
                        couscous salad
                        (they call me the Salad Queen, can you tell?)

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: synergy
                          roxlet Jul 31, 2010 08:15 AM

                          I'm interested in how you do the Asian slaw. I have a huge amount of Thai basil, and I am wondering how to use it.

                          1. re: roxlet
                            cleopatra999 Jul 31, 2010 09:20 AM

                            For asian slaw (for me) I add in grated ginger to a typical slaw, other things you can add:
                            bean sprouts
                            snow peas
                            asian pear
                            crushed roasted peanuts

                            make the dressing a vinaigrette with rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil (and regular oil) with honey, can add your basil right in too and some heat (chili pepper) if desired.

                            1. re: cleopatra999
                              lexpatti Jul 31, 2010 10:29 AM

                              yum, I too love asian slaws - putting chopped scallion, almonds, ramen noodles and sometime a sweet thing like cranraisins, golden raisins, etc. I love your add ins.

                          2. re: synergy
                            lexpatti Jul 31, 2010 10:37 AM

                            me too - salad queen! I would love to do an event sometime that is just many salads. I love making them, I love eating them. I love a great grilled salad too and I'm addicted to panzanella salads. Racheal Ray did a fantastic salad (her version of a panzanella) in a grilled portobello mush cap that was sooooo fantastic.

                          3. c
                            ChesterhillGirl Jul 31, 2010 06:23 AM

                            I saw a recipe recently that looked very good and I bookmarked it, but haven't tried ti yet. It does have a small amount of bacon in it, but the recipe looks like smoked turkey sausage or beef summer sausage could be substituted without creating a problem. It's for a corn & bean succotash with tomatoes and croutons:


                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ChesterhillGirl
                              roxlet Jul 31, 2010 06:29 AM

                              Maybe we'll adapt this. Thanks!

                              1. re: ChesterhillGirl
                                janeh Jul 31, 2010 07:33 AM

                                I made the smittenkitchen succotash recipe a few days ago and it was very good - I omitted (forgot) the croutons. Also, took a big bowl of watermelon, cucumber and mint to a barbeque last weekend, which offered a nice, light contrast to the meat.....and didn't require any cooking on a hot day!

                              2. MMRuth Jul 31, 2010 06:19 AM


                                2 Replies
                                1. re: MMRuth
                                  roxlet Jul 31, 2010 06:28 AM

                                  Bingo! Thanks.

                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                    junescook Jul 31, 2010 11:43 AM

                                    For succotash now I've been sauteeing fresh corn off the cob in butter with edamame. They're more tender than the lima beans and we like the flavor better.

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