Your best easy salads for a Memorial Day BBQ
- phelana May 23, 2011 04:13 PM
I have offered to bring 3 salad type dishes to my friend's BBQ Memorial Day weekend. I am seeking easy, 5 ingredients or less, no mayo dishes and amazing fantabulous..come on, gimme your best recipes...
re: LA Buckeye Fan
Here's my favorite: Asian Cucumber Salad: (I try to get the Japanese cukes, 2nd choice: Persian.
3rd would be hot house, would probably remove the seeds of this one.)
1/4 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned) or distilled white vinegar
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
3 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt)
6 pickling cucumbers. halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups) I peel some of the outside, not all.
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 Serrano chile (or more) minced
6 sprigs of cilantro, chopped (I prefer to omit the cilantro.)
Combine vinegar, lime juice, water, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir well and add the cukes, shallots, chile and cilantro.
I think it's even better after being in fridge a few hours. I usually double the recipe because it lasts in fridge a few days and is great to snack on.
This has more than 5 ingredients, but I don't count the olive oil and salt & pepper. It serves 2 of us for lunch with no other dishes, but expands very easily.
Pasta Blue Cheese Salad
¼ lb penne rigate
1 clove garlic, very finely minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ C. coarsely chopped walnuts
4 oz crumbled bleu cheese
1 C. baby spinach or salad greens
Salt & pepper
Place all ingredients except pasta in a large serving bowl. Cook pasta al dente. Drain and immediately toss with ingredients in the bowl. Add more S&P and olive oil if desired.
that doesn't always stop people around here from expressing their opinions ;)
but yes, i would have been quite taken aback at something like that coming from you because you're usually a sweetheart.
anyway, back to kale salad for a minute...ever toss in some dried cherries or currants? it's a delicious twist, particularly with a white balsamic or champagne vinaigrette.
I've always had great luck with a salad of new potatoes (fingerlings work well here too) cut into bite-sized chunks and boiled in properly salted water. Before you start the potato water, slice some onion - red, spring or whatever you have on hand - very thinly on a mandoline. Macerate the onions with a little white vinegar to remove the bite while the potatoes are boiling. Chop some basil or parsley (or both) and set aside. Drain potatoes when tender and dress them while still warm with lemon juice (last time I used sherry vinegar), plenty of salt and pepper and some ev olive oil. Throw in chopped herbs and quick-pickled onions. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve at room temp.
Diced tomatoes and cucumbers with feta and couscous - olives optional - season with olive oil, lemon juice, and some chopped mint. Gets better as it sits, and gets *devoured*
Tomatoes and mozzarella as above.
Grilled veggies (eggplant/aubergine, zucchini/courgette, different colored peppers, tomatoes, and onion) tossed with pasta and dressed with balsamic and olive oil (no dairy, and also crazy popular)
Here is a salad we absolutely love, love, love. We have it every July 4th and at other times.
Romaine and Melon Ball Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 cups balls or bite-sized pieces of ripe cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, or other fresh melons
1-2 hearts of Romaine lettuce, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 T coarsely chopped or torn basil leaves
1 T coarsely chopped or torn mint leaves (sometimes I omit the mint)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 T raspberry vinegar
2 T finely chopped basil leaves
1 T finely chopped mint leaves (sometimes I omit the mint)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Place the onion slices in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes, drain, pat dry, and combine with the melon balls, Romaine lettuce, and herbs. Toss gently to combine and refrigerate until ready to serve. Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette and toss gently with the melon mixture immediately before serving. Serves 6 to 8.
*If I have a bottle of good purchased raspberry vinagrette, I will use that.
Here is one that i've done in a pinch. There are a lot of variations, but basically the ingredients are the same.
Canned black beans - rinsed
Pico de Gallo (tomatoes, minced fresh peppers (i like serranos), garlic, red onion, lime juice, fresh cilantro)
a little olive oil
cumin and salt to taste
I was going to suggest a black bean and corn salad that I do.
When I can, I use Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn -- it adds a nice flavor.
I don't usually use Pico de gallo because I can't always get a good fresh one (although it does help for the OP's 5-ingredient limit in this case). I usually do diced fresh tomatoes, sometimes diced red peppers, scallions, lots of fresh cilantro, some lime juice and a little EVOO. (I know, basically just all of the pico de gallo anyway!) I also add some cumin.
Even people who aren't huge bean eaters like it, and it works well for vegetarians at the gathering too.
A friend brought the following to a BBQ I hosted once and everyone LOVED it despite its ridiculous simplicity:
1 bag frozen shelled edamame (1lb?)
8 oz smoked salted almonds
mayonnaise to taste
Combine all and mix well. By the time you get where you're going, the edamame will have thawed but kept the salad cold! I know you said no mayo but you could do something similar with a vinaigrette I assume.
As I recall it was quite filling - I'd say it would serve 6-8 as a side, maybe more if it were part of a large potluck spread. My friend said she often does it with frozen peas as well, but I detest them and love edamame so I was happy she went that route. You could add any number of other things to fancy it up, but really, it was great with just the three ingredients!
I have been meaning to reply to this for a while- I made this as one of my side salads for a BBQ we hosted earlier in the summer (based on this thread), and everyone LOVED it. No one could believe how crazy simple and easy it was and it went fast. Good mayo and the salty almonds are key. Thanks. It's a keeper.
How about a Ramen Salad? Cabbage, Ramen Noodles. Maybe more than 5 ingredients, but the dressing is all pantry ingredients.
Shred head of red cabbage. Add 1/2 c. of red wine vinegar, 1/2 c. of white vinegar, 3/4 c. of veg. oil, 1 T dry mustard, 1/2 to 3/4 sugar mix in bowl, chill overnight.
Love the crunchy cabbage.
A really simple pasta salad that seems to be really enjoyed is something like rotini or shells with blanched, shelled edamame, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto. Pest and s-d tomatoes are among the ingredients thought dated, but people like them lots (count me in), and the flavors and textures work well together. Easy to make lots for a crowd, if you need to.
Green Bean Feta Salad
It can be 6 ingredients if you use a bottled dressing. In a big bowl combine blanched green beans, halved grape tomatoes, toasted walnuts, thinly sliced red onions and crumbled feta. Toss with balsamic vinaigrette and chill overnight for best flavor.
Chick Pea and Black Bean Salad (8 ingredients)
Combine a can of rinsed chick peas and a can of rinsed black beans with chopped garlic, s&p, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red onions and celery salt. Again, marination overnight yields the best flavor.
Shrimp & Crab Ceviche (7 ingredients)
Bay shrimp, crab meat mixed with s&p, chopped tomatoes, lots of lime juice, tons of chopped cilantro and red onions. I learned that you really have to watch the salt because the seafood itself is quite salty. Also if your crab and shrimp aren't very sweet, a little sugar can help.
And the above mentioned charred corn salad always knocks my socks off.
This salad is really easy and well liked by both adults and kids:
2 bags frozen white corn
2 small cucumbers, diced
half cup mayonnaise
4 green onions, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all together and chill before serving.
** taste better the second day
I use grape tomatoes cut in half instead of a chopped tomato.
OK, a few more than five ingredients, but this black bean and sweet potato salad is phenomenal:
1 very large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
2 t. olive oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (I recommend Eden brand – no BPA in the cans)
4-5 scallions, sliced
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 t. dijon mustard
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. chopped fresh basil or cilantro
1 T. chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375. Toss the sweet potatoes with 2 t. oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a large baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, turning once halfway through, until potatoes are tender. Put the roasted potatoes in a large bowl with the black beans, scallions and red pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the lime juice, zest, mustard and herbs. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Add this dressing to the bean-potato mixture and gently mix. Season with salt, pepper and additional lime juice to taste.
I make a potato and green bean salad with a basic mustardy vinaigrette that is served at room temp. Boil small red potatoes till tender. Remove potatoes from water, place beans in 1" pieces in water, cook until desired doneness and drain. While still warm, dice or slice potatoes and season with Old Bay or Cajun seasoning. Dressing: olive oil, whatever vinegar you like, and spicy brown mustard to taste. Combine everything and let sit for flavors to mature.
Cheese tortellini with some feta, kalamata olives, EVOO, grape tomatoes.
Grape tomatoes, small mozzarella balls, basil, EVOO.
Baby arugula, blue cheese cubes or crumbles, dried cranberries (sparing with berries) vinaigrette of your choice.
S and P, added, of course.
Oh! I almost forgot this one (scroll to the end of the post) : http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...
I've made it with fresh peas instead of shell beans -- it's must faster and easier, and I bet you'd get good results with frozen peas too. Anyway, it's a great, substantial salad that feels a little "newer" than pasta salad.
I used to buy this from Whole Foods but it's so easy, I just make it myself.
Cooked capelini or you could use any pasta, really.
Lots of fresh lemon juice, 2 lemons or so
chiffonade of basil
cubed fresh tomato