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Summer veggie dish for a crowd?

I've been asked to bring a green vegetable dish to an outdoor party for about 20 people this weekend. The main menu is ribs, mac & cheese, and slaw. This time of year, I usually either grill my veggies or serve them raw in salads. I'm at a loss here--any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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    1. re: mcf

      Yes, this is wonderful and easy to make in bulk.

      I also like a huge platter of grilled veggies including rounds of corn dressed with a light vinaigrette .

      Although I like the zuch carpaccio I would not want another dish with cheese.

      1. re: magiesmom

        Makes perfect sense although I will note that I've made the zuke thing without cheese; just the toasted nuts, slivered good-quality olives, oil, and garlic. Pretty easy-going recipe!

      1. Summer squash tian. It's green and a whole lot of other colors, also serves well hot or RT.


        EDIT: I just reread what's on the planned menu, and the last time I received a plate of ribs, mac&cheese and coleslaw, the "green vegetable" component was that sprig of curly parsley.

        2 Replies
          1. re: tcamp

            The potage duBarry recipe she has is a winner. Up to you to decide whether or not you want to add the truffle jus.

        1. This looked so yummy and is very much for a crowd: http://repurposedlife.wordpress.com/2...

          1. Wow, I have nothing to add: the first three suggestions are fabulous.

            1. The green beans with pesto on top that have been talked about in the WFD threads seem like they'd feed a crowd and be easy to toss together. Just blanch and ice bath a bunch of trimmed beans, lay on a platter, and drizzle with some fresh pesto and maybe some parm.

              Not sure where you live, asparagus might be long gone, but we still have it around here. I love grilled or roasted asparagus with some garlic, lemon, and herbs. Can be served room temp or cold.

              Another idea that isn't terribly summery but would fit in with the menu well are braised greens or green beans. With a ham hock. You could do a lot at once in a larger pot.

              10 Replies
              1. re: nothingswrong

                +1 on the green beans. I do garlicky green beans - lightly steam green beans and toss with melted garlic butter/olive oil. Crowd pleaser. Pesto sounds like a winner, too.

                1. re: nothingswrong

                  Collards would be the acceptable green in my neck of the woods with that menu but all the choices sound great!

                  1. re: LaLa

                    Agreed, even though I live in New England. There's already slaw, so another raw vegetable dish would not be my choice.
                    Braised greens are traditional, but you needn't cook them to death as has been common in Southern cooking. Something porky - a little bacon will do, it needn't be a ham hock - onions, garlic. Saute, then add broth and greens, cooking until tender. Finish with a splash of balsamic vinegar and your choice of pepper.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      Braised greens were the first thing that came to mind when squash casserole, corn, potatoes, bbq beans, and anything else not green was excluded from the possible options. Sautéed or grilled zukes were second, lima beans third although not exactly a green vegetable.

                      A lot of people don't eat greens like they used to. A popular dish (I guess) at a somewhat popular restaurant here is creamed collards. It's kind of what someone who doesn't really like greens would order to say that they like greens and enjoy eating them. I call it green gravy.

                      1. re: On_yun

                        I have a source for very clean leeks that seldom have any dirt at all. I've discovered that the dark parts are just fine to slice crosswise (half inch or less) and slowly sautee. When they are nearly done I add spinach, chard, collards, etc - any or all. Then when those are wilted, stir in shredded gouda and parmesan and a splash of milk or cream, herbs/spices to taste. What's not to like?

                        1. re: greygarious

                          I love creamed spinach or chard, it's one of my favorite things going way back. This thing I'm talking about isn't that, it's more like green goop light on the green heavy on the goop. An older guy at work exclaimed "Why, it's like green gravy!" Cracked me up.

                          A lot of people like it though. For turnip or collard greens I prefer them simple.

                    2. re: LaLa

                      All the choices sound great to me, too, but my husband voted for the collards and so I started with those. (I'll make either a green bean or a zucchini dish, too--I haven't made that decision yet.) I used the method shared by Greygarious, and was very happy with the way they turned out. Even though I was raised on collard greens, I had never made them myself. Thanks to these posts, I have a new vegetable in my repertoire! Next time I'll use a little more onion and garlic, but I was afraid of overdoing it this first time.

                      1. re: marisold

                        Glad to hear you liked my greens freestyling. Overdo onion and garlic? No such thing, in my world! The allium family is its own food group, as far as I am concerned, and without it, I seriously don't know that I'd want to go on living.

                        1. re: greygarious

                          I'm with you on that--it's just that I'm cooking for a crowd this time, ages 2 to 80-something, and I suspect not everyone shares my tastes!

                      2. re: LaLa

                        Yes yes yes to collards with ribs and mac&cheese. Cook them the old-fashioned Southern way, all day with a ham bone and a teensy hit of hot pepper. No newfangled raw collards chips etc.

                    3. This is a long shot, and easiest if you have a spiralizer (just got one!) but suppose you could also do zucchini ribbons with your vegetable peeler.

                      Spiralized Raw Zucchini Salad with Avocado and Edamame from Skinnytaste is great


                      1. ......one thing I do know is I'm now hungry
                        these look great

                        1. I brought this to a pot luck and lots of people asked for the recipe. It disappeared in 5 minutes and it fed alot more than 6 people. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/la...

                          1. So many suggestions involving zukes and/or tomatoes...hmmmm....

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: tcamp

                              my suggestion was also gonna be toms&zukes-onions/garlic/shallots/s&p+cheddar

                              always a winner here

                            2. Roasted vegetable ratatouille

                              1. Thanks so much for all the great suggestions--now the only difficult part is deciding which one to make and take!

                                1. Diced green chili peppers mixed with diced grilled avocados and some roasted diced carrots.

                                  Toss with a marinade of lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

                                  1. I keep getting amazing sugar snap peas lately- this recipe is very easy and has a nice kick from the horseradish (i used the refridgerated prepared kind and it worked great), the wasabi peas are a fun unexpected garnish

                                    1. This zucchini, squash and tomato gratin is one of my all time favorites. I make it every summer and everyone always swoons (kids included). It's easy to assemble and is summer in a dish.


                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: lynnlato

                                        agree. I started making my version 30 years ago for my FIL. we lived with them while our house closed escrow. MIL and I didn't cook at all the same so thought while I was there, I should take over on the cooking duty. happy FIL loved my version of the zuke dish

                                        1. re: lynnlato

                                          This looks delicious. Have you ever assembled it the day before you cooked it?

                                          1. re: marisold

                                            I haven't but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I don't drain the tomatoes either. I feel like they need the moisture when they are baking.

                                            I would pre-assemble and then add the breadcrumb mixture just before baking. I think it would be fine.

                                            @il Divo, wow! That is success! Summer gratins make me chair dance! ;)

                                            1. re: lynnlato

                                              only difference is I add the toms&sliced zukes to the onion/garlic/shallot saute, stir to blend about 2 minutes, assemble in baking dish and top with cheddar/fried onions., then bake. melty, gooey and sensational...... :)

                                          2. re: lynnlato

                                            I made this dish and the collards for my event--every bite was eaten! I'm very glad to have this recipe in my collection. I did assemble the casserole the day before for my convenience. I was delighted that the two guests who gushed the most over my two veggie dishes were both young adults. My strong suit is desserts; it was a nice surprise to be appreciated for something out of my comfort zone!

                                            1. re: marisold

                                              Yay for you, marisold! I too have had nothing but positive feedback from this dish. I am making it again tomorrow. It's addictive. And I'm glad to know that it works just as well if assembled in advance. Duly noted.

                                          3. Did a version of ratatouille- fired up the charcoal grill and did a simple french vinaigrette, marinated: 1 radicchio quartered, 1 med. thick sliced eggplant, 1 zucchini and yellow squash sliced length wise and cored, 2 bunches scallions. Grilled them fairly well. Let rest, then sliced and/or cubed. Toss with; 1 yellow beet(trimmed and sliced)and 1 pint cherry tomatoes(oven roasted together 1 hour), 2 T. toasted slivered almonds, 1-2 T. chop 'fines herbs' and a couple smashed garlic cloves. S/P. Into a LIGHTLY oiled Pyrex, bake 45-60 minutes and serve. The next day, chopped up the cold leftovers, spread on a baguette, and a little parm and toasted. Insane...

                                            1. Moosewood Restaurant's Tortino di Verdure:


                                              An Italian veggie casserole using eggplant, zucchini, potato and tomato. Delicious and easily adapted for larger quantity. I have used various cheeses, various extra of one veg and none of another. Very forgiving and delicious. Not another zucchini casserole.

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