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  • Writer's pictureThe BeardedHomeCook

Spring and summer sides / salads for your picnic, cookout or pool party.

Put the mayo down. There are a lot more options. Some great vegetables are popping up at farmers markets and grocery stores. Let's put them to use and eat well.

Pasta-less Pasta Salad

Pick up some squash, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, parsnips, or whatever you like.

Clean each veggie and either jullienne (peppers, mushrooms, etc) or use a vegetable peeler to shred strips (carrots, cukes, squash, etc).

To keep a uniform size, cut down long vegetables to even sizes. Then cut planks and use the peeler on the sides of the planks for uniform cuts.

If veggies have a lot of water in them (like cukes) put paper towel in bottom of the bowl and sprinkle salt. Mix to coat and allow to extract water from veggies for 15 minutes before dressing. Use another paper towel to pat dry from the top.

Add 2-3 TBSP of greek, balsamic or Italian dressing.

Top with feta ('cause feta makes it betta).

- Do not overdress the salad. Less is more. Bring extra to event to add as needed.

Panzanella Salad

1 loaf of baguette or crusty break (day old or stale is best)

2-3 medium tomatoes

1/2 of one onion (Vidalia or red are best)

1 medium cucumber (or half of an English cuke)

20 leaves of basil

3 TBSP of capers

2 bell peppers (choose colorful)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 clove of garlic (finely minced)

1/4 cup of champagne vinegar

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

Cut bread into 1" cubes

Toast 8-10 minutes in non-stick pan with 1 tsp olive oil, mediu heat, stir often

Core the peppers and cut into 1" squares (or julienne if small)

Cut tomatoes into 1" cubes

Slice onion into 1" slivers, but keep them thin

Chiffonade basil

Make dressing by combining oil, vinegar, dijon, garlic and black pepper

Mix well and set aside

Combine veggies and bread cubes in bowl, spread basil out over the surface, add dressing, but reserve 2-3 TBSP so as not to overdress

Mix well and taste

Bring extra dressing if needed to dress more at service

Tabbouleh Salad

1 cup bulgur wheat

1 1/2 cups boiling water

3 TBSP salt

1 cup fresh flat leaf parsely

1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves

2 green onion/scallions

2 kirby or 1/2 English cucumber

1 large tomato or 1 cup of cherry/grape tomatoes (halved)

1 lemon (to zest and juice)

1/4 cup olive oil

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Put wheat in heat resistant bowl

Add boiling water and set aside for 60 minutes or refrigerate for 30 minutes

Rough chop parsley and mint and put in large bowl

Cut vegetables into small dice (see video) and add to bowl

Zest lemon over the bowl (make sure not to zest into the white)

Add olive oil to measuring cup

Squeeze lemon halves into bowl

Grind generous amount of black pepper into bowl and mix

Once bulgur wheat has absorbed all of the water, add to the bowl with the veggies and herbs

Mix gently

Add dressing - do not reserve extra - bulgur wheat will absorb all of it

So now it's your turn, are you ready?

Be sure to LIKE, COMMENT and SUBSCRIBE on the YouTube video below.

Share photos of your dishes and tag us on the social channels.

Have fun and see you soon.

- The BHC Team

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