Q: A few years ago I fell in love with a grain salad from my local Whole Foods. It had wheat berries (I think?), feta, kalamata olives, and tomatoes. I have recently moved cities and my Whole Foods does not make the salad. Does anyone have a copycat recipe for this salad?
There are moments when I'm truly taken aback and surprised by a new way to cook or use a common kitchen ingredient. This can come about with spices or sauces or farmers market vegetables. This week, while eating plain snap peas as a snack, I ran across a recipe for roasted snap peas. And everything changed.
On Monday I posted a retro recipe for cabbage and ramen slaw. Today I'm offering another throwback salad that also deserves its time in the sun. Three bean salad is a summer picnic and potluck favorite, and for very good reason.
The July 4th holiday is generally the first time I dive into traditional summer-side dish-mode with potato salad, chicken salad, and macaroni salad. We usually get the grill dusted off around that time (there's the feeling that summer weather doesn't officially start until after the 4th in Seattle), and what goes better with good barbecued chicken than creamy potato salad? I've been doctoring ours up lately with an ingredient that's still creamy and yet much lower in fat. Can you guess what it is?
We love our canning jars for everything from storing grains in the pantry to shaking cocktails in the park. But by far one of our most favorite ways to use our pint- and quart-sized canning jars is to pack them with salads. Yes, that's right, leafy green salads. Dressing goes on the bottom, veggies and other salad goodies get piled on top. Everything stays separate and dressing-free until you toss the salad together in the bowl — never eat another soggy lunch salad. Even better, these salads last for days in the fridge so we can make a week's worth of lunches ahead of time.
The first time I discovered ramen noodle salad was a culinary revelation. (Yes, those 99-cent ramen noodles.) It was sweet, tangy, and crunchy all at the same time, and it was a far cry from the creamy Southern slaws of my youth. Needless to say, I was hooked.
Let's talk pasta salads. There are delightfully creamy versions with mayo and there are garlicky ones with pesto. There are pasta salads made with couscous (tiny pasta!) and ones with tortellini. But pretty much any way you bring a pasta salad together, it's guaranteed to be great. Picnic-ready and coming soon to a cookout near you, here are our top 15 pasta salads for 4th of July party.
Summertime is all about picnics and potlucks, so if you're still in search of the ultimate dish that guarantees return invites and recipe requests, this Mexican street corn salad is for you. Not only will the fresh flavors please any palate, but it's just as easy to make a double (or triple) batch and it's equally delicious served hot, cold, or at room temp. Sounds like a winner to me!
Pasta salads are infinitely flexible, delicious, and ready be dressed up. When I get a crush on a cheese or a vegetable the pasta salad plays impresario, showing off its charms. But I can get easily carried away; if goat cheese, why not Parmesan too? A handful of dried fruit, toasted pecans, three cruciferous vegetables, and a gilding of bacon, and pretty soon we're in the third ring of a salad circus.
While elaborate salads are delightful, there are times, like right now in picnic season, when it is better to strip it down to the basics and keep it simple. This reader favorite has a mere handful of ingredients, but they're winners — feta, olives, snap-tender broccoli, and colorful pasta. This is the easy pasta salad party you need this week.
When it comes to warm-weather lunches and light dinners, summer is pasta salad season around our house. I find pasta salad is pretty much always the solution to the "what do we have for dinner" question when there's nothing but a few veggies and maybe a little cheese in the crisper. While it always satisfies, there are some pasta salads that are infinitely better than others. What are their secrets?