In my most recent post, I shared a barbecue recipe from Chef Dad in honor of the newly warm weather and sunshine that has (finally) hit Maine. No barbecue is complete, however, without some sides. As a child, I always thought that I hated barbecue foods. Pasta salad was slimy, potato salad and coleslaw had too much mayonnaise, and green salads were…too green. Over time, my tastes have changed, but I have also found some recipes that raise these classic barbecue sides to a higher level. I always favor lighter foods in the summer, and these two recipes fit the bill. They’re refreshing and delicious additions to a summertime barbecue menu.
Katharine spent her junior year abroad indulging in delicious food (and doing a little studying) in Lyon, France and Bologna, Italy. Back home, she loves cooking Ina’s Perfect Roast Chicken.
The Danny Salad
This salad gets its name from my roommate’s boyfriend, who made it for a big dinner we had one summer. No one knew Danny had such culinary skills, but this salad (which I believe Danny learned from his mom) was a huge hit. Not only is it super easy and cheap to make, it’s very healthy, too. I make it all the time and have gotten nothing but positive reviews.
1 large head of romaine lettuce
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 bunch of dill, minced
1/2 cup of crumbled feta (though add more if you like)
1/4 cup of good extra virgin olive oil
Clean the romaine and rip it into pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the scallions, dill, and feta. Toss with olive oil and serve.
Ina Garten’s French Potato Salad
My best friend makes this recipe all the time – so often that my friends call it “Claire’s potato salad” even though it’s an Ina Garten classic. Whenever she makes it, I can’t get enough. It’s much lighter than a classic potato salad with mayonnaise and you could easily make it vegan by substituting vegetable stock for chicken stock. It has become a staple at my friends’ cookouts and is a great summery addition to any barbecue menu.
1 pound small white boiling potatoes
1 pound small red boiling potatoes
2 tablespoons of white wine
2 tablespoons of chicken (or vegetable) stock
3 tablespoons of Champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of salt
3/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
10 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of minced scallions (both the white and the green parts)
2 tablespoons of minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons of minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons of minced fresh basil leaves
Add the potatoes to a large pot of boiling water and cook them for 20-30 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Drain the potatoes in a colander, cover them with a dish towel and set them aside for about 10 minutes. When the potatoes are cooled, cut them into halves or quarters (depending on their size) and place in a large bowl. Add the white wine and chicken stock and toss them together with the potatoes. Set this bowl aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, the mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Add this vinaigrette to the the potatoes.
Add the scallions, dill, parsley, basil, and the remaining salt and pepper. Toss all together and serve warm or at room temperature.