Guest Author - Gillian Scianna
Fourth of July is just one of those great times to celebrate and enjoy food, fireworks, friends and least of all family. A wonderful event can be created with a potluck picnic. This allows everyone to cook a dish and then enjoy the picnic and all its wonderful flavors.
There are some fool proof recipes for picnic potlucks....say that three times fast. I like to try and stay away from mayonnaise dishes unless I know there is decent refrigeration or a large amount of ice available, but any salad should be well chilled. This means keeping the salad below 45 degrees.
I know there are several of you out there saying “what –no mayonnaise”. I do have some great recipes that will replicate the wonderful potato and pasta salads you might be craving. Let's get into the recipes.
Blue Cheese Potato Salad
2 pounds small new potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with lightly salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender approximately 10 to 15 minutes, drain thoroughly.
Whisk vinegar, olive oil, mustard, basil, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl -- add the potatoes and onion. Toss gently to coat. The heat from the potato's intensifies the flavors. Let the mixture cool down for about 30 minutes then fold in the blue cheese and chives until blended.
Tomato Vinaigrette Pasta Salad
Chopped green onion
2 diced tomato's
1 diced red pepper
Bottled or homemade vinaigrette
1/2 – 3/4 lb cooked and drained mini Farfalle pasta
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
Combine everything in a large bowl and mix well. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for several hours before serving, stir several times while cooling and once more before serving – this allows the flavors to intensify. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and enjoy the flavors.
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July.