Salads Perfect for the Fourth of July
If you are headed to a Fourth of July cookout tomorrow and you have been asked to bring a salad, the big question is, what to bring? You want something to "wow" those attending and not be the usual cut watermelon or potato and macaroni salads. You want your salad to bring as much color and flavor to the plates as the fireworks. You also want people to be dying to ask you for the recipe!
Well, today I am here to solve your dilemma just in time for the cookout! I have three new salad recipes that will add a spark to your cookout menu. Even though these salads are different, they still use ingredients that you probably have on hand or are can easily find at your local grocery store.
First up is a salad with a Mexican flair. It can definitely bring the heat to the party. This one uses an ingredient that some of you may not be familiar with: jicama, which is also known as a Mexican turnip. It kind of looks like an over-sized, oddly-shaped potato. To use it, just peel it just like a potato. The skin is very similar to the exterior of a ginger root. The inside is bright white, like a potato. Though some say it has a texture like a raw potato or pear, it reminds me of water chestnuts. The salad also includes regular Mexican food ingredientscorn, black beans, green onion, red bell pepper, cilantro, and jalapeno. The jalapeno just adds nice, low-level heat, but if you like it spicy, just add more.
Next is a pasta salad with a twist. It does include traditional ingredients like celery and onion, but gets a fresh new look with the addition of roasted red peppers and cilantro. It includes chopped-up dill pickle, and for some extra kick, you can use a spicy pickle variety.
Last up, take your friends and family to the Caribbean with a salad that brings together the flavors of the islands. The base is made of cooked rice and black beans. Then you mix in some red onion, different colored bell peppers, and fresh pineapple. Canned pineapple can be used in a pinch, but fresh is best for this salad. Finally, it gets dressed with flavors from Jamaican jerk spice mix: allspice, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, garlic, and thyme.
When you head to the party, help the hosts out by bringing your salad in a nice serving bowl, and don't forget the serving utensils. You can even get some inexpensive disposable utensils to make life even easier!
1 medium jicama (about the size of a softball), cut into julienne slices
2 (15.5 oz) cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
4 green onions, diced
1 (10 oz) bag of corn, thawed
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely diced
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine the jicama, black beans, green onion, corn, red pepper, and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to coat.
Recipe adapted from Guy Fieri via Food Network.
Fireworks Pasta Salad
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup honey Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp whipping cream
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb. dry pasta, cooked
1 1/3 chopped dill or spicy dill pickles (depending on the heat you want)
1 1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup minced red onion
1 (12 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced
1 cup diced green onion
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lime juice, sugar, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl and toss together until well-coated.
Recipe adapted from Kitchen Confidante.
Caribbean Rice Salad
3 cups of cooked rice, chilled
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1/2 cup diced orange bell pepper
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
4 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp thyme
pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine the rice, beans, pineapple, bell peppers, and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined. Pour dressing over the rice mixture and toss to coat.
Recipe adapted from Babble.
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Do you have any go-to salads for Fourth of July potlucks? Share your ideas in the comments below.