When ever I have parties, I make big bowls of salad. They vary from party to party but I wanted to show you how easy it is to make healthy and delicious dishes that go with anything. I’ll make apps like guacamole and chips or hummus. And something baked like spinach pie or pizza.
My three bean salad is an oldie but goodie. While I generally like to make my own beans from scratch, when I am in party mode, I am all about the cans. For a crowd of 12 to 14 people, I use 2 cans each of kidney beans, cannellini beans and garbanzo beans, 1/2 of a red onion, diced and a big bunch of arugula. It’s all tossed with 1/2 cup olive oil whisked with 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Slaw is a great party salad and can be made so many ways. I happen to love this combo in the summer because of all of the fresh corn on the cob at the markets. Shred a head of purple cabbage along with 3 or 4 big carrots. Cut the corn off 4 or 5 cobs and toss it all with lots of fresh parsley and chives. (We have tons in my garden!) For a slaw, I like a mayo style dressing. While I love my cashew mayo, party time calls for extra help, and I go for Fabanaise.
Pasta salad is a fun addition to the table. You can toss pasta with pesto or veggies. Or even just sauce. For this one, I went with a Greek theme. The key to this salad is tossing the orzo in the dressing right after you drain it so the hot pasta absorbs the flavors. The dressing is made with 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, and 1/4 cup ume plum vinegar. Use 4 – 6 scallions, depending the size, 3 – 4 Kirby cucumbers, depending on the size, a lot of fresh dill and parsley and diced red onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make your salads in the morning. Cover and let them sit in the refrigerator so that the flavors have time to combine. Enjoy your guests and then take the salads out a half hour before you are ready to call for dinner. Party on!