CRESTVIEW — A backyard barbecue requires tasty side dishes. Boost baked beans and coleslaw with any of these easy-to-prepare cold salads.
Corn and black bean salad with cumin-lime dressing
Cumin is the spice that gives Mexican food that "Mexican food" taste. Used sparingly, it gives this savory salad a kick.
Prepare this dish a half-day in advance so the flavors can blend.
3.4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt or season salt
1 11-ounce can corn kernels, drained
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red and green pepper, diced
1/2 diced medium red onion
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
Warm the cumin about a minute in a small skillet over low heat. Turn off the heat, add the lime juice, oil and salt and whisk to blend.
Combine the corn, beans, peppers, onion and parsley in a large bowl. Add the lime dressing and toss to coat.
Optionally, garnish the top of the salad with a wreath of chopped parsley.
Chinese cabbage slaw
When my friends in New Orleans ask, "What's the biggest change in your life since you moved to Florida?" I have to reply, "The church supper."
When you get a few dozen southern church members trying to outdo each other with favorite family recipes, you always come out the winner. I learned about this wonderful salad at a church supper.
1 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 package shredded cabbage slaw
8 green onions, chopped
8 tablespoons slivered almonds
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 packages Ramen noodles, including spice packets
Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Crumble the Ramen noodles into the bowl and mix with the other salad ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix well.
Serve immediately for a crunchier texture, or let it rest a half-hour so the noodles can soften.
People differ on how to spell "tabbouleh" about as much as they do with what to put in it.
My version, which serves six, combines the Houston's restaurant chain couscous recipe with other recipes.
1 cup dry bulgur wheat
1 1/2 cups boiling chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 or 2 minced garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup minced green onions
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/2 cup dried currants
Put the bulgur wheat in a mixing bowl, cover with boiling broth and let stand about 25 minutes until tender.
Stir in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, and refrigerate at least an hour or up to two days.
Stir in remaining ingredients about 30 minutes before serving, and bring to room temperature.