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June 2, 2010

6 Easy Outdoor Dinner Recipes

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SIDE DISHES
Carrot, Green Apple, and Mint Salad

  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt or 1/4 cup plain Greek-style nonfat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • Salt to taste

1. If using regular yogurt place the yogurt in a strainer lined with a paper towel. Set the strainer over a bowl and let the yogurt drain and thicken for 30 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the drained or Greek-style yogurt and mayonnaise until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice, vinegar, and honey.

3. In a food processor, first grate the carrots and then the apple. Transfer them to a large serving bowl and stir to combine. Pour the dressing over the carrot mixture and toss to coat. Roughly chop the mint and add it to the salad. Season with salt. This salad will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 3 days.

Pesto Potato Salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup Basil Pesto (see recipe below) or store-bought basil pesto
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put the potatoes in a large steamer basket over boiling water and steam until they are cooked though, but the skins remain intact, about 20 minutes. Set them aside until they are cool enough to handle, then quarter and put them in a large bowl. Add the peppers and pesto and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until completely cooled, at least 1 hour. This salad will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 3 days.

Basil Pesto

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 3 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and golden brown, shaking the pan frequently, about 3 minutes.

2. In a food processor, process the pine nuts and garlic together until minced. Add the basil, Parmesan, and lemon juice and process until finely minced. With the machine running, slowly pour the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube and process until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.


For a divine dessert, go to the next page.


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