Spring Into Potluck Season

The sun is coming out more, the trees and plants are blooming and that also means…summer potlucks! When the weather warms up people want to get outside and get together. This is a great time to invite your family and friends to a spring potluck. When planning for an outdoor, warm-weather potluck, think about dishes that are lighter and can get warm and not spoil. These recipes are guaranteed to be giant hits at your next outdoor potluck.

Grilled Squash and Orzo Salad with Pine Nuts and Mint Recipe, source oprah.com

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs mixed yellow squash and zucchini
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 lb orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 16 ounces cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese for shaving (optional)

Preparation

  • Trim and cut the squash lengthwise into slices 1/4-inch thick. Put in a bowl with cherry tomatoes, if using, and add 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Mix to coat.
  • Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-high heat. Grill the squash and tomatoes (if using), turning once, until tender, 5-8 minutes total. Let cool and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, and put in a large bowl.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold running water.
  • Meanwhile, in a dry frying pan, toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant and starting to brown, 3-4 minutes. Pour onto a plate to cool.
  • Add the orzo to the squash and tomatoes (if using) along with the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and pine nuts and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the mint. Just before serving, use a vegetable peeler to shave the cheese over the salad, if using, and serve.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Two Vinegars Recipe, source Oprah.com

Ingredients

  • 6-8 very ripe heirloom tomatoes, in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 green onions, including tender green parts, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh oregano, or to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3-5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Country-style bread for serving
  • Other fresh herbs can replace the oregano: try 1 tsp. chopped thyme or rosemary, 1 Tbsp. chopped
  • Other fresh herbs can replace the oregano: try 1 tsp. chopped thyme or rosemary, 1 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley, or 2-3 Tbsp. chopped basil.

Preparation

  • Slice the tomatoes, capturing their juices. Layer the tomatoes on a platter, sprinkling them with the sugar, salt to taste, green onions, garlic (if using), oregano, and the captured juices as you arrange them.
  • Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar and sherry vinegar and then drizzle generously with olive oil. Let stand at room temperature until ready to serve, up to 2 hours. Serve accompanied with the bread for sopping up the juices.

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