July Fourth Picnic

July Fourth Picnic
Guest post by Author and Cookbook Writer Sally Sampson

It’s hard to imagine that after signing The Declaration of Independence, the fifty six lawyers, jurists, merchants, plantation owners, teachers, musicians and printers sat down together and polished off a homespun picnic.  No, instead they went back to their homes, their wives and their children and, in some cases, lost all that they owned, having risked their lives and fortunes to the cause of liberty.

But like most American holidays, time has turned this event into an eating extravaganza. For most Americans July Fourth is about fireworks, barbecues and sales.

At least they didn’t sign in February, when outdoor activities like watching parades, participating in bike, motorcycle and drag races, listening to music and eating fabulous, carefree food in backyards and beaches would not be so appealing. Independence Day comes at the time of year when local produce is abundant and cooking mostly means chopping and assembling.

All three of the following salads can be made the night before, leaving you more time to enjoy your guests!
All of these recipes come from Warehouse to Your House.

Curried Chicken Salad
Yield: about 4 ½ cups

¼ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons mango chutney
1-tablespoon curry powder
1-½ pounds poached or grilled chicken, torn into shreds or diced
2 celery ribs, diced or sliced
1 apple, peach or mango, diced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro and/or basil leaves, plus additional for garnish

Place the mayonnaise, chutney and curry powder in a medium size bowl and mix well.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour and up to overnight.

Annette’s Corn Salad
Yield: about 5- 6 cups

For the salad:
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 15.5 oz can red kidney or black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped seeded plum tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 large garlic cloves, crushed or minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
½- 1 teaspoon kosher salt

To make the salad: Place all the ingredients in a medium size bowl.

To make the dressing: Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well.  Add to corn mixture, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Mustard Potato Salad
Serves 6- 8

3 pounds new potatoes, cut in quarters or halves, depending on size and desire
¼ cup plain low or full fat yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup sour cream
3- 4 celery stalks, julienned
3- 4 carrots, julienned
4 scallions, including greens, chopped
1 cup finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15- 20 minutes.  Drain and transfer to a large bowl to cool to room temperature.

While the potatoes are cooking, place the yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard and sour cream in a small bowl and mix well. When the potatoes have cooled, add the yogurt mixture and the remaining ingredients and gently mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to overnight.

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    Written by Sarah Shaw

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