BBQ season is officially upon us, and at a recent potluck we were lucky enough to sample these two (three with the dressing) bodacious and berry-licious BBQ additions. BBQ can be heavy, and sometimes a lighter, brighter side is just what the doctor ordered! These are easy to make, simple to take, light and refreshing accompaniments to any outdoor gathering. Peep the how-to on these bold berry beauties below:
Red, White and Blue Spinach Salad! (Courtesy of Heather J.)
Sweet berries and tart blue cheese make this salad a keeper. Easy dressing included, and quick to prep for a large group. You can also sub the blue cheese for feta or goat cheese for milder flavors. Serves 8.
1 (6-7 ounce) bag or carton baby spinach (about 6-7 cups)
optional: red cabbage or spring mix for added color
2 cups (1 pint) stemmed and sliced strawberries
1 cup (1/2 pint) blueberries
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
4 ounces blue cheese
Wash all fruits and veggies, layer them in a large salad bowl and top with pecans and blue cheese. Toss gently to meld colors before serving with easy balsamic dressing!
Simple Balsamic Dressing! This tart and tangy dressing balances the sweetness of berries, and cuts the salt of blue or feta cheese. Perfect for an “almost summer” salad.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional*
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the optional sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and adjust the seasonings.
NEXT ON THE MENU: Easy Berry Pudding Cups! (Courtesy of Deb T.) These cups were fast to fill, and once they arrived to the potluck they were gobbled up even faster. Patriotic colors + cool vanilla pudding made this a favorite for every attendee.
-Clear plastic cups (dollar store find- a pack of 10 for $1.25)
-Fill each cups with (about an inch in hight) cooked vanilla pudding, (according to package) and leave it to cool down completely.
-Wash, drain, and tap dry berries (very important step so you do not end up with a soggy dessert.)
-Slice each strawberry lengthwise and arrange them around the sides of the cup;
-Add raspberries and blackberries in the center.
-Drizzle the berries with berry flavor sugar free gelatin (prepared according to the direction in the package);
-Garnish each with Cool Whip, a mint leave and an extra raspberry, and there you have it!
What are you whipping up this weekend? Have any must-serve specialties we need to try? Share them in a comment below…and if it’s of the “leaner and greener” variety…we’d be happy to add it to our ever-growing Go-To- Salad Guide! Enjoy your weekend, frieders!