Your Challenge: You're asked to bring a salad to a Summer event--
Maybe it's a picnic under the stars during an outdoor concert--
Or, a garden luncheon with the girls--
Or a backyard casual neighborhood potluck and grill-out--
Your Inspiration: Your backyard herb and vegetables
Your Back-up Resources: Your pantry
You are ready to go with a substantive salad if you build around a base of grains or legumes. So, always try to keep basic dried grains like quinoa, couscous (bulgar wheat) and rice, or legumes like lentils and beans, readily available in your pantry. Though remember that beans may need to be canned if you don't want to start your prep with start soaking a day ahead.
Here's my addition to a backyard grill party for a crowd just yesterday.
4 cups couscous, cooked, chilled, make sure you fluff it with a fork before chilling, even toss a little olive oil in it so it doesn't form a clog.
Chop together a mixture of seasonal vegetables right from your garden:
Zucchini, seeded tomatoes, onion, green pepper
Chop some fresh herbs: Mint is classic with couscous.
Add the vegetables and chopped fresh herbs to the salad. Feel like some chopped olives or capers or pimento? Go for it!
Whisk 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup olive oil together and mix into salad.
Add 8 oz feta cheese crumbles.
Salt and pepper to taste, add more lemon juice if needed.
Toss again and put into a serving bowl, Chill until your event.