Editor's Note: Concerts at the park, outings to the beach, outdoor movies ... July is the month for picnics and what better kid-and-adult-pleasing picnic fare than creative salads? Try these fresh, summery new twists on picnic classics that have been created and kid-tested by the instructors of PCC Cooks cooking classes. Adults should handle the prep work of chopping and cooking, but kids can help make these dishes by tossing the ingredients together at the end to complete the salads.
Potato Salad with Green Beans
Prep time: 30 minutes
1/2 to 1 pound small red potatoes, cut into quarters
1/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place potatoes in a large pot of water, bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 7 to 8 minutes.
During the last minute or so of cooking, put in the green beans to blanch.
Drain in a colander and run under cool water to stop the cooking.
Place potatoes and green beans in a bowl and sprinkle with cider vinegar. Toss with remaining ingredients and taste for seasoning.
Serve warm or chilled.
Recipe by Marie Donadio, PCC Cooks instructor
Lime Cabbage Slaw
Prep time: 15 minutes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
Pinch of sweetener, such as Sucanat or sugar
Salt and pepper
2 1/2 to 3 cups finely shredded green cabbage
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into half-moons
Combine oil, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add shredded cabbage and sliced cucumber. Toss well and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving to allow the cabbage to soften.
Recipe by Cynthia Lair, PCC Cooks instructor and author of Feeding the Young Athlete: Sports Nutrition Made Easy
Thai Cucumber Salad
Both dressing and salad can be prepared separately ahead of time and kept refrigerated. Mix them together 15 minutes before serving. If desired, add more seasonal vegetables, such as sliced red bell peppers or radishes.
Preparation: 15 minutes
4 tablespoons vinegar
4 rounded tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 English cucumber, sliced
1 to 2 shallots, sliced
1 hot chile pepper, sliced (optional)
3 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts (optional)
Mix vinegar, sugar, water and salt in a bowl; then heat in a small saucepan for two minutes or in the microwave for 45 seconds. Stir well.
Pour dressing over cucumber, shallots and crushed roasted peanuts.
Recipe by Pranee Halvorsen, PCC Cooks instructor