Summers in San Francisco are hardly summer-like compared to the rest of the country. Living in the Bay Area means mild to chilly temps all year long. But every once in a while we get blessed with a streak of beautiful, warm-but-not-too-warm weather. The weekend of the 4th of July happened to fall on one of those rare weather patterns, thus kicking off (in my mind), the summer BBQing season. And this is how you get this post of random musings about summer celebrations and a spattering of recipes to go with them.
When I think of BBQs, there are three must-have sides for a successful summer gathering: corn on the cob, with plenty of butter; watermelon, sprinkled with salt and lime juice; and grilled pineapple. With a meat-centric meal, it’s important to have refreshing sides right? What kind of special dishes do you like to whip up for a BBQ?
One dish that I’m becoming more and more fond of was introduced to me as ” five cup salad,” but I have since found that it is also called Ambrosia Salad in other locales. The idea is five ingredients, one cup of each – canned Mandarin orange slices, canned pineapple chunks, mini marshmallows, flake coconut, and Cool Whip. Mix together and enjoy. Okay, before you judge, I urge you to just try it. You wouldn’t think much of a white, gloopy mixture like that, but it’s a party in your mouth, I promise. I generally tend to leave out the coconut, though, since some people tend to have strong reactions toward it.
A new BBQ-worthy salad I’ve discovered recently is the BLT salad. This recipe, found in either last month’s Gourmet or Bon Apetit, is simple and delicious. Throw together cooked pasta, crumbled bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, mayonnaise, and garlic, and you have yourself a salad that will have you coming for seconds and thirds. Throw in some cheese and avocado for more tastiness. Mmm… now I’m hungry.
I’m hoping SF has more warm weather in store for us. That would mean more BBQ goodness! If you have any favorite dishes, please post about them in the comments. I’d love to pick up some new ideas for my next gathering.