No-Cook Appetizers and Salads
No need to break a sweat assembling all the rolls yourself. Make a small batch to kick-start the party, then offer a platter of the fresh ingredients with the dipping sauce so guests can build their own. Just dip the rice paper sheets in hot water as directed, and wrap with a damp towel to keep them soft. Look for rice paper rounds in the international aisle of large grocery stores or Asian markets.
- Recipe: Barbecue-Peach Summer Rolls
No Southern appetizer board is complete without spicy-sweet pickled okra. Our new obsession: Wickles Wicked Okra (wicklespickles.com). We also recommend Olli Salumeria salami, slow-cured in Virginia and found in gourmet grocery stores across the South, but you can choose any of your favorite cured meats.
Recipe: Easy Summer Appetizer Board
Here's the secret to nice pimiento-cheese texture: Grate the cheese by hand, half on the large holes of a box grater and half on the small holes. Choose an aged sharp Cheddar cheese for extra bite. Chopped chives and Dijon mustard add piquant punch in place of grated onion.
Combine sweet, juicy watermelon chunks with fresh tomato, onion, and a red wine vinaigrette for a salad that is the essence of summer.
- Recipe: Tomato-and-Watermelon Salad
No need for lots of chopping; let the food processor do all the work in this delicious herb-packed sauce.
Recipe: Green Goddess Dipping Sauce
If you'd like to assemble the salad ahead of time, reserve croutons until just before serving; store in the refrigerator.
- Recipe: Tomato-Cucumber Bread Salad
English, or hothouse, cucumbers have thin skins, few seeds, and mild flavor. English cucumbers are sold wrapped in plastic, rather than coated in wax.
- Recipe: Creamy Cucumber Soup
This recipe is a fresh way to use citrus. Sprinkle toasted sweetened flaked coconut over each serving, if desired.
- Recipe: New Ambrosia
Create a colorful and healthy salad by combining mango slices, tomato, cucumber, corn, basil, and a lime vinaigrette, then tossing with arugula.
- Recipe: Mango Salad
You can prepare this salad a day ahead, but don't cut up the avocado or add garnishes until just before you serve it.
Recipe: Avocado Fruit Salad
Fresh blueberries provide the sweet while jalapeño pepper, bell pepper, and cilantro provide the savory. Serve with toasted flour tortilla strips for an easy appetizer or side dish.
- Recipe: Blueberry Salsa
Double the recipe—as we did here—for a dramatic presentation that will feed a large group.
- Recipe: Olives Scaciati