Produce provides tasty summer side dishes

Published 9:37 am Thursday, July 12, 2018

Bless Your Spoon

By Stephanie Williams Dean


When summer arrives, there’s no better way to enjoy it than to plan a picnic outdoors. These recipes make the most of the vibrant colors and flavors of fresh vegetables. All cooks have their favorite recipes – the go to, tried and true, stand-ins for outside picnics and family dinners – the ones most requested and served most often. These make-ahead recipes are a few of my favorites and work well packed for lunch or dinner meals – so delicious, you might just want to plan a picnic today.


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup white balsamic


2 Tbsp. hot sweet mustard

¼ cup fresh, chopped parsley

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. fresh ground pepper

½ tsp Creole seasoning

1 pkg. frozen shoepeg corn

1 pkg. cooked black-eyed peas

1 medium, chopped red pepper

1 medium, chopped red onion

Fresh chopped tomatoes or salsa

In a mixer, combine oil, vinegar, mustard, parsley, salt, pepper, and seasoning. Slowly blend in corn, peas, pepper, and onion. Refrigerate. Top with fresh chopped tomatoes or salsa.


6 lbs. peeled, red skinned potatoes (yams)

1 cup chopped green onion

1 cup fresh parsley

1 cup toasted pecan halves

½ cup golden raisins

½ cup brown raisins

½ cup olive oil

4 Tbsp. maple syrup

4 Tbsp. orange juice

4 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. ginger

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

Peel sweet potatoes and cook until tender and not mushy. Refrigerate until cool, then cube. Add onion, parsley, pecans, and raisins to potatoes. In a mixer, combine oil, syrup, orange juice, vinegar, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add sweet potato mixture, blending slowly. Serve room temperature.


3 Tbsp. salted butter

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large, chopped onion

1 red bell pepper, cut ½ inch pieces

1 green pepper, cut ½ inch pieces

2 minced garlic cloves

2 cups fresh or frozen yellow corn

2 medium zucchini, cut ¾ inch pieces

2 medium yellow squash, cut ¾ inch pieces

1 10 oz. pkg. frozen baby lima beans, thawed

4 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh marjoram

Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a deep, heavy skillet, melt butter with oil. Saute onion, bell peppers and garlic for 5 minutes or until tender. Add corn, zucchini, yellow squash, and lima beans. Saute 7 minutes or until tender. Stir in parsley and marjoram. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.


3 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. peanut oil

1 tsp. sesame oil

2 tsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. peeled, minced fresh ginger

1 tsp. sugar

4 cups grated cabbage or store-bought slaw mix

½ cup thinly sliced green onions

½ cup roasted peanuts

Salt and freshly ground pepper.

In a mixer, combine vinegar, olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, soy, ginger, and sugar. Mix in cabbage, green onions, and peanuts. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.


1lb. trimmed asparagus

1 chopped garlic clove

2 tsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Place asparagus and garlic in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Bake in a 450-degree oven for 16 minutes, tossing occasionally.


2 chopped green peppers

2 small, chopped onions

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup catsup

1 tsp. yellow mustard

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 large can Bush’s original pork and beans

In a mixer, combine all ingredients and mix at slow speed. Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake uncovered in a 325-degree oven for 1 ½ -2 hours.


2 ½ lbs. cooked, cubed red potatoes

2 large, beaten eggs

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. prepared mustard

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. chopped chives

1 cup chopped onion

Boil unpeeled potatoes in water for 40 minutes or until tender. Drain and refrigerate. In a mixer, combine eggs, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Cook egg mixture in a saucepan, stirring over medium heat until thickened. Cool. Stir in mayonnaise and chives to egg mixture and blend well.  Peel cold potatoes and cube. Add onion, salt, and pepper. Add cooked dressing and mix well.

Note: I like to add a few Tbsp. of mild or hot salsa and some Cajun spice (to taste) to the succotash and black-eyed pea/corn salad which gives it some kick. When cooking, my can’t live without, the most versatile appliance is my Kitchen Aid mixer. From soups to desserts, the mixer speeds allow you to combine, blend, mix, fold, or whip.