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Summer salads for a horde


Darienne
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We have a horde of dog lovers and dogs descending upon the farm for the August 21st weekend. They are not 'foodies'. They are 'dog lovers'. :wub: It is critical this year to get as much done ahead of time as possible...casseroles and coffee cakes in the freezer, that sort of thing.

I know that cole slaw can be made a few days ahead of time...goodness knows you can find remnants at the back of the fridge weeks later which are still edible.

But what other salads can be made ahead of time and how long ahead of time?

What about mixed beans salads?

What about some kind of salad in which you might make part of it ahead of time and then add ingredient(s) X at the last minute?

Thank you. :rolleyes:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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How many people in your horde? How many meals need salads? How many different salads do you need for each meal?

How far ahead depends upon how much you are willing to compromise flavor. IMO, most foods begin to deteriorate after 2-3 days in the fridge. Not all slaws are good keepers either, depends upon the recipe. I have a 7-Day-Slaw that is supposed to keep 3 weeks, and also a slaw for which you can make the dressing a week ahead, chop vegetables 3 or 4 days ahead and combine just before serving. If you choose the "recipe" salads carefully, you can combine them with some convenience items and no-labor items.

Buy bagged and pre-washed salad greens and make homemade dressings a week in advance (or buy them if you must). Crudites are available all cut up--serve with dip.

Rely on some last minute things, like sliced tomatoes or sliced/diced melons. You can always grab somebody to do this. A bowl of sweet cherries needs only to be washed, ditto for grapes. (Low on refrigerator space? Chill melons in a cooler with ice water a few hours ahead.)

Pickled beets and other pickled vegetables may be done now or even purchased.

Even if you premake salads within the last 2 or 3 days before guests arrive, you should be able to knock out quite a few in about a half day. Things like potato, pasta, rice or other grains, and beans. Fresh vegetables may be blanched and dressed with vinaigrette at the last minute.

And serve a really good bread, either homemade (freeze ahead) or from a bakery. It fills in and fills up.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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It's news to me that dog lovers and foodies are mutually exclusive. But regardless of that, put these dog-lovers to work washing lettuce and helping prep salad under your supervision. After all, you are providing comfy space for the dogs as well as their lovers.

You can certainly mix up ahead a large amount of simple vinaigrette that would work on a variety of lettuce or legume or veggie salads or even on potato salad. A little dijon covers a multitude of sins.

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How many people in your horde?  How many meals need salads? How many different salads do you need for each meal?

How far ahead depends upon how much you are willing to compromise flavor.  IMO, most foods begin to deteriorate after 2-3 days in the fridge.  Not all slaws are good keepers either, depends  upon the recipe.  I have a 7-Day-Slaw that is supposed to keep 3 weeks, and also a slaw for which you can make the dressing a week ahead, chop vegetables 3 or 4 days ahead and combine just before serving.  If you choose the "recipe" salads carefully, you can combine them with some convenience items and no-labor items.

Buy bagged and pre-washed salad greens and make homemade dressings a week in advance (or buy them if you must).  Crudites are available all cut up--serve with dip.

Rely on some last minute things, like sliced tomatoes or sliced/diced melons.  You can always grab somebody to do this.  A bowl of sweet cherries needs only to be washed, ditto for grapes.  (Low on refrigerator space?  Chill melons in a cooler with ice water a few hours ahead.) 

Pickled beets and other pickled vegetables may be done now or even purchased.

Even if you premake salads within the last 2 or 3 days before guests arrive, you should be able to knock out quite a few in about a half day.  Things like potato, pasta, rice or other grains, and beans.  Fresh vegetables may be blanched and dressed with vinaigrette at the last minute.

And serve a really good bread, either homemade (freeze ahead) or from a bakery.  It fills in and fills up.

Bless you for your wonderful reply. The horde is 16 people and what makes it hoard-like is also 15 dogs...6 of which are puppies!!! :wub: We haven't had puppies in years. That's a lot of folks, most of whom stay in our farm.

The really good news is that two people have announced are coming ahead of time to help. The Mother is a head nurse and a Girl Scout leader and can do anything and quickly and well and with one hand tied behind her back and loves to work. This changes everything.

I would love to have your 7-day slaw recipe. DH makes the slaw. Our meals are simple but we need a lot of salads. I make our dressings. And bread. Good bread. I am not a bread maker. We'll buy it. And rolls. Yes. Thanks so much. :smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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It's news to me that dog lovers and foodies are mutually exclusive. But regardless of that, put these dog-lovers to work washing lettuce and helping prep salad under your supervision. After all, you are providing comfy space for the dogs as well as their lovers.

You can certainly mix up ahead a large amount of simple vinaigrette that would work on a variety of lettuce or legume or veggie salads or even on potato salad. A little dijon covers a multitude of sins.

No, No. :biggrin: I never meant they were mutually exclusive. Just that these ones are not foodies. Good one about the dijon.

There will be some last minute stuff going on, but the supervision will have to be done by others, namely the head nurse/girl scout leader of an earlier message. The fact that she is coming ahead of time and is offering to take over means that things will be fine. Thanks for the reply. :smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I know it's not a salad, but, you could make baked beans in the oven overnight and just allow them to cool in the oven (if it's not being used) while covered and they'd be ready for lunch/dinner right around the time that they'd be cooled to room temp.

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Here is a bean salad recipe from my MIL. She always make its before xmas( like weeks before). It gets better the longer it sits.

NancyH made it with canned green beans for a Mensa event and everyone loved it.

Bean Salad:

1 can lima beans

1 can red kidney beans

1 can wax or butter beans

1 can cici beans or chick frey

1 can roman beans

1 stalk of celery cut fine( I use more)

1/2 cup onion cut in rings

1 green pepper sliced

Sauce

3 cups white sugar

2 1/4 cups white vinegar

3/4 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Boil sauce and cool 1/2 hour. Pour sauce over

bean mixture and let stand 24 hours

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Here is a bean salad recipe from my MIL.  She always make its before xmas( like weeks before).  It gets better the longer it sits. 

NancyH made it with canned green beans for a Mensa event and everyone loved it.

Bean Salad:

1 can lima beans

1 can red kidney beans

1 can wax or butter beans

1 can cici beans or chick frey

1 can roman beans

1 stalk of celery cut fine( I use more)

1/2 cup onion cut in rings

1 green pepper sliced

Sauce

3 cups white sugar

2 1/4 cups white vinegar

3/4 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Boil sauce and cool 1/2 hour. Pour sauce over

bean mixture and let stand 24 hours

WEEKS???? Omigawd I can hardly believe it. I'll make it today!!! Many thanks.

Edited by David Ross (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Here is the recipe you requested, Darienne. Good luck to you.

Seven Day Cabbage Slaw

2 1/2 lb head cabbage

1/2 C. diced onion

1/2 C. diced green pepper

1 small jar diced pimientos

1 C. sugar

1 t. salt

1/2 C. vegetable oil

1/2 C. vinegar

1 t. celery seed

1 t. dry mustard

At least one week before serving:

Shred cabbage and mix with onion, green pepper and pimientos.

Sprinkle sugar and salt over and squeeze well with your hands. Let stand at room temperature one hour. Drain well. Place in bowl.

Mix oil, vinegar, celery seed and dry mustard and mix in. cover and refrigerate for 7 days before serving. Keeps at least 3 weeks, according to person who gave me this recipe.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Here is the recipe you requested, Darienne.  Good luck to you.

Seven Day Cabbage Slaw

  Keeps at least 3 weeks, according to person who gave me this recipe.

Thanks to you, Ruth. I am feeling much more 'in control' about the whole affair with the bean and slaw recipes. :smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Any deli/gourmet take out shop I have ever worked in at least attempted to make enough of any sturdy salad to last for 3 sale days...that gave the customer a day or 2 to hold it at home. Also many things were mixed but not dressed until they were portioned into the display case.

I remember so many customers saying...oh we dont eat leftovers...What the hell did they think deli food was? You want everthing cooked A la minute, go to Burger King

tracey

Edited by rooftop1000 (log)

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This may not be appropriate for this particular crowd, but here's a great couscous salad - you can make it a few days ahead, storing the salad and dressing separately, then add dressing a few hours before serving. Also, add the peas with the dressing - if left overnight or longer, they lose color.

Another note: I always strain out the crushed garlic from the dressing before adding to the salad:

Curried Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries

http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefi...ecipe_id=226616

Edited by merstar (log)
There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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This  may not be appropriate for this particular crowd, but here's a great couscous salad - you can make it a few days ahead, storing the salad and dressing separately, then add dressing a few hours before serving. Also, add the peas with the dressing - if left overnight or longer, they lose color.

Another note: I always strain out the crushed garlic from the dressing before adding to the salad:

Curried Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries

http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefi...ecipe_id=226616

It certainly is appropriate with me and I shall make it at some point, if not for that weekend. Thank you.

You are probably correct about this crowd though. They are great folks but more of the cole slaw and potato salad bunch. Hamburgers and corn on the cob. Great stuff.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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This  may not be appropriate for this particular crowd, but here's a great couscous salad - you can make it a few days ahead, storing the salad and dressing separately, then add dressing a few hours before serving. Also, add the peas with the dressing - if left overnight or longer, they lose color.

Another note: I always strain out the crushed garlic from the dressing before adding to the salad:

Curried Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries

http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefi...ecipe_id=226616

It certainly is appropriate with me and I shall make it at some point, if not for that weekend. Thank you.

You're very welcome. :)

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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with the exception of tender herbs, most salads can be prepared ahead of time, without the dressings. Vegetables can be washed, blanched, cut, etc. a couple of days ahead, without a huge loss of quality. Make the dressing up, and keep them in the fridge. For complete ease of use, you could even package the dressings BESIDE the ingredients in the fridge :).

Something to keep in mind, when freezing the casseroles, is to allow extra time for heating, if the casserole is frozen. After all... if you put 15 lbs of frozen stuff into a 400 degree oven, the oven temp is going to drop.

You might think about where the dirty dishes will be collected...

Karen Dar Woon

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with the exception of tender herbs, most salads can be prepared ahead of time, without the dressings. Vegetables can be washed, blanched, cut, etc. a couple of days ahead, without a huge loss of quality. Make the dressing up, and keep them in the fridge. For complete ease of use, you could even package the dressings BESIDE the ingredients in the fridge :).

Something to keep in mind, when freezing the casseroles, is to allow extra time for heating, if the casserole is frozen. After all... if you put 15 lbs of frozen stuff into a 400 degree oven, the oven temp is going to drop.

You might think about where the dirty dishes will be collected...

Thanks, Karen.

As for the dirty dishes...they go into the garbage can. A terrible collection of stuff into the bin. I had to promise years ago that there would be paper dishes...some one is bringing a biodegradable type from Delaware. I drew the line at cutlery and mugs. Cannot abide drinks out of paper or foam. I won't be doing the work this year, so it is not my call.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I've always found that homemade potato salads tend to get better with time... but then again, I really like onion-y flavors in my potato salads!

Sounds like you've probably already got storage space for everything, but I do find that storing salads in ziplock bags helps save a lot of space in the fridge compared to putting everything in plastic containers or bowls and trying to fit them all in. Do be sure not to over-fill those bags, though, or you risk an explosion when moving them around... our family still talks about the Fruit Salad Blow-Out of Summer '07 :blink:

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To Randi and her M-i-L,

That bean salad, eaten only two hours after being made even, was the BEST bean salad I have ever eaten.

Now, I have to admit that I used only two instead of three cups of sugar in the dressing, but the result was incredible and we ended up eating a great whack of it for supper instead of just tasting it as was our first intention. Now it is time to add more beans, onions, dressing, et al.

Thank you, thank you. :wub::wub:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was standing in the kitchen just now, staring at a container of grape tomatoes purchased for a tabouli salad which never got made over the mad, mad weekend.

Suddenly out of the blue came the memory of a salad which I used to love and had forgotten all about: Chick pea and tomato salad. Now it's for supper tonight. It used to be a favorite for a group gathering.

Canned chickpeas, halved grape tomatoes, green onions, sliced black olives, with a lemon & olive oil dressing, lots of mint and parsley and then some chili powder liberally sprinkled over everything. Yum. :smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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