Mayo-Free Side Salads — Weekend Cookout
This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s spread will be rounded out with sun-safe side dishes free of mayonnaise.
When temperatures spike and it becomes hot and humid outside, you may be tempted to turn your alfresco soiree into an indoor, air-conditioned bash for fear of unknowingly eating heat-spoiled dishes. But while you should always be sure to keep all food — whether it's served outdoors or not — at appropriate warm and cold temperatures, you can decrease your risk of foodborne illness at outdoor cookouts by cutting one key ingredient from your side dish spread: mayonnaise. Mayo is made largely of egg yolks, and as they tend to spoil quickly, they're especially prone to bacterial growth if left in the heat for hours at a time. Instead of trying to time your salad servings or shuttling the dishes between inside and outside, make mayonnaise-free recipes. Thanks to citrus-based dressings and simple vinaigrettes, these made-over sides are every bit as flavorful and satisfying as their creamy counterparts.
Ready to eat in just 30 quick minutes, Food Network Magazine's Roasted-Pepper Pasta Salad (pictured above) is a go-to potluck dish or simple side with which to entertain. This easy dish boasts crunchy almonds, sweet sauteed bell peppers and bite-size mozzarella balls mixed with short pasta and a lemon-olive oil topping. Finish the salad with a sprinkle of fragrant basil to add freshness and a burst of color.
While most potato salads are traditionally tossed in a mayonnaise-based mixture, Rachael's Grilled Potato Salad, however, boasts the flavor of a red wine vinaigrette instead. She coats Yukon golds in rosemary and seasoning, then grills them and serves them with arugula. "When you grill potatoes they will be slightly drier than when you use other methods of cooking," Rachael says. "By adding the potatoes to the dressing while they are hot, they really will soak in the dressing."
Looking for a vegetable-based side dish? Try Food Network Magazine's Grilled Summer Squash (pictured right). Here, sliced onion and squash are grilled, then tossed with lemon juice and olive oil, plus a duo of herbs and ricotta salata cheese, for a fuss-free 15-minute side.
Side Dish: Roasted-Pepper Pasta Salad (pictured top)