Valerie Bertinelli's 10 Best Summery Side Dishes
Valerie Bertinelli, actress and host of Valerie’s Home Cooking, is a pro entertainer who loves to cook contemporary versions of classic recipes for family and friends. At her home in California, she’s able to grill outside nearly year-round, which has allowed her to perfect a lineup of fresh and seasonal sides, including the top picks below, to star at any alfresco meal.
Orzo Salad with Grape Tomatoes and Radishes (pictured above)
Valerie keeps her take on herbed pasta salad light and fresh by skipping a heavy mayo-based dressing and opting for a mustard-lemon dressing.
Valerie quick pickles a red onion with just vinegar, sugar and salt to give this vinaigrette-dressed salad a tangy bite.
The trick to a successful panzanella is starting with dry, crusty bread cubes; they can soak up the flavors of the salad vinaigrette, tomatoes and onions without losing all of their texture.
A quick turn on the grill is all it takes to give sweet seasonal corn a subtle smoky flavor. Pair those tender kernels with hearty black beans, fresh bell peppers and a spicy jalapeno in this big-batch salad.
Peppery arugula and crisp fennel star in Valerie’s 20-minute salad, which is dotted with creamy goat cheese and crunchy pine nuts for welcome texture.
Forget long-term fermentation: Valerie’s super-simple pickles are ready in less than a day.
For a layer of salty goodness, add crispy crumbles of baked pancetta to Valerie’s fuss-free salad, featuring juicy tomatoes and a cucumber.
The creaminess of the yogurt and mayo balances the bold flavor of jalapeno and smoky chipotle in the dressing for Valerie’s slaw. To save time in the kitchen, she starts with store-bought coleslaw mix, which means this dish is ready to eat in only 15 minutes.
Transform your everyday green salad by grilling romaine hearts for a standout smoky flavor. Valerie pairs the lettuce with a rich balsamic vinaigrette and creamy Gorgonzola for a satisfying salad.
Follow Valerie’s lead and use a mandoline to slice the cucumbers thinly. She dresses them with soy sauce and sesame oil for a savory bite.