Cool Off With Summer Salads

Outdoor dishes that hold up in the heat.

My parents’ wedding anniversary was July Fourth, and our celebration always included patriotic themes. Oftentimes, we visited the beach to mark the day with an extended cookout, which was capped off with a patriotic dessert and local fireworks display. Since the cooks of the house were relieved of duty for the main course (grilled hot dogs), they concentrated on a variety of salads and side dishes. These salads are perfect for outdoor dining because they can hold up to summer heat. The potato-and-green-bean salad is a cold variation of a common side dish, and the Asian slaw takes advantage of the strong aroma and flavor of toasted sesame oil.

Potato and Green-bean Salad

3 pounds of waxy potatoes (red or Yukon Gold)
1 pound of green beans
1 small red onion, sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
 

Trim the green beans, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cook them for four minutes in boiling saltwater, then place in an ice-water bath to stop cooking and retain bright-green color. Drain and place aside. Wash the potatoes, and cook for 10-12 minutes in boiling saltwater. Allow to cool slightly. Remove the skins, if you prefer, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Mix the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add the potatoes, and stir well. Let them marinate for one hour or overnight. Just before serving, mix in the green beans and parsley. Makes eight servings.
 

Asian Slaw

1 large head of napa or savoy cabbage
1 red pepper
1 cup bean sprouts
1 jalapeño pepper (optional)
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup flavored rice-wine vinegar
1/2 cup peanut oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
 

Cut off the end of the cabbage, and trim off the outer leaves. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut across to create thin strips. Remove the seeds from the pepper(s), and use a knife or mandolin to cut into very thin strips. Add the peppers and bean sprouts to the cabbage. Make the dressing with vinegar, oils and soy sauce. Toss to coat, and top with toasted nuts prior to serving.

Hot Reads

Review: One Thirty One East

Review: One Thirty One East

Located in the southwest suburban community of Carnegie, One Thirty One East embodies the area’s renaissance.
Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

The charismatic Maggie Meskey had tended bar for years before landing her gig at downtown bourbon haven Butcher and the Rye.
12 Hot New Restaurants

12 Hot New Restaurants

A diverse crop of eateries caught our attention this year, so we’re highlighting some of our favorites.
Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

PittGirl doesn't know why we say "warsh" — but she has figured out why we 'Burghers hit the brakes at the sight of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.

The 412

Gear Up for Month of Mud's Final Bike Race of 2014

Gear Up for Month of Mud's Final Bike Race of 2014

The homegrown race series wraps up on Sunday at Ohiopyle State Park.
Local Developer Creates Pittsburghese Plugin for Google Chrome

Local Developer Creates Pittsburghese Plugin for Google Chrome

Have a little fun as you search the Web.
Pittsburgher Ali Spagnola Releases an App Version of Her 'Power Hour' Album

Pittsburgher Ali Spagnola Releases an App Version of Her 'Power Hour' Album

The creator of the app — which takes any playlist on your smartphone or tablet and plays it in one-minute pieces — reminds users to please drink responsibly.
NPR Blog Team Tries, Critiques Primanti Bros. Sandwich

NPR Blog Team Tries, Critiques Primanti Bros. Sandwich

The group behind the station's Sandwich Monday blog series orders the iconic sandwich and writes a review.

Hot Reads

Review: One Thirty One East

Review: One Thirty One East

Located in the southwest suburban community of Carnegie, One Thirty One East embodies the area’s renaissance.
Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

The charismatic Maggie Meskey had tended bar for years before landing her gig at downtown bourbon haven Butcher and the Rye.
Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

PittGirl doesn't know why we say "warsh" — but she has figured out why we 'Burghers hit the brakes at the sight of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.
12 Hot New Restaurants

12 Hot New Restaurants

A diverse crop of eateries caught our attention this year, so we’re highlighting some of our favorites.
13 Bartenders You Should Know

13 Bartenders You Should Know

Get acquainted with this group of charming bar professionals working in various establishments around the city.
40 Under 40: 2014

40 Under 40: 2014

In their own ways, the 40 men and women we introduce here show us daily how we can ensure that Pittsburgh is deserving of its Most Livable City title.