It’s officially almost time for the best part of the year (aka Summer!!). Memorial Day weekend not only gives us a chance to step back and remember our fallen heroes, it also marks the beginning of summer for many of us. The pool’s finally open, barbecues are blazing, and you get to spend time in great company with great food. Today I’ve got a few suggestions for not only delicious, but easy and festive side dishes for your annual backyard barbecue!
Red, White, and Blue Berry Salad
This one is actually adapted from a salad Logan makes for us all the time at school (shoutout to teamwork and good food!). This one is SO simple and doesn’t involve cooking at all, so it’s also perfect for any little hands in the kitchen that insist on helping! With just five ingredients, you can throw this together in under ten minutes.
You will need:
- 11 oz package of baby spinach
- 6 oz fresh blueberries
- 1/2 lb fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- dressing of choice, to taste
Begin by washing all of your produce, hulling the strawberries, and cutting them into thin slices. In a large bowl (preferably one you will be displaying/serving from), fill the bottom with your baby spinach, and then add the blueberries, sliced strawberries, walnuts, and feta cheese on top, and toss lightly.
The great thing about this salad is all of the topping measurements can be altered to taste (or appearance) based on your preference. This is just a guide – it will be delicious no matter what! This salad is great with a poppyseed dressing, or a berry vinaigrette as a lighter option! There are also many versions of this salad online if you want more reviews or pictures – here’s one that I like that uses pecans instead of walnuts and has a recipe for a curry dressing too! And of course, you can always add some shredded chicken or other protein if you want to make it a little heartier!
Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Glaze
Another super simple side that will stay on theme is this red white and blue fruit salad – watermelon and blueberries bring the red and blue, and you get an interesting twist with white from your choice of jicama or dragonfruit. These can be intimidating – jicama kind of resembles a potato, and dragonfruit has an unexpected contrast between the bright, bold pink skin and the pure white inside, speckled with black seeds – but I promise they are both delicious (especially with that honey lime dressing) and a great conversation starter!
Quite simply, you will need:
- 1 watermelon, cubed
- 6-8 oz blueberries, washed
- 1 dragonfruit OR 1 jicama, cubed slightly smaller than the watermelon
- 2 limes
- 1/4 cup honey
In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, blueberries, and dragonfruit or jicama. In a smaller bowl, zest and juice the two limes, and combine with the honey. Drizzle this on top of the fruit, and toss to coat. That’s it!
Mini Fruit Tarts
I love the idea of mini desserts at parties because they’re so much easier than trying to cut cake for dozens of people or having to serve pie all night instead of hanging out with your friends. This one is a direct adaptation from this recipe on Kid and Kin Blog – link here. Below is the shot from Pinterest – aka, what we’re hoping it will look like when you’re done! Of course, you could follow this recipe as written for these ADORABLE little flower tarts that just scream “summer”, or, you could make a few alterations if you’re set on keeping with the patriotic theme!
To make them a little more ‘Merica:
First, instead of a flower cookie cutter, you could always opt for a star shape – just make sure you keep an eye on the oven and adjust the cooking time a little so the tips of the starts don’t burn!
Second, switch the lemon creme out for strawberry and blueberry glaze/pie filling, making some of each so that when you display them you have all the colors of the flag (and more options for your guests).
Finally, sprinkle the powdered sugar across the whole tart, not just the pie crust edges, and there you have it! I haven’t actually gotten around to making these yet (hopefully I can find the time this weekend) so I don’t have any pictures for you guys, but if you end up making these, please send me your pictures(!!) and I’ll add one here when I try it myself.
Okay y’all, that’s all I’ve got today! If you try any of these, or have any dishes you love on these holidays, comment below and let us know how it goes/what they are!
Love & hugs,