Potluck help!


The Pink Orchid
Some of the best food I've ever had has been from friends and neighbors, you know those family recipes that just get made over and over again. I need to bring a salad to a potluck Monday and was hoping someone would be kind enough to share a good recipe!

Dana ♥

The Centenary Diamond
i'll be interested to hear what others say, but my favourite salad is baby spinach with poppyseed dressing. i'm boring
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A chick pea salad is great for potluck too. Most can be made the day before and are even better that way.

I don't have a passed down recipe or even a favorite. I've made a few different ones and loved them all!


The Pink Orchid
I was just assigned salad. LOL They didn't specify a type. So... I say any kind goes
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I personally love a pasta salad. Not a real recipe person for the most part I cook by taste. Usually I put black olives, green pepper, carrots, tomato, onions, capers(all finely diced except capers which can easily be omitted) in with the pasta and a big bottle of Italian dressing and some balsamic or white wine vinegar. ~Red
My go to salad is spinach leaves with dried cranberries, candied pecans, feta cheese and some kind of vinaigrette dressing. Usually balsamic, but I've done it with raspberry vinaigrette as well. It's delicious.
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I agree some of the best dishes I have ever had the pleasure of sampling have been at pot luck gatherings.

Some of my favorite salads to bring:

<span style="text-decoration: underline">Tortellini broccoli salad</span>
6-8 slices of thick cut bacon
16-20 ounces of fresh Cheese Tortellini(found in the fresh pasta section)
1/2 cup Mayo
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons of Red Wine vinegar or if you like low acidity Kuhne Salata vinegar
*German vinegar can be purchased at specialty stores or if Military like me the commissary
4 cups or 3-4 heads of fresh Broccoli
1 cup of white or red raisins or for a twist cranberry raisins
1 cup toasted sunflower seeds or slivered almonds
1 small to medium red onion about the size of a baseball
White pepper to taste
Wedge of Parmesan

Crisp bacon slices in fry pan on medium high heat. Remove and drain well. Reserve drippings for future dishes. Once cooled, crumble into 1/4 inch pieces. Set aside

Bring large pot of salty water to a boil. This is your opportunity to add flavor to your pasta with the salt, so make sure to add a 1/8 cup of salt. Boil Tortellini until al dente, or to the point it is tender with still good chew. Overdone pasta will be unpleasant to the palette. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cool water.

While pasta is boiling: mix mayo, sugar and vinegar for dressing. Chill covered in the refrigerator.

Slice red onion very finely. You need to split the onion in half. Slice across the layers making slices about 4-5mm thick. Rinse slices under cool water and drain on towel/paper towel.

Cut Broccoli florets into the smallest florets as possible. Small pieces with no woody stem are going to be easy for guests of all ages, with or without teeth, to enjoy this salad. Place in serving bowl. To this add your cooked Fresh Tortellini, crumbled Bacon, Seeds/slivered Almonds, Raisins, Red Onions. Toss very gently. Do not dig your mixing utensils into the Pasta. Reserve in covered serving bowl in the refrigerator.

1 hour before serving pour Dressing mix over salad and gently toss again; this is going to ensure the Broccoli, Pasta and Bacon do not break down from the vinegar. Every thing will remain crispy and al dente. Shave Parmesan with vegetable peeler; you are looking for 2-3 inch curled Parmesan. Add White Pepper and Salt to taste; this is a slightly sweet salad, the salt and pepper will help you adjust favors for balance. Once at the serving table add your curled Parmesan and serve. Serves approximately 10-12 people.

<span style="text-decoration: underline">Crab and Shrimp Pasta Salad</span>

3 cups of pasta. I prefer Campanelle or bellflower shaped pasta. If you cannot find Campanelle, make sure to use a pasta shape that will hold sauce like, Penne, Fusilli or Radiatori.
5 medium Eggs
2-3 Celery stalks finely diced
1/2 of a medium Sweet Onion
3-4 cloves of Roasted Garlic
1Green Bell pepper
1Orange Bell pepper
1Red Bell pepper
3/4 pound of Fresh peeled and deveined Shrimp
3/4 pound of Jumbo Lump Crab( imitation Crab meat can be used, but not preferred)
1 cup of Mayo
1/2 cup of Milk
1 teaspoon of dill, preferred fresh
1 teaspoon of mint, preferred fresh
Fresh Parsley
1 small Lemon
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of White Sugar
2 teaspoons of cocktail sauce
1/8 teaspoon of Franks Red Hot Sauce, not Tabasco as it is too vinegary. Add more if desired
2-4 teaspoons of Smoked Hungarian or Spanish Paprika

In a deep stock pot place Eggs, cover with cool water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat for 10-12 minutes. Immediately drain and pour ice cubes over Eggs. Add cold water over ice cubes until Eggs are covered. Gently move Eggs in ice water, making sure the water is extremely cold; add more ice cubes to drop temp if needed. This is called shocking. You want to shock the Eggs so the sulphur does not surround the cooked yolk with a green color. By shocking the Eggs at this step, your salad will not have an unpleasant smell. Drain once extremely cold. Peel under cold running water. Gently tap the Egg shell on the side of a bowl, all the way around the middle of the Egg. Then gently tap top and bottom. You should be noticing the air pocket inbetwwen the shell and egg with the tapping. Once you find that spot place egg under running cold water and gently peel. Reserve peeled Eggs on towel/paper towel.

Roast garlic in 350 degree oven. Cut head of Garlic top off exposing the cloves. Leave as much of the white case or the part that acts like sticky white paper. Place in tinfoil and pour Olive oil over. Seal tinfoil making a loose pouch. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes. Cool completely and peel apart. If you notice black chard areas cut them off, they are bitter to the taste. Section out 3-4 cloves for recipe. Reserve the remaining cloves for future dishes, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and in covered bowl placed in the refrigerator

In a large stock pot bring 8 of water cups and Salt to a boil. Again, you are flavoring pasta with the salt during the cooking process. Cook Pasta for 10-14 minutes or until al dente. Drain

Mince onion, dill, mint and Roasted Garlic. Garlic will more than likely mush but make sure to cut off any blackened spots from the roasting process.

Finely dice Celery Stalks. Cut lengthwise 6-8 long spears out of one stalk. Then run your knife thru making 1/8 of an inch dices.

Finely dice 1/4 of each Bell pepper. Cut desired section from each bell pepper, clean under cool water removing any seeds and pinching out the ribs or white ridges on the inside of the bell pepper. Dice to the same size as celery. You will find cutting on the inside, or the meat, of the Bell pepper with a sharp or ceramic knife, easier verses cutting on the skin side. Mix in with celery, onion, garlic dill and mint.

Whisk milk, sugar, hot sauce, salt, cocktail sauce and mayo together and add to your vegetable mix.

Cook Shrimp according to meat safety guidelines. Once cooked place in ice bath to shock and stop the cooking process. Peel off any shell and tail portion. Slice Shrimp, lengthwise, in half. This will expose the vein and you can remove it. Place on towel/paper towel.

If you cannot find jumbo lump crab, you can cook a whole crab removing unwanted portions and gently crumbling. Imitation crab can be substituted but often does not please the pallet.

In large mixing bowl gently combine Pasta, vegetable mayo mixture, Shrimp and Crab. Slice 3 Eggs thinly for garnish on top. Chop finely the remaining Eggs and combine gently with salad mixture. Place salad in decorative serving dish. Arrange sliced Eggs on top and sprinkle with Paprika. Seal container with plastic wrap and chill 4-8 hours before serving. Garnish with wedges of Lemon and fresh chopped Parsley on top. Serves 6-8.
I really love this salad. There is also recipe that has this carrot salad as an ingredient. Not particularly healthy though.
* korean carrot salad
* pickled fiddlehead fern, chopped (I can not find it in Ireland so I replace it with pickled green olives)
* 1 can of sweet corn
* 3-4 chicken breasts, sliced and 2 sliced onions fried together
* pomegranate seeds
* yellow raisins (soaked)
* grated cheese (semi-hard or hard types, I like tilsit cheese)
* croutons
* mayonnaise mixed with grated garlic
I am always on salad duty! My most popular is

Spinach or arugula
Dried cranberries
Thin sliced red onions
Chopped fresh pears
Cherry tomatoes
Spiced pecans (make in microwave using recipe on allrecipes.com)
Poppyseed or green goddess dressing...or homemade maple flavored dressing


The Pink Orchid
So, I went with a broccoli salad.

Broccoli, dried currants, nuts, light mayo/vinegar dressing.

It must be good as I've just discovered I need to make more. My kids got into it and ate a pretty good amount of it!