Every potlucker has a “secret weapon recipe.” That one dish they always bring that never fails to knock people’s socks off. One that becomes the most requested item for years to come. This one is mine.
This grain salad (shown here with lentils!) is one of those dishes that can be made a million different ways. Change up the grain, change up the herbs, add some veggies and you can make endless varieties of deliciousness. I’ve used israeli cous cous, quinoa and wheat berries instead of lentils. I’ve used parsley and mint instead of basil. I’ve added zucchini and summer squash, cucumbers and even tossed in some feta cheese. Change anything but the delicious mustard vinaigrette and cherry tomatoes and you’re good to go!
This is a perfect, easy dish to take to a potluck because more than likely, you’ll already have a few of the ingredients laying around. Assorted grains and red onions are things I keep stocked, and if I had a garden and not a tiny apartment, you’d better believe I’d have parsley and basil on hand. It’s also a great dish to contribute to a group meal because it’s probably not the first thing people might think to bring, so it’s unlikely you’ll have duplicates. The vinaigrette only seems to get better over time, too, so if it doesn’t get attacked at the potluck, more leftovers for you!
- 1 cup grains (lentils, israeli cous cous, quinoa, barley, wheat berries, etc.)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more for cooking and seasoning
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup multi-colored cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup basil, roughly chopped
- *I often add other veggies: grilled corn, diced zucchini or cucumber are all great additions.
- Cook grain accordingly. Place lentils in a bowl and chill until cooled.
- In another bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, vinegar, mustard and salt.
- Add lemon vinaigrette, onion, tomatoes and basil to grain.
- Season with oil, juice and salt, if desired.
Endorsed by many happy Bird is the Word clients, this one’s a winner! I hope you’ve enjoyed this little series on potluck dishes and the suggestions have made your summer BBQ’s as delicious as possible. Happy Potlucking!