Side Dishes To Bring Along To Your Next Potluck

Sep 1, 2017
Originally published on September 1, 2017 4:39 pm
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Another holiday approaches with another opportunity for a cookout and another conundrum if you're tired of making the same old side dish.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

We can help. We actually already did. Earlier this summer, we asked a few chefs for ideas.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Charred cauliflower.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Also chard - but not the black kind, the green leafy kind - Swiss chard baklava.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Glazed donut and sweet potato bread pudding.

SHAPIRO: Well, today we have some more suggestions for you.

TODD RICHARDS: My name is Todd Richards, chef and owner of Richards' Southern Fried in the great city of Atlanta, Ga. My bring-along to a summer extravaganza of delicious food is collard greens and ham hocks.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RICHARDS: This is really just collard greens, ham hock, onions, bourbon, water, cider vinegar and spices. But when that pot finish simmering and all those flavors combine, it really just takes you to a place of home. You go outside, have friends, family, and you feel like home.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RICHARDS: Naturally, when you serve collard greens, you have to have cornbread with it. And you can have cornbread, like this recipe - a simple variety. Or you can add things like jalapenos or corn to it as well. It's really a rich cornbread with butter and buttermilk that gives creaminess that balances out the entire meal.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RICHARDS: One of the great elements of this dish is the pot liquor that's left in the bottom of the bowl. It's the essence of the bourbon, the cider vinegar, the salt, the bits of ham and the greens. All that just gets absorbed in this elixir that's leftover. So I add just a little bit of water and maybe in my case even some more bourbon. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, and it just becomes a magical drink that you can have with cornbread. Or like me, I just add a little more vinegar to it and just consume like it was tea. And that's what pot liquor is.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MCEVERS: So there you go.

SHAPIRO: We wanted to hear some of your ideas for summer bring-along dishes, and we got lots of potato salad.

MCEVERS: Everybody loves potato salad.

SHAPIRO: Also lots of pasta salad.

MCEVERS: So much pasta salad love.

SHAPIRO: And then there was wheat salad.

ABBY BUCHMILLER: If you've ever had cookie salad before, it's very similar to that.

SHAPIRO: No, I've never had cookie salad before.

MCEVERS: But maybe it's the best kind of salad.

BUCHMILLER: It's just a sweet dish. Who doesn't like cream cheese and pudding and Cool Whip?

SHAPIRO: That's Abby Buchmiller of Bodin, N.D. - true believer in the wheat salad recipe.

MCEVERS: And the fact that she and her husband are wheat farmers might have something to do with that.

SHAPIRO: We asked her to tell us more.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN JORGENSON'S "YOU'RE NOBODY'S SWEETHEART NOW")

BUCHMILLER: Yeah. My mom has made this wheat salad for a number of years. Everybody, you know, loved it. It was always a favorite of mine when I was growing up.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN JORGENSON'S "YOU'RE NOBODY'S SWEETHEART NOW")

BUCHMILLER: The texture is what sticks with people the most. The texture of the wheat berries - tapioca is probably what it's most similar to - just chewy, a little bit crunchy. They kind of burst in your mouth when you bite into them.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN JORGENSON'S "YOU'RE NOBODY'S SWEETHEART NOW")

BUCHMILLER: Wheat salad is just such an easy dish to make - one cup of wheat berries, one 8-ounce container of cream cheese, one container of Cool Whip, one box of vanilla instant pudding mix and one can of crushed pineapple.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN JORGENSON'S "YOU'RE NOBODY'S SWEETHEART NOW")

BUCHMILLER: This dish can be definitely eaten year round - any kind of family get-together, Christmas or Thanksgiving. It's just such a big hit.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN JORGENSON'S "YOU'RE NOBODY'S SWEETHEART NOW")

MCEVERS: So if you are curious...

SHAPIRO: You can find Abby Buchmiller's recipe for wheat salad at npr.org along with recipes for other cookout bring-along dishes.

MCEVERS: We call them dishes to pass in the Midwest.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN JORGENSON'S "YOU'RE NOBODY'S SWEETHEART NOW") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.