There is no doubt summer is right around the corner. In fact, a sure sign is when you are invited to your first summer picnic. Whether visiting with friends on a back patio, or heading over to the local park, picnics are a great way to get caught up with friends, have fun, and eat some great food!
Italian Potato Salad (serves 6)
An Italian potato salad is similar to a German potato salad in that, it does not use any mayonnaise. Instead, you use olive oil and white wine vinegar. Simply
take 5 potatoes, peel and chop them into bite size pieces. Boil them until they are tender but firm. This can take about 10-15 minutes depending on the type and size of the potato. Set them aside when done and run under cold water to help cool down. You can also place them in a bowl full of ice cubes. When cooled,
place the potatoes in a large bowl and add in 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1/3 cup of fresh chopped parsley, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup white wine vinegar. Add in some salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and you have yourself an amazing potato salad, that won't spoil in 20 minutes in the sun!
Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C. One large potato can provide 37% of your recommended daily value. It also provides other vitamins such as B6 and thiamin. Keep in mind however, that potatoes do contain a lot of carbohydrates and too many carbs can lead to weight gain.
Chickpea Salad (serves 8)
This recipe is also a winner. It takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and can be done all in one bowl. Pour 2 cans of drained and rinsed canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) into a large bowl. Add in 1 small red onion diced, 6 scallions chopped, 2 - 3 medium tomatoes diced (with any juice), a handful of black ripe olives chopped, 4 Tablespoons olive oil and 3 Tablespoons red or white wine vinegar. Mix well and you are ready to serve!
Chickpeas provide us with a great source of protein and fiber. They also include lots of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, E, and K. They are also a good source of magnesium and manganese. Magnesium is especially helpful for a woman as it helps relax muscles and can help relieve some of those ugly PMS
Have fun this summer by trying some new variations to your standard picnic buffet selections with these easy Italian recipes.
This article was contributed by SimpleItalianCooking.com, a website featuring Italian recipes and cookware such as pasta bowls. She enjoys sharing her experiences and cooking tips online and with family and friends.