THIS RECIPE from my aunt was an immediate hit. I had pork and beans and mayonnaise in the pantry and all the vegetables in my garden. It's wonderful for a picnic or barbecue because it travels well in a cooler and is so colorful.
-LaVerne Stetler, Escalon, California
"Whenever I get asked to potluck parties, this salad usually gets an invitation, too," chuckles Joy Polito Young of New Bern, North Carolina. "Since it takes a little time for the flavors to meld, I sometimes toss it together a day ahead, then add the fresh peppers just before serving."
This recipe is a favorite with my husband and five boys, all hearty eaters. It's filling, economical and, best of all, easy to prepare. I spend many afternoons driving our sons back and forth to their wrestling and band practices, piano lessons, Boy Scout meetings and church activities.
A fun combination of good-for-you ingredients makes up Zucchini Bean Salad from Carol Waugh of Bellingham, Washington. It's fresh-tasting and tangy, thanks to the light coating of vinaigrette. You can make this salad ahead and chill for a few hours before serving.
"A can of black-eyed peas is the main ingredient in this side dish that comes together fast," says Carol Forcum of Marion, Illinois. "It tastes and looks fresh, thanks to the peppers, onions, tomato and celery."
"My mom gave me the recipe for this salad, and my family really enjoys it," comments Sandra Lee Espig of Paso Robles, California. the make-ahead medley is easy to toss together and good at picnics and backyard barbecues.
Ann Mulford's recipe for Two-Bean Salad doesn't disappoint. The Lincolnville, Maine, reader says, “This mixed salad sure is a winner. I make it a day or so ahead of time and it marinates in the refrigerator. It's simple, just stir every 12 hours.” She adds, “And leftovers are great over rice or noodles.”
Using couscous instead of bulgur for tabbouleh really speeds up the process of making this colorful salad. Other quick-cooking grains such as barley or quinoa work well too. —Elodie Rosinovsky, Brighton, Massachusetts