The following post is sponsored by Blue Diamond. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
Summers are meant for entertaining, and today I have partnered up with Blue Diamond to share some of my favorite side dishes to whip up at home or even bring with me to a small get together.
From pastas and salads to decorated and dressed vegetables, if anyone were to ask me to bring a pot luck dish to a social event, it will most likely be one off of this list.
When hosting our own summer parties, we like to feature a variety of sides for all sorts of palates. I enjoy cooler dishes like salads, but wanted to throw in a few savory hot sides for the fancier affairs.
Scott and I made the two detailed recipes you see below last week and ended up having both veggie dishes for dinner. The addition of almonds packed some staying power and I fully plan on recreating them again!
Summer Sides for Entertaining (with Blue Diamond)
This salad is somewhat of a remake of one I tried a few years ago from The Fresh Market back when we lived in Florida. A couple of the ingredients are my own additions and the combination of cranberries and feta is the best!
I put this vegetable pasta salad together as a pot luck dish and lived off of the leftovers for days. It’s one of my favorite HWG recipes to date!
• Roasted Asparagus & Tomatoes with Almonds
This is a recipe remake coming straight from the Blue Diamond website.
(I added a few additional ingredients to make it my own.)
1 medium tomato or 3/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
3/4 pound asparagus
1 Tbsp. lite mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. vinaigrette
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. sliced Blue Diamond Rosemary & Black Pepper almonds
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. If using a medium tomato, seed it and cut it into cubes.
3. Trim asparagus and slice into 1/2-inch pieces.
4. Combine tomato and asparagus in medium-sized baking dish.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinaigrette, lemon juice, brown sugar, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
6. Toss this dressing with the asparagus and tomato. Sprinkle Parmesan and almonds on top, and roast 25 to 30 minutes, until asparagus is tender-crisp.
This one is a throwback all the way from 2012. Scott gave me the idea to add mint and honey to my fruit salad and my family still raves about the time I brought it to Easter Dinner. Such an oldie but goodie!
Speaking of Easter, this is the salad I threw together and brought to a friend’s house this past year. I love the addition of fruit on my salads, but wasn’t fully sure about the blue cheese. In the end everything turned out to be a winning combo!
• Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon and Toasted Almonds
This is a recipe remake coming straight from Martha Stewart Living.
1/2 cup Blue Diamond Whole Natural almonds, (2.5 ounces)
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lb. fresh sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1. Toast almonds. (See my tutorial for tips!)
2. Chop almonds. (I went straight to chopping them finely, but Martha suggests a fancier approach.)
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add peas, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir until all ingredients are well combined and heated through, about 2 minutes.
4. Sprinkle with almonds, and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl.
I featured this recipe earlier this week and cannot stop thinking about it. The idea of it came from a sample while grocery shopping at Kroger, and I think I did a pretty great job replicating it. Instead of using a vinaigrette type of dressing, I stuck to fresh citrus and oils. This dish will definitely be a staple from here on out!
Another oldie but goodie using mint is this quinoa salad I created two years ago. I wanted to add some substance with the chick peas and used dried blueberries as a unique addition. This side would also taste great using dried cranberries.
Question of the Day
What is one of your favorite sides to prepare for entertaining?
Feel free to share and link up below!