It took me awhile to come up with a Memorial Day menu. Nowadays, my mind tends to wander off aimlessly more often than not, and I have found that sleep deprivation affects my creativity. With summer just around the corner however, and with the local stores brimming with new crop fresh produce, I had extra incentives to work on this menu, and as I developed it I felt inspired and energized. I also experienced a great satisfaction seeing my family enjoy these dishes, which I intend to make again this coming weekend.
I used plenty of olive oil to make the salads below, as well as salt and pepper for seasoning. I started off by making tzatziki, the traditional Greek sauce which we usually eat as a dip.
I had to apply a non-traditional twist though, out of necessity rather than anything else: I used sour cream instead of yogurt (I forgot to buy yogurt from the grocery store) since sour cream was the only alternative ingredient which was available to me late last night. I was a bit apprehensive about this culinary “move,” but my fears were unfounded: the sauce turned out light and refreshing thanks to the cucumber and the dill.
I also made a kumato and ciliegini salad with chopped fresh oregano (one of our favorite herbs ever). This is a salad which looks great on the plate and which you can make in a pinch. I found small kumato tomatoes on sale at my local store, but you can use cherry or grape tomatoes instead of kumato without a problem.
My next dish was a roasted red pepper, caper and garlic salad, a recipe I borrowed from a friend. It is one of our latest culinary discoveries, and we are in love with this dish! I am not a fan of garlic and I made this salad without garlic in the past, but it did not turn out as great as I thought it would. Garlic is simply indispensable here, and its addition to the delicious roasted pepper & caper mix elevates the flavors tremendously.
Last but not least, I made a potato and bacon salad to satisfy our carb cravings, to which I added plenty of chopped parsley for flavor and extra freshness. This salad can be rather rich due to the inclusion of the bacon, and we usually serve it with dill pickles on the side. In my opinion, this dish is best served warm.
No summer feast is complete without a burger, be it meaty or meatless. We do eat meat, so I intend to make beef burgers stuffed with sharp cheddar cheese. We will serve these burgers with lettuce, tomato, red onion, mozzarella and dill pickles on the side. Simple and yummy!
I have picked two desserts to make this Memorial Day, both light, fruity, and summery. The first dessert is a fruit salad with strawberries, banana, grapes, white peaches, plums and kiwi, with a dash of mango puree on top. Choose a very ripe mango and use a hand blender to make the puree in seconds.
My second dessert is a pudding-style dish featuring strawberries, whipping cream and confectioner’s sugar. Again, you can use a hand blender to make this dessert in seconds. Good thing I bought a blender recently to make the food for the baby 🙂
This is a menu which celebrates the impending arrival of the summer with all its abundance of fruits and veggies. It is also a menu which to me symbolizes energetic rebirth, a new beginning, and the enjoyment of simple pleasures. As I eat these dishes, I will think of those who died protecting the high principles of justice and freedom, and I will say a prayer for their souls.
Have a happy and peaceful Memorial Day weekend!
*Feel free to check out my 4th of July post from last year for more menu ideas for this weekend.