This is the time of year that you want simple, fresh suppers that are leisurely served on the veranda or back deck.
Picture a pitcher of frosty strawberry lemonade, a vase filled with flowers plucked from your garden, and a basket of cornbread swimming in honey butter.
The scene is set!
…and so is the supper.
This one features corn on the cob.
First, I grill it and blend it with sweet baby tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions.Then it’s tossed with a lemon balsamic vinaigrette. Shaved Parmesan cheese tops off this simple summer salad.
The second dish begins with salmon (I had some leftover) that turns into delicious salmon cakes. Corn kernels in the cakes, cornbread crumbs both for binding and for dredging and corn-spike tartar sauce take these cakes way, way over the top!
This easy summer supper is so good that even if your veranda is invaded by mosquitos or the flowers in your garden have wilted, or you feel the need to spike your lemonade, summertime will shine through!
Grilled Corn Salad With Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
This simple salad comes together in minutes and is a perfect outdoor supper side dish.
6 fresh ears of corn
1 English cucumbers, cut into ½-inch chunks
1 bunch green onions, diced, about ½ cup
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch basil leaves, about 1 cup
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
Juice of 1 lemon, about ¼ cup
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved, about ½ cup
Serves: A crowd
Time: 20 minutes
Remove the husks from the corn and grill over medium heat, turning often, until the kernels are golden brown. Cool to room temperature. Cut the kernels from the cobs into a bowl. Add the cucumber, green onions, and cherry tomatoes.
Place the basil leaves into a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Add the mustard, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle some of the dressing over the corn salad. Toss to just coat the veggies. You want just a bit of dressing; you don’t want it to be soggy. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Salmon and Corn Cakes With Fresh Corn Tartar Sauce
Adding fresh corn to the cakes and dredging in fresh cornbread crumbs adds a true Southern twist to this everyday staple. And then….. we put corn in the sauce. Now that’s FUN!
For salmon cakes
2 cups cooked salmon, flaked
2 garlic scapes, chopped, about 2 tablespoons (you can substitute with 2 garlic cloves, minced)
¼ medium red onion, peeled and finely diced, about 2 tablespoons
½ yellow bell pepper, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
½ cup cooked corn kernels (you can use grilled corn)
2 cups fresh cornbread crumbs, divided
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
Olive oil for sautéing
For creamed corn tartar sauce:
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons, cooked corn kernels, chopped
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Yield: 18 bite size cakes and about 6 large cakes
Time: 45 minute cuisine
Place the salmon into a bowl. Add the garlic, 2 tablespoons diced red onion, yellow pepper, 2 tablespoons each of dill and parsley. Add the corn kernels and ½ cup of the cornbread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together ¼ cup mayonnaise, egg, and mustard. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl and toss everything together.
Place the remaining corn breadcrumbs into a shallow plate. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out balls of the salmon mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. For bite-size cakes, use a 1-inch scoop. For main course cakes, use a 3-inch scoop. Flatten the balls into patties. Dredge each on in the corn breadcrumbs and return to the baking sheet. Place the cakes into the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.
For the tartar sauce, stir together ½ cup mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, chopped corn kernels, 2 tablespoons red onion and 1 tablespoon dill. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a skillet. You want enough oil in the skillet to just coat the bottom of the pan. Remove the cakes from the freezer and carefully place into the hot oil. Cook until the bottom of the cake is golden brown. Use a spatula to turn the cakes and cook until golden on the other side. The amount of time will differ depending on the size of the cake. It will only be a few minutes for bite-size cakes and about 5 to 7 minutes total for larger cakes.
Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of the sauce. Garnish with fresh dill.
You can make these ahead and freeze them until you are ready. Bring them to room temperature before you cook them.
This recipe calls for leftover salmon. However, you can bake salmon in just a few minutes in the oven and then cool to room temperature. I sprinkle the salmon with lemon juice and olive oils and then coat in a rub of 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon each of chili powder, onion powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper and bake at 400°for 20 minutes for every 1-inch of thickness.
With so many large-scale activities canceled for the 4th of July holiday, small gatherings with appropriate social distancing are the sign of the times. This year, my family barbecue is trimmed down to immediate family with only a few (very close) family friends. I will miss the annual get-together of friends and neighbors. Mostly, I will miss seeing the kids that grow from children to tweens to teens to young adults each year. But, with my “glass is always half-full” vision, I appreciate the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones and less time preparing for a big bash. After all, those glow-in-the-dark bracelets will last ‘til next year!
We are who we are, and we Americans will celebrate! Trying to plan for my slimmed-down annual party, I started by putting my caterer’s hat on.
Back in the day, when my pals and I were planning a Memorable Occasion’s (the name of my old catering company) party we would lay out the menu and then come up with some clever way to serve it. We were always short of staff, so serve-yourself food was a great solution when feeding a crowd. This strategy works perfectly when you are planning an appropriate socially distanced backyard Fourth of July barbecue. Allowing your guests to choose their own items from individual containers is smarter in today’s climate.
Here are some pointers for a safe and social distancing get-together:
Fresh air is best for this year’s celebration. If it’s possible sit outside. Sit on your back porch, in your back yard, even in your driveway. If you are rained out, or don’t have enough space, open the windows to let the fresh air in.
It’s still okay to ask your guests to bring a dish. No one says you, the host, must do it all. But we’re going to ask either that the dish is brought in individual portions, or that you dish it up in the kitchen before serving. This is not the time for a buffet supper.
Serve right from the grill. For example, let guests bring their bun to you when grilling dogs and burgers! Condiment packs are key here for mustard and ketchup, but you can also be safe by providing several bowls of condiments and allowing each guest to use his or her own spoon for scooping diced onions and peppers.
As much as you can, serve everything individually. Use whatever you have around the house as containers. My plan this year is to serve scoops of potato salad in metal cups, shrimp on skewers, and stuffed mushrooms on porcelain tasting spoons. A homemade milkshake served in a mason jar, dripping with chocolate and nuts, or doused in sprinkles is the best of the best when you’re talking personal desserts. Get creative with what you have, but also take a look at all the clever paper goods that are available to hold sides and desserts.
Don’t forget to get the kids involved. Kids can pass around trays of individual appys and help prepare those decorative shakes. The more people involved, in the safest way… the better!
There are lots of ways to celebrate what is a most important American holiday, but there’s only one way to make it perfect. And that is by sharing it with your friends and family who you love and who love you back!
Happy Fourth, everyone. And here are a couple of my favorite recipes for you to try.
Spicy Potato Salad
Potato salad is a picnic and cold supper staple. When spiced up with a little hot sauce, it becomes a devilish addition to most everyday meals. Feel free to make this day a day in advance to allow the spicy flavors to marry with the potatoes.
5 pounds small red creamer potatoes, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 bunch (6 to 8) green onions, chopped (about ½ cup)
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
4 to 6 drops hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Servings: 6 – 8
Time: 30 minutes, plus chilling
Boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and place into a bowl.
Add the onions to the bowl. Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard paprika and hot sauce. Pour this mixture over the potatoes. Toss the potatoes with the dressing.
Season with salt and pepper and if you like with additional hot pepper sauce.
Chill the salad for 1 hour or overnight. Sprinkle the salad with fresh cilantro.
Beer Basted Baby Back Ribs with Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce
This is a foolproof way to prepare moist, tender, and never over-cooked ribs. By steaming the ribs in a slow oven, the meat cooks in advance of grilling; therefore, the time spent grilling is significantly reduced.
6 pounds baby back ribs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (12-ounce) can beer
1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup cider vinegar
½ cup dark molasses
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup Jack Daniels whiskey
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 or more drops hot pepper sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Servings: 4 – 6
Time: Several hours in the oven and about 20 minutes on the grill
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Season the ribs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place them onto a rack in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Pour the beer into the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Place the pan into the oven. Cook until the ribs are quite tender, but not falling off the bone, about 2 to 3 hours.
For the sauce, bring the tomatoes, vinegar, molasses, canola oil, whiskey, mustard, chili powder, cinnamon, and as much hot pepper sauce as you like, to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the ribs to an outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Cook, turning often until well browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Baste the ribs with sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Transfer the ribs to a board and slice into individual servings.
Invite guests to bring their plates to you and serve with a drizzle of extra sauce on the side.
There’s nothin’ that says “South In Your Mouth” like tomato pie and this one says it all! Also, learn how to make a melting, fragrant, nutty pesto that is delicious as a condiment on summer sweet corn, pasta, and atop your avocado toast! Click to skip to the recipe
In the age of “New Normal”, strolling the early Saturday morning Farmer’s Market takes on new character.
Gone is the plucking of a purplish tomato, brought to the nose for a quick sniff. The mask gets in the way!
The lines at the veggie stands are a little longer, now that we queue up six feet apart.
Displays of fresh baked goods are abandoned and replaced by take home bake-it-yourself wrapped containers.
It can all be a tad disheartening.
Except that if you spend a slower amount of time strolling, you may just see something you’ve missed during your past visits.
Sunshine Cove Farm is a small-scale farm with a big mission. They are working to build local resilience in the mountain community by finding ways to grow A LOT of nutritious food with a limited footprint.
They specialize in produce that packs BIG nutritional value into a little space. Their harvest includes microgreens, shoots, edible flowers, and specialty vegetables.
I was drawn to the stand because of their unique marketing. Gourmet packets held mixes with names like Pico de Gallo and Immunity Mix.
Well, I just couldn’t resist.
I bought a couple of packages and slipped them into my basket with my other goodies and headed home.
Since my Pico de Gallo Mix included cilantro, onion, and lime basil, I decided to incorporate these shoots and sprouts into my garlic scape pesto.
It was YUM!
Pesto is great on veggies or pasta, but I slathered some on a rack of lamb the other evening and it was beyond delish.
When company came a-calling for a little Sunday night potluck, I topped my utterly Southern Tomato Pie with some of the shoots and sprouts from the Market Mix and the edible flowers were the perfect garnish.
If you can’t make it to the market, you can order from Sunshine Cover Farms online. It’s worth the effort! (So, is the pie!!)
There’s nothin’ that says “South In Your Mouth” like tomato pie and this one says it all!
1 pre-baked pie shell (see note)
4 large tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces Mozzarella cheese, grated, about 1 cup
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated, about 1 cup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 to 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Assorted microgreens for garnish
6 to 8
Preheat the oven to 350°. Slice the tomatoes and place them into a colander. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and let them sit for 10 minutes.
Mix together the cheeses and mayonnaise in a bowl. Fold in the green onions. Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the bacon over the bottom of the pie crust. Layer the tomatoes on top of the bacon. Sprinkle the tomatoes with basil and green onions. Spoon the cheese topping over everything.
Bake the pie until the topping begins to turn golden and is melty and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and cool. Spread the microgreens over the top of the pie. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Get a head start on this delicious dish by using a refrigerated pie crust. To prebake the crust, preheat your oven to 400°.
Place the pie dough into a pie pan and crinkle the edges. Pierce the bottom of the dough with the tines of a fork. Lay a piece of parchment paper over the pie shell. Fill with pie weights or dried beans.
Bake until the edges begin to turn golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pie shell from the oven. Remove the parchment paper and the weights.
Bake until the bottom of the shell is just golden, about 5 to 8 minutes more. Remove the shell from the oven and reduce the heat to 350° to continue the recipe.
Garlic Scape Pesto
In the early summer market, you can find long, green, circles of thin stalks that are garlic scapes. These are the flower bud of garlic plants. They are cut off the plant so that the bulb grows fatter and fatter. These strands of garlicky goodness can be used in the same way as garlic cloves with no peeling of course! I use them to make pesto and then I spread that pesto on everything. Melting, fragrant, nutty pesto is delicious as a condiment on summer sweet corn, pasta, and atop your avocado toast!
Place the garlic scapes into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to finely chop.
Add the basil, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. Pulse to combine. Add the microgreens and pulse one more time. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil. The result will be a smooth paste. Stop the machine and season with salt and pepper. Pulse one more time.
Transfer to a mason jar with lie, or resealable container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week or store in ice cube trays in the freezer for up to 6 months.
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it (or most truthfully read it) a hundred times over the last few days: “I’ve run out of ideas of things to cook”! Yes, we’re in the seventh (or is it eighth) week of staying at home, and most of our cooking repertoires have gone south. I get it. How many ways can you make chicken?
Well, if you are like me, it also might be time for a little lightening up of the old menu. I’m not sure when I made the switch from eating nothing white (bread, potatoes, rice) to how many ways can I make grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch? When did those Thanksgiving side dishes make it to my dinner table every night? Have I really come up with a dozen different varieties of breakfast sandwiches? Since when did 4 o’clock become wine and cheese time?
In order to scale (not that one – I have avoided that measurement) back, I’ve played around with a couple of yummy, but less heavy meals to make. I think you might enjoy a couple of these:
Mama’s Chef Salad. This is a perfect way to use up all the veggies and meats you have in the fridge.
Fill a HUGE salad bowl with lettuces, sliced carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. Top these with ham and turkey, any cheese you like, and even a hard boiled egg or two. Now, here’s the great part…
Stick that bowl in your fridge and tomorrow, when you reach for the sandwich bread, luncheon meat and chips, reach instead for a BIG BOWL of salad.
You can use any dressing. Mine is a simple combo of 1 small shallot (about 2 tablespoons), 1 teaspoon of Dijon-style mustard, the juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons), ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar, any chopped fresh herb you have and ½ cup olive oil. Whisk together the first five ingredients and then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Store the dressing in an airtight container, and it’s ready to pour on your salad when you’re ready to eat!
Eggplant Rollatini. You’ll love learning to roll this way during the quarantine!
Heat your oven to 375°. Cut the stem from the top of an eggplant. Cut ¼-inch slices from the top to the bottom (long slices not circles). Drizzle some olive oil into a sheet pan.
Lay the eggplant slices into the pan, and turn to coat the with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Bake the eggplant until the slices are pliable, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool to room temperature. Sauté some spinach leaves with chopped onion in a skillet until the spinach wilts down. For one eggplant you need about 4 to 5 handfuls of spinach, which is about half of a large bag. When the spinach has wilted, place it in a colander to drain the excess liquid.
Place an 8-ounce container of ricotta cheese in a bowl. Transfer the spinach mixture to a chopping board and use a knife to chop, chop, chop. Transfer the chopped spinach to the bowl. Add about ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Use a spoon to mix the filling together.
Place a ladle full or two of marinara sauce (the jar kind will do just fine) in the bottom of a baking dish. Slather the filling onto the eggplant slices and then roll them up! Place the rolled eggplant into the dish. Cover the rollatini with more marinara sauce and more cheese. Bake at 375° until the cheese melts, and the rollatini are warmed through, about 20 minutes.
Artichokes in a White Wine Sauce. Email me if you need more instructions on this one. It can get a little thorny!
Trim 2 whole artichokes by cutting off the top third, peeling the stem and snipping the thorny part from the leaves.
Place the artichokes into a pan with water and bring to a boil. You needn’t cover the chokes with water, just about halfway up will do fine. Add 1 lemon, sliced in half. Cover the pan with a lid and boil the artichokes for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid and make sure you still have plenty of boiling water in the pan. Continue cooking until a fork is easily inserted into the bottom of the artichoke, about 20 minutes more depending on the size of your artichoke.
Remove the artichokes from the water and cool slightly. Cut each one in half from top to stem. Remove the thorny choke from the center of the artichoke. Cut the halves in half again.
Place 4 tablespoons butter into a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 shallot, finely diced. When the butter is melted pour in ½ cup white wine. When the wine reduces by half, pour in ½ cup chicken stock.
Add in the juice of 1 lemon and season with salt and pepper. Place the artichokes in the pan and bathe them in the sauce.
As spring slowly begins to surround our stay-at home lives, we find ourselves searching for something different to do. A little change of pace. A supper to look forward to.
I have a plan based on my new favorite corner pub, the end of my driveway! Driveway drinks is my new normal during cocktail hour… but that’s another (socially distancing story).
For now, I’m thinking about setting up the ultimate picnic, and have the perfect recipes in mind.
What makes this supper special is that you can prepare it in advance (like even the day before). It tastes better served at room temperature than it does right out of the fridge. And, you can leisurely enjoy the meal. There’s no rush. If you are a grazer like me, eating this supper will take up some valuable time during these very long days.
For my supper, I’ll include three dishes
The first is a caprese salad. This dish is simply arranged by layering slices of tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil. Drizzle the dish with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. But, here’s the secret. Make this salad several hours before serving and DO NOT REFRIGERATE it. The salt and olive oil will bring out the flavor of the tomatoes.
The second dish is a riff on Niçoise salad, but in place of tuna, I substitute salmon that has been simply roasted with a rub of brown sugar, chili powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I include olives, hard boiled eggs, simply sautéed green beans, roasted baby potatoes and a white balsamic vinaigrette.
The third dish is one of my very favorites! Based on the Italian dish, Vitello Tonnato, cold poached veal with a tuna and caper sauce, I substitute chicken for the veal. The chicken is poached in wine and broth.
The liquid is flavored with onion, lemon and celery, but you can add whatever you like. Parsley, fennel and radishes are excellent additions. The trick is that the chicken is moist and retains that moisture by covering it with the very flavorful sauce. Again, although you refrigerate the dish to marry the flavors, the chicken is best eaten at room temperature.
So, set up your picnic table, lay out your platters, pour a glass of something FUN and leisurely enjoy the first picnic supper of the season.
Let’s look forward to many more to come….. together!
In a Rich Tuna Sauce
serves 6 to 8
2 large (or 4 medium) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth
1 small white onion, peeled and cut into quarters
1 small lemon, sliced
2 to 3 stalks celery
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
For tuna sauce:
1 (7-ounce) can tuna packed in oil
4 to 5 anchovies
2 tablespoons capers, drained
Zest of 1 lemon, about 1 tablespoon
Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup mayonnaise
Place the chicken breasts into a pot. Pour in the wine and chicken broth. Add the onion, sliced lemon and celery. Add the salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a simmer (some steady bubbles but not a mad bubbling volcano). Cook the chicken in the poaching liquid until it is just cooked through, about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breast. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. About 165° is perfect. Remove the pot from the heat and keep the chicken in the poaching liquid,
Place the tuna, anchovies, capers, lemon zest and lemon juice into the bowl of a processor. Pulse to combine. Transfer the tuna mixture to a bowl. Fold in the mayonnaise. Remove one breast from the poaching liquid and place onto your cutting board. Cut the breast (across the grain) into ½-inch medallions. Fan these out onto your serving platter. Continue with the remaining chicken. Smooth the tuna sauce over the chicken. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour (or up to several hours) so that the sauce seeps into the chicken.
To serve, remove the platter from the fridge and bring to room temperature. Garnish with slices of lemon, capers and fresh parsley.
It’s that time…. Father’s Day! To all you Dads out there, enjoy your day. To all you moms and kids old enough to know your way around a kitchen, here’s a fresh farmer’s market salad, WITH an amazing easy to put together dressing. Trust me, it’ll be the only side dish you need to go with perfectly grilled steak, pork or chicken. I’ve included a few extra photos in the cooking instructions to show you what a scrumptious possibility this salad actually is – but before I get to it…
DADS, here’s a foolproof way to create a flavorful grilled dish.
It’s a simple technique of using a board sauce! On your cutting board, chop several cloves of garlic and use the flat side of the knife to smush (a grown up cooking term) the pieces into the board. Choose your favorite herbs like thyme and rosemary, and finely chop these on your board. Drizzle the herbs and garlic with olive oil and dot the board with pieces of butter. Sprinkle kosher salt and coarse black pepper over everything. Now, your board is ready.
Remove your cooked steak (or pork or chicken) from the grill and place it onto your board. Use tongs to flip the steak several times, coating both sides with melty, buttery, garlicky goodness. Cover the steak with aluminum foil, and let it rest in the “sauce” for several minutes. The steak will absorb the flavors of the board sauce, as well as all its juicy goodness. After 4 to 5 minutes, remove the foil and cut the steak into slices right on the board.
You can serve the steak with your favorite side dish, but for all of you Moms out there, here’s an adaptable farmer’s market salad. It’s the perfect way to utilize all the fresh ingredients you’ve piled into your basket at the market. This recipe (like most) is only an inspiration and a guideline. Use whatever veggies you have on hand, and flavor them with your favorite herbs and spices. It’s all good!
1 red bell pepper, seeded and deveined, cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and deveined, cut into strips
2 beets, roasted, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 bunch radishes, tops trimmed and cut into rounds
½ cup white balsamic vinegar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus a smidge
1 lemon, cut in half
1 bunch haricot vert
1 pint baby tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh chives
I head red leaf lettuce, torn into large pieces
Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the baby potatoes onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with some of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until the potatoes are golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Drizzle the warm potatoes with pesto and toss to coat. Cool to room temperature.
Cut the top ⅓ from the garlic bulbs. Drizzle with some of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with oregano and drizzle with a bit more olive oil. Place the bulbs onto a piece of aluminum foil. Wrap the foil around the garlic leaving an opening at the top of the pouch. Bake until the garlic is soft, and the cloves begin to crawl out of their skins, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Place the carrots, onions and peppers onto a baking dish. Drizzle with some of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until the veggies are just crisp tender and beginning to soften, about 5 to 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Whisk ½ cup vinegar and 1 tablespoon sugar in a large bowl. Place the beets and radishes into the bowl and toss to coat. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the veggies from any excess liquid.
Bring a pot of water to boil over medium high heat. Squeeze the lemon and place into the pot. Add the haricot vert and blanch until just crisp tender and dark green, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the beans to a bowl with ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove the green beans from the ice water bath and transfer to a dish lined with paper towels.
Place the tomatoes into a bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar. Season with salt, pepper and a bit of granulated sugar. Toss.
Place the buttermilk and sour cream into the bowl of a food processor or into a blender. Squeeze the garlic cloves into the cream. Add in the chives and season with salt and pepper. Puree the dressing.
Line a large platter with lettuce leaves. Lay the veggies onto the lettuce in bunches. Serve the dressing on the side. You can arrange the salad several hours in advance. Cover with plastic wrap. Bring the salad to room temperature before serving.