Marc Bernard, Big Bowl 2012sep01_9773-MThe Chicago Botanical Garden’s Garden Café shares some recipes just in time for summer picnics.

Dilled Potato Salad

1/2 cup mayonnaise

6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

3 green onions, minced

4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 medium zucchini (about 10 ounces), trimmed and sliced into very thin rounds

2 1/4 pounds small white potatoes, peeled and sliced into generous 1/4-inch thick rounds

5 peeled hard-boiled eggs, 4 sliced and 1 grated

1 cup thinly sliced celery


Combine mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons vinegar, green onions, 3 tablespoons dill and buttermilk in small bowl; whisk to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Combine remaining 4 tablespoons vinegar,1 tablespoon dill and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl; mix in zucchini. Let stand at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours at room temperature, tossing occasionally.

Drain thoroughly.

Steam potatoes until just tender, about 12 minutes. Cool to just warm, about 10 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Add sliced eggs, celery and zucchini.

Mix in dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with grated egg. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)

Serves 6.


Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad with Herb Dressing

1 1/2 pounds slender green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces

3/4 cup chopped seeded tomatoes

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 cup chopped fresh
Italian parsley

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl of ice water and cool. Drain well. Place in large bowl.

Mix next 5 ingredients in small bowl; stir into beans. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and cherry tomatoes.

Makes 8 servings.