Spring Entertaining Is a Snap With These Easy-to-Make Appetizers, Salads & Side Dishes

March 18, 2015 Soups, Salads, Salsas

As the weather gets warmer, we turn away from heavy dishes and look for lighter fare. Spring celebrations present an ideal opportunity to freshen up your favorite recipes or even try something new and surprising.

Everyone always talks about the entrée, but a great appetizer, salad or side can also steal the show. Combine fresh produce from your local farmers market or grocer with canned beans for a seasonally-inspired dish that's perfect for your next dinner party.

A great appetizer, salad or side can steal the show.

Versatile Appetizers With bright colors and bold, sweet flavors, citrus adds zing to spring. Lime is ideal for incorporating into spring recipes, such as this veggie-filled black bean dish. It takes only a few minutes to prepare, and you can serve it a number of ways: as a dip, as a filling for lettuce wraps or on its own as a salad.

Refreshing Salads For warm-weather salads, focus on finding fresh, crispy ingredients and an oil-based (versus cream-based) dressing. This three-bean salad mixes beans, fruits, veggies and a light vinaigrette with refreshing, delicious results.

Simple Sides For simpler side dishes, take advantage of spring's lighter seasonings, and blend garlic and thyme with three types beans and vegetables for a tasty side dish. Serve with a side of grilled chicken or salmon for a quick and savory meal.

Tuscan-style side dish: tomatoes stuffed with beans, peppers and sun-dried tomatoes are another delicious side dish. These also add beautiful color to any plate!

The goal for a delightful springtime celebration is to enjoy the season, eat delectable food and bring loved ones together around the table.

Meet Sandy Coughlin

View all articles by this author