Get ready for a festive Memorial Day feast with these creative dishes to make this weekend.
“The Dinner Party Project” author Natasha Feldman joined “Good Morning America” on Friday to share a seasonal drink, vibrant salads, sides and an easy dessert to make for Memorial Day.
Check out her full recipes below.
2 cups water, plus more to taste
4 cups cut-up fresh fruit (try watermelon, pineapple and mango, or cantaloupe)
2 tablespoons sugar, plus more to taste, depending on how sweet the fruit is
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
Sparkling water, for the table
Garnishes: piece of fresh fruit, lime wedge, Tajín seasoning on rim, salt and sugar (50/50) on rim
Blend 2 cups water, 4 cups fruit, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and a pinch of salt in a blender. Strain out the pulp as you pour the agua fresca into a pitcher. Stir in extra water, sugar, and lime juice to taste. Just before serving, add a lot of ice and the mint sprigs into the pitcher and stir. Give everyone a cold glass garnished as desired, and put out the sparkling water in case people want to add any.
Pitcher drinks can be made (without adding the sparkling water and ice) up to a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Just before serving, stir vigorously and add the sparkling water and ice. Cocktails should be made just before serving. But feel free to premeasure all ingredients for ease!
No matter the cocktail, freeze the glasses for 10 minutes first. It’ll keep the cocktail physically (and metaphorically) cool.
Super-Crunchy Green Salad
“I like this salad a lot because it’s incredibly bright and can really round out a meal, but it’s also easy to throw together and fun to riff on. If you want to add other crunchy vegetables, or swap out the herbs, go for it,” Feldman wrote in the cookbook. “If you’re looking for a really simple meal, just add a grilled protein and call it a day!”
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped dill
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley leaves
4 Persian cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
2 ripe Hass avocados, skins and pits removed, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 head of butter lettuce, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Whatever is left over from the herbs above, coarsely chopped, to finish
To make the dressing: Combine 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake it like crazy to emulsify. Add the dill and parsley and shake again.
To make the salad: In a large serving bowl, combine the cucumbers, avocados, cabbage, and lettuce and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Pour the dressing over the veggies and mix just to combine. Add salt to taste. Serve with extra herbs on top
The dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance. Wash, prepare, and store all salad ingredients (except for the avocados) up to a day in advance. Store the lettuce in dry kitchen towels in resealable plastic bags in the fridge. Put the cut veggies in an airtight container with a wet paper towel on top to keep them from drying out. Assemble the salad with the cut avocados just before serving.
Garlicky Cabbage with Whole-Grain Mustard
Total: 25 minutes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
1 small purple cabbage, halved and cut into 1/8 inch ribbons (about 8 cups)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley leaves
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is warm, add the minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s aromatic with tiny, happy bubbles, about 2 1/2 minutes.
Add the cabbage and another 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is about half the size it was at the beginning, approximately 6 minutes.
Throw in 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar and cook until most of the cabbage is soft and deep purple, around 10 minutes.
Mix in 1 tablespoon butter, 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard, and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley until the butter is fully melted. Add more salt to taste.
Tips and Timing:
This stores well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Remove 1 hour before serving.
Rainbow Cookie Icebox Cake
Serves 6 to 8; makes 1 loaf cake
Total time: 45 minutes + overnight refrigeration
1 quart heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Green, yellow, and red food coloring
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
1/2 cup (3 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped and melted
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 boxes of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (or other thin, crisp chocolate cookies)
Flaky sea salt, to finish
In a stand mixer or with hand beaters, whip 1 quart cream with 3 tablespoons sugar and ⅛ teaspoon salt into soft peaks. (If using a stand mixer, cover the top of the mixer with a large dish towel for the first minute to prevent splashing as the cream whirls around the bowl.)
Once soft peaks have formed, add 1 teaspoon vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.
Divide the whipped cream evenly into four bowls.
To the first bowl, add 6 drops of green food color, 2 drops of yellow food color, and 1 teaspoon almond extract. Fold to incorporate.
To the second bowl, add 6 drops of red food color and 2 tablespoons raspberry jam. Fold to incorporate.
To the third bowl, add 9 drops of yellow food color. Fold to incorporate.
To the fourth bowl, add ½ cup melted semi-sweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder. You know what to do. (The chocolate layer may look a little marbled, and that’s okay!)
Line a standard loaf pan with plastic wrap. Make sure that your wrap is long enough to cover the loaf pan once it’s full.
Place a layer of wafers (use whole wafers and fill in with broken wafers) in the bottom of the pan, then spread with a layer of half the chocolate whipped cream.
Add another layer of wafers and half the pink whipped cream, followed by another layer of wafers and the rest of the pink whipped cream.
Follow with a layer of wafers and a layer of yellow whipped cream and repeat, then a layer of wafers and a layer of green whipped cream and repeat.
End with a layer of wafers, a layer of chocolate whipped cream, and a final layer of wafers. Note: The loaf pan will be quite full and runneth over. Don’t worry. No one has ever been mad at too much icebox cake.
Cover tightly with the extra plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Pop the pan upside down and use a butter knife to release the plastic wrap. Unwrap, slice, and serve sprinkled with flaky sea salt.
Tips and Timing
Make and refrigerate 1 to 3 days in advance. The cake needs to set at least overnight.
Don’t skimp on the whipped cream—the cookies will expand and you wanna see all those layers!
If you can’t find the thin, crisp chocolate wafer cookies, you can always use chocolate wafer sandwich cookies or split Oreos.
Recipes reprinted with permission From The Dinner Party Project by Natasha Feldman. Copyright © 2023 by Natasha Feldman. Reprinted by permission of Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.