What to Eat: Fourth of July

The only thing more important than fireworks on Independence Day is the food, and these recipes will be a hit at any summertime picnic or party.

06.29.10 10:31 PM ET

Real Onion Dip
by Rick Rodgers

The right-hand man over at Williams-Sonoma helps kick off the festivities with gourmet, flavor-filled style.

Remember that dip Grandma used to make with a packet of onion soup mix and a pint of sour cream? This is not that dip. Caramelized onions and fresh chives make this one the sophisticated cousin of the original, and she’s the one everyone’s going to be hanging out with this Fourth of July.

Click here for the recipe.

Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon
by Tom Douglas

Forget boring old salads and dazzle the holiday crowd with this recipe from an Iron Chef champ.

This salad is the chameleon of vegetable side dishes: Whatever the season, whatever vegetables are ripest or taking up space in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, this salad can accommodate. While the recipe that Tom Douglas has produced is pretty unbeatable, he suggests substituting diced salami for the bacon or diced Gouda for the Parmesan, or adding a handful of diced celery or some cooked garbanzo beans.

Click here for the recipe.

Joseph DeLeo

The Great American Burger
by Steven Raichlen

The king of ’cue shares the simple secret to serving up the best burger on the block.

It comes as no surprise that a man known to many as the BBQ Guru would be focused mainly on his burger’s meat. Raichlen is so focused on the meat, in fact, that he recommends no seasonings other than salt and pepper. “The fewer ingredients you add to the meat, the better,” he says. “To taste a burger at its best, keep it utterly simple. The garnishes will add all the flavor you need.” For the best burgers, Raichlen suggests using a flavorful cut of meat, like sirloin or chuck.

Click here for the recipe.

Joseph DeLeo

Alexandre Dumas Potato Salad
by James Beard

The godfather of gourmet gives this rudimentary summer side a much-needed and delicious face-lift.

There is always that moment at a summertime meal when someone looks at the mayo-drenched potato salad and asks with concern how long it’s been sitting in the sun. While one solution to this situation is to keep the potato salad in an ice-packed cooler throughout the meal, nixing the mayo seems to be the easier, more sensible, and most delicious answer. This potato salad has a light dressing of white wine, vinegar, and olive oil, and is seasoned with a simple, fresh mix of parsley and green onion. It’s likely to disappear before anyone would have commented, anyway.

Click here for the recipe.

Berry Medley
by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner

Just like a firework display, every meal needs a grand finale, and this dessert from one of the culinary scene’s most dynamic duos will certainly do the trick.

Democrat, Republican, Independent, Tea Partier, Green Partier: Whatever the political affiliation, everyone can pretty much agree that red, white, and blue look darn good together. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are all coming into season right now, and topped with a dollop of whipped cream, they make a light, summery, patriotic dessert unlike any other.

Click here for the recipe.

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