I've assembled a list of my very favorite Cajun and Creole salads.
Creole and Cajun cookery offer an endless supply of salads: starchy favorites like potato and macaroni, salads based on vegetables like corn, and entreé salads with chicken or seafood as the main ingredient.
Tossed green salads are not central in Cajun and Creole cooking, but follow the links below to discover delicious versions of old favorites, as well as salads you probably would never have thought of!
Now hold on to your footballs--it can be a picnic without potato or macaroni salad! This has similar ingredients, but is a nice change from the usual. The beauty of this salad is that the flavor of the other ingredients comes through even better than it does in potato or macaroni salad.
This has a bite to it from the pepper, but is mild enough to pass as "not spicy."
This salad was a favorite as we were growing up, and we requested it whenever we were gathering at our childhood home. It was usually made the same wonderful way. But every once in a while Dad would get creative, which meant using leftovers in some horribly inappropriate manner. We were all terribly disappointed when he decided that he didn't want to waste some leftover pineapple yogurt, and added it to the finished salad. No one likes to waste food, but spoiling an entire dish to use up leftovers? We learned to steer clear of Dad's "icebox creations."
Coleslaw is delicious on its own, but my favorite way of serving it is on sandwiches. In fact, I always make a large batch so there is enough leftover to put on sandwiches--pulled pork is traditional, but I also like it on ham sandwiches, and on po' boys instead of lettuce. The creamy, crunchy coleslaw is a wonderful contrast to fried seafood in a po' boy.
Coleslaw is better several hours or a day or two after it is made.
If it's already good, why mess with it?
Such is the thought on any recipe that is just the way you like it; and such is the thought on any recipe that your mama or grandma made. Family recipes are almost sacred. Your parents and siblings would be puzzled, if not downright annoyed, if you brought grandma's potato salad to a gathering made in a different way. And don't even think of adding some non-Cajun ingredient, such as sun-dried tomatoes. People probably wouldn't even try it.
Any type of pasta can be used for this macaroni salad. The ingredients are traditional, but for a change I used corkscrew pasta as it grabs on to the dressing and, thus, seems to have more flavor than the standard macaroni.
This recipe is versatile for so many reasons:
- It seems to be a favorite of everyone who eats food
- It goes well with almost any other dishes
- It is inexpensive, but filling
- With the addition of some leftover meat, fish, or poultry it makes a wonderful hot weather meal
This recipe always seems to find its way to my table during late summer and early fall. It takes just minutes to prepare, but is a hit every time I serve it. The yellow and red colors are attractive, the soft corn and crisp vegetables are a wonderful texture contrast, and the flavor is bursting with summer and fall flavors.
My Great-Uncle Adolphe used to grow pecans. They are a very popular nut in the south, and used in a multitude of dishes--both sweet and savory. This is a very accommodating fruit salad, as the dressing allows it to be made the night before and still seem fresh. However, don't add the toasted pecan halves or the fresh mint until the last minute (though you can toast the pecans up to a day ahead).