Every time there was a church function, or a small group function, or we were just invited somewhere, I was asked to bring a salad. Two problems with this: I didn’t ever have a bowl big enough for a group salad, and I was prone to leave dishes behind anyway. Until I hit on this:
Buy a large round loaf of crusty bread. You can get them in any grocery store with a bakery. Cut a large hole in the top of the loaf, and scoop out the bread portion. This is why it needs to be crusty. The crust should create a large bowl. Don’t dig too deep, let there be a padding around the edges. Put your salad, or dip, or appetizer of any kind into the bread bowl. Ta Da.
This works really well for Caesar Salad, because the dressing seeps into the bread a little and people end up tearing hunks off the bread after the salads gone to eat the Caesar Dressing bread. And you’re left with nothing to clean up. Any sort of dip does the same thing.
You can take the bread you scooped out, cut it into cubes, or wedges, toss them with a little olive oil and Italian seasoning and pop them in a 250 degree oven for a few minutes. Voila, croûtons. They store well in a Ziploc bag if you don’t use them all for the salad or the dip.
But what if you’re bringing a fruit salad? No fear. Take any sort of melon – I usually used a small watermelon – and cut a thin slice off the bottom to make it sit properly. Be very careful during your scooping process that you don’t scoop through the bottom. Leave plenty of cushion there. Watermelon rinds are so thick, you’re usually safe. Again, cut a hole in the top, and scoop out the fruit, using this as the base fruit in your fruit salad, then put it all into your melon bowl.
They look great, taste great, and you don’t have to remember to bring home that big bowl, or find a place to store it when you’re not out at a function.
For more helpful tips, visit Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer every Wednesday for lots of helpful “Works for Me” things.