Portable Dishes for Summer Potlucks

I absolutely love a potluck party. I like hosting them, I like attending them, I like thinking about what to bring.  You can be as creative as you like, or as safe as you like, and either way, your offering will be greeted with gratitude and enthusiasm. Recently I brought a frittata, pre-sliced into thin little wedges, to a party for an appetizer, and it was a very satisfying starter. I was ruminating on what makes a dish especially portable since on Sunday I am doing an hour-long tweet chat with #SundaySupper, tweeting with bloggers about portable dishes. Here are some things I think about when I am bringing a dish (or “toting” as they say in the south, which I feel entitled to say once in a blue moon because my grandfather was from Savannah, Georgia):

  • How sturdy is it? (no soufflés, no foams…not that you were going to do that anyway)
  • How far am I traveling, and do I need to think about a cooler?
  • How good will it taste at room temperature, and will it be okay to sit out on a buffet for some time?
  • What’s the weather, and will it be served outside or inside?
  • Does the dish need refrigeration once it’s there?
  • Can I bring it in the container that it will be served in?
  • How pretty is it?
  • Is it a crowd-pleaser?
  • Do I need to do anything to it once I am there?

This last question is a biggie for a number of reasons.  First, when you get there, do you really want to start fussing with your dish?  Will your host expect (read: be happy about) you to need counter space, much less oven space, much less be tip-toeing up behind him or her whispering things like, “I hate to trouble you, but might you have a whisk/some parsley/an 8-inch baking pan/some crème fraiche?” I try not to be that guest, and if I do need something, I attempt to remember to ask the host ahead of time if it’s okay to encroach upon her in any way.

I took a meander around the web and picked out some dishes I would like to make this summer that have portable qualities, and whether or not I bring them anywhere farther than my backyard is to be determined.

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Spicy Sour Cream Dipping Sauce from The Kitchn.com

Rustic Vegetable Tart from Food & Wine Magazine

Israeli Salad and Pita Chips from Smittenkitchen.com

Classic Cole Slaw from Food & Wine Magazine

Shaved Fennel Salad from Leitesculinaria.com

Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon from Cookstr.com

Zucchini Ribbon Quiche with Roasted Grape Tomatoes from Food52.com

Watermelon, Grapefruit, and Mint Coolers from Theyellowtable.com

Watermelon and Tomato Salad from Saveur.com

2 thoughts on “Portable Dishes for Summer Potlucks”

  1. We are looking forward to hosting #Sundaysupper with your this week Katie! We love your cookbook!

  2. Come football season, all our weekend meals are ‘portable’ with College games on Saturday, and the Pro’s on Sunday, it seems like we are always carting our meals from one tailgate to the next.

    These are some great ideas for making that both easy and food-safe!
    Cheers!

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