My Absolute FAVORITE Potluck Recipe!

Photo: Brown Cannon III; Styling: Vanessa McNeil Roccio

Photo: Brown Cannon III; Styling: Vanessa McNeil Roccio

We tend to have a lot of impromptu potlucks around our house. I love the stress-free way of pooling together our resources and gathering around the table with friends and yummy treats. I usually like to prepare something fresh from our gardens (our from our frozen reserves if off-season).

In today’s garden, we’ve got a few rows of fresh, sweet watermelon. Sometimes I make a watermelon fruit basket, which tends to look a lot harder than it is to make. For colder months, I tend to make chicken cups, served warm from the oven with mouth-watering spices. But when trying to think of my absolute FAVORITE potluck recipe, there’s one that rises right to the top. It’s actually a new discovery, and the recipe might not sound all that appetizing, but I assure you…it’s a knock-your-socks-off favorite that any veggie lover (like me!) will enjoy.

It’s a Corn Avocado Salad straight from the pages of Southern Living (May 2013), and just writing about it makes me want to whip up another batch. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds assorted small heirloom cherry or pear tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/3 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons country-style Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 1  (1-oz.) package fresh basil leaves, torn


  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Toss corn with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and spread in a single layer in a jelly-roll pan.
  3. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Cool 10 minutes.
  5. Combine corn, tomatoes, and next 2 ingredients.
  6. Whisk together vinegar and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add tomato mixture, and toss to coat.
  7. Gently stir in avocado. Let stand 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Top with basil just before serving.

(Recipe originally published by Vanessa McNeil Roccio, Southern Living, May 2013.)

If you haven’t had a chance to read INTO THE FREE yet, now’s the time to catch up on Millie’s story before the sequel WHEN MOUNTAINS MOVE hits shelves next month! And…for this week only, iBooks is offering the ebook of INTO THE FREE for ONLY $3.99!

Happy reading and gardening, harvesting and gathering, cooking and snacking. I guess what I’m trying to say is…happy everything!


Disclaimer: Featured Image courtesy of



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Julie Cantrell

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author at Harper Collins Christian
Julie Cantrell is a tree-hugging organic-farm girl and mother of two who happened into a mid-life adventure as a novelist. She's having fun parenting, writing, teaching, speaking, and living the dream.

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  1. Julie says

    Thanks Ann for emailing me to ask about the amount of corn needed for this recipe. I never really measure, but just pull some kernels from ears of corn from our garden until I get the consistency I want in the salad (I don’t roast mine either…it’s so good raw, I just use it that way…but if you’re using store-bought, roasting is a good idea.)

    So…I looked it back up and found a recipe that says to use the kernels from 4 ears of corn. That would be about 3 cups…but again…nothing has to be exact. Have fun with it and let me know what variations y’all come up with!

  2. Melanie Backus says

    Julie, thank you for sharing your avocado corn salad, it sounds delicious! Potlucks are great and it is so nice when dishes from others come together to make a complete meal. This Broccoli Salad is a winner to me!

    Broccoli Salad

    2 bunches Broccoli, chopped fine I lb. bacon-cooked crisp & crumbled
    1/2 c. chopped red onion 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    1 c. red or green grapes 2 Tbsp. Red Wine vinegar
    1 c. Miracle Whip 1/3 c sugar
    8 oz. shredded cheese

    Mix all together except bacon. Add it just before serving. Best made the day before.

    • Julie says

      Melanie, This is wonderful! We grow broccoli, too…and I love to eat it raw. I think i’ll try it raw in this salad when it’s fresh from the stalk. And I bet you could even replace the mayo with some of our goat’s milk yogurt to make it a bit healthier…i’m going to give it a try. THANKS!!

  3. says

    Since we’re talking veggies today, how about some Parmesan Baked Asparagus. (With kiddos, some veggies need a little cheese!)

    1 lb. asparagus
    2 tsp. olive oil
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
    1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place asparagus on a non-stick baking sheet. Coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, then toss again; sprinkle with cheese and bake until cheese melts.

    • Julie says

      Britney— this IS delish…We make this sometimes, except I’ve never added the cheese. Will try that next time. We also bake lots of fresh veggies like this..just coating them in a little olive oil and salt and pepper…bake at high heat or broil on low until they are crunchy and yummy. it seriously does fill my craving for chips/French fries etc. b/c you still get that oil/salt, but without all the ickies. Thanks for sharing this..i’m certain readers will be trying this one.

  4. Lisa Wingate says

    Okay, I am down with the veggie recipes today! Thanks for sharing Melanie and Britney, and Julie that salad sounds SO good. Sharing with my mommy because… I know she’ll probably make it for me =D

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