From the Journal: Snackable, Packable Sides

by Magnolia
Published on May 2, 2024

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This story was adapted from the summer 2024 issue of Magnolia Journal. For all the recipes, pick up a copy at or on a newsstand near you.

An orange graphic reads "a story from Magnolia Journal summer 2024."

The table with these staples is the place to be.

Round up all your go-tos for grill season and pack up these classic sides that are made for grazing. Choose from reinvented throwbacks like tangy dilled potato salad or hearty Texas caviar, or a big ol’ bowl of juicy peach and melon salad. Just right for backyard barbecues or afternoons spent poolside, every recipe is big and bold in flavor without demanding too much fuss. And who knows—you might be so floored by their taste, you forget you made a main.

A spread of summer sides on a gingham tablecloth.

Corn Ribs with Mustard Aoli

PREP: 20 minutes

BAKE: 20 minutes

MAKES: 24 ribs

6 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked

¼ cup clarified butter (ghee), melted, or olive oil

1 Tbsp. steak seasoning, such as McCormick brand

1 cup mayonnaise

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. stone-ground Dijon mustard

1 tsp. dried Aleppo pepper

¼ tsp. kosher salt

Chopped fresh chives

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, trim bottoms of ears of corn so ears will more easily stand upright. Holding one ear of corn vertically, carefully cut in half lengthwise. Place halves, cut sides down, on work surface and cut each in half again lengthwise. Repeat with remaining ears.

2. Place corn pieces in a large bowl. Drizzlewith clarified butter and sprinkle with steak seasoning. Toss until corn is evenly coated. Arrange corn pieces, kernel sides up, on prepared pans.

3. Roast corn 20 minutes or until kernels are tender and pieces begin to curl. (If both pans don’t fit on one rack, switch pans between racks halfway through roasting.)

4. For aioli, stir together the next six ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl. Brush over roasted ribs. Serve remaining aioli as a dip. Arrange ribs on a platter; sprinkle with chives.

Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Peppers

PREP: 20 minutes

AIR-FRY: 12 minutes

MAKES: 24 stuffed peppers

1½ cups Jo’s 1919 Pimiento Cheese or purchased pimiento cheese spread

12 jalapeño peppers (3-inch) or 24 large fresh shishito peppers (3½-inch)

½ cup packed brown sugar

12 thin strips bacon, halved crosswise

1. Place pimiento cheese in a piping bag fitted with a round tip. (Or place cheese in a resealable plastic bag and snip off a corner.)

2. For jalapeños, halve lengthwise and scrape out seeds and membranes. For shishitos, carefully cut a slit on one side of each pepper and gently scrape out seeds with knife tip. Pipe cheese into peppers, filling generously.

3. Spread brown sugar on a plate. Press both sides of a bacon strip in brown sugar then wrap around a pepper, covering as much of the pepper as possible. Secure with wooden toothpicks. Repeat with remaining bacon strips and peppers.

4. Preheat air fryer to 360°F. Place peppers in a single layer in air-fryer basket, in batches if needed. Air-fry about 12 minutes or until bacon is browned and peppers are tender, turning once. (If cooking in batches, keep cooked peppers warm in a 200°F oven while air-frying the rest.)


Combine 3 cups (12 oz.) bagged shredded mild white cheddar cheese; 2 cups mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann’s brand; 1 cup (4 oz.) bagged shredded sharp cheddar cheese; 4 oz. processed cheese, such as Velveeta brand, shredded; ½ cup drained diced pimientos; ¼ cup finely chopped green onions; and ¼ cup chopped toasted pecans in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 4 days. Makes about 5 cups. Featured in Magnolia Table.

Texas Caviar

PREP: 15 minutes

MAKES: 5½ cups

CHILL: 1 hour

2 15.5-oz. cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

½ cup diced tomato

½ cup roughly chopped jarred jalapeño slices

¼ cup chopped red bell pepper

¼ cup chopped green onions (white parts only)

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

¾ cup chopped avocado

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Corn chips or warm corn tortillas

Lime wedges

1. Combine the first 10 ingredients (through black pepper) in a large nonmetal bowl; stir gently. Cover and chill 1 hour.

2. Place vegetable mixture in a serving dish and top with avocado and cilantro. Serve with corn chips or warm tortillas and lime wedges.

TO STORE: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator 2 to 3 days. Wait to add the avocado and cilantro until right before serving.

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