If you are not going to make everything yourself, these are some suggestions for two tasty side dishes.
Slicing New Potatoes, also known as Red Blisses, happens with frequency this week at Fox & Obel in River East. The gourmet deli, market and cafe does a lot of take-out business, and their case is stocked with both staples and more esoteric items, providing plenty of options for a Memorial Day picnic.
"Potato salad is such a staple in most American households. So you just kind of keep that tradition and that's the way that it was made so that's the way we keep making it," said Fox & Obel chef Dan Marquis.
Marquis first adds a generous dollop of garlicky aioli - or mayo - to his boiled potatoes.. plus some chopped celery and scallions for bite.
"A little Dijon mustard, a little Worcestershire sauce, and then we use champagne vinegar and then just season it with a little bit of Cajun so it gives it a nice little spice. It gives it a little, you get a lot of fat in the potato salad so you want to give it a little acid and a little bit of heat to it so it's got some flavor," said Marquis.
A little acid and a little tang are the keys to a good coleslaw as well and at Ina's, in West Town, Ina Pinkney puts as much thought into this summertime side dish as she does into her legendary breakfasts.
"I love rice wine vinegar and I love yogurt and I love mustard and I love sugar and I love mayo. So we just put it all together and came up with a really good dressing for that cabbage," said Pinkney.
That cabbage blend is both green and red..she also tosses in some carrots. Her secret weapon? Fresh slices of tart granny smith apples.
"You're getting that coolness which you really love out of coleslaw and you get a texture, which is a good crunch, and then you get this tangy - you're not sure what it is - and then you get this front granny smith and it's a wake up," she said.
Now don't come to Ina's expecting to see a huge deli case with all kinds of salads and coleslaws in it, but you can order this coleslaw to go. Just give her a day notice, you can call up, place your order and they will sell it by the quart.
Fox and Obel Market
401 E Illinois St.
1235 W. Randolph St.
A la Carte (Wilmette)
The Grapevine (La Grange)