As the days become longer and the sun blesses us with more light, we will want to gather with our group of friends to have a barbecue. There is a lot of focus on the main dishes for barbecues and rightfully so. Who doesn’t love tangy barbecue chicken wings, or corn on the cob slathered with butter? But, let's take a look at the sides for a moment. Side dishes can make or break a barbecue meal. You don’t want them to be an afterthought because there are always more sides to go around than the main course. Here are some unique and quite delicious sides you can have for your summer barbecue.
Salsa is a great condiment for barbecues and goes well with many Mexican or charred meat dishes. However, you can have a unique vegetarian charred sweetcorn salsa for your barbecue meal. Add avocado, lime, red onion and corn pieces that have come from a corn cob that has been grilled on the fire, for a charred texture and smoky flavor.
Feta cheese is very versatile. It's not as pungent as Parmesan and it's made to be customized. Mediterranean feta cheese recipes are often the best. How about a classic? Slice some red onion, slice cherry tomatoes in half and place them at the bottom of an oven dish. Next, dice some feta cheese and place on top. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some red chili flakes on top. Grill in your oven on low heat for around 20 minutes. The top of the feta should be crispy while the bottom is soft and the juices of the vegetables should shine through.
A Classic American
Pretzels are a great wholesome American barbecue side dish. You could go for the traditional salted pretzels as everybody is comfortable with them. Or, you could try specialty pretzels like the type Eastern Standard Provision sells. These are incredibly delicious gourmet pretzels, which you can buy in many different shapes. The turnbuckle is very popular because it has crevices which hold the most salt, which they also sell. Spicy salt, lime salt and kosher salt are all great to sprinkle over the top. Check out their recipe page for inspiration. They can be sliced neatly to have a piece of grilled chicken breast placed between them, or sliced to go with chili cheesy nachos. Pretzels are incredibly versatile and allow for great experimentation.
This is something you can get in most grocery stores. Smoked or ‘dried’ mushrooms are intense in flavor. They are supposed to be used in soups and meat broths or stews. A highly smoky flavor, mixed with an earthy texture, makes a breakfast dish of bacon and sausages that much more enjoyable.
Side dishes should never be a side attraction. For your barbecue food, you should put real effort into making dishes that everyone will enjoy and want more of. Don’t rely on your main course options to make the day special, charred salsa and smoky mushrooms can leave your guests satisfied too.