11 Jul Updated Takes on Tasty BBQ Sides
For a perfect barbecue spread, the meat is important, but the experience isn’t completed without the sides. However, many of the typical BBQ sides are overdone and don’t offer much excitement. Rather than serving up the basics from the local market down the street, try whipping up any of these classic sides with a fun, new twist.
What would a barbecue be without coleslaw? There is something about a sweet or tangy and zesty flavor and texture that pairs perfectly with barbecued meats. But, if you are in the market to try something new and adventurous, try an Asian-inspired slaw for a refreshing new take. Combine 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Add fresh ginger, salt and pepper, garlic powder and red chili flakes to taste. Pour over thinly sliced red cabbage and green onion, shredded carrots and snow peas. Let the slaw chill for 30 minutes then it’s ready to serve. If you are interested in sticking with the classic coleslaw taste but are ready for an upgrade, include a touch of fresh tarragon and minced Granny Smith apples.
Swap out the sweet ’n’ smokey baked beans for a not-so-heavy cannellini bean salad. Drain and rinse a few cans of cannellini beans. Add the beans, 1/2 cup of your favorite oil, and salt and pepper to a bowl. Mince a teaspoon of fresh rosemary or thyme and chop as much red onion as you’d like and add them to the bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar and a squeeze or two of one lemon. Once all the ingredients have been tossed together, you can either chill it or serve it. If you can’t live without that smoky flavor, add a 1/3 cup of cubed smoked ham.
Elevate a simple bowl of watermelon into a savory watermelon salad. Cut your watermelon as you normally would into bite-sized cubes and place in a bowl. Add chunks of one peeled grapefruit, a few sliced radishes, and a splash of fresh grapefruit juice and a half of a lime. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite oil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Store the salad in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. Add fresh mint leaves and basil for garnish just before you serve.
Mac ’n’ Cheese
Where there is BBQ there must be mac’n’cheese. Add toppings to your plain mac ’n’ cheese for a quick and easy spin on this must-have classic. Try toppings like fresh crispy bacon bits, other meats like chopped prosciutto or shredded pork, breadcrumbs, goat cheese (or any other kind of cheese!), freshly chopped herbs, or grilled onions or mushrooms. Set up a DIY Mac ’n’ Cheese bar for an even more fun experience.
Adding any of these updated sides is sure to take your BBQ gathering to the next level. Just be ready to share your new found recipes! Enjoy!