Try this crispy elderflower cocktail this bank holiday weekend
Try this crispy elderflower cocktail this bank holiday weekend

Holly O'Neill

What to do when your boss is a bully
What to do when your boss is a bully

Colette Sexton

Filming has begun on the TV adaptation of Graham Norton’s debut novel down in West Cork
Filming has begun on the TV adaptation of Graham Norton’s debut novel down in West...

Sarah Finnan

8 engrossing Netflix picks worth starting this long weekend
8 engrossing Netflix picks worth starting this long weekend

Jennifer McShane

Rihanna is about to release Fenty Parfum
Rihanna is about to release Fenty Parfum

Holly O'Neill

House of Gucci: The explosive true story behind Lady Gaga’s upcoming crime biopic
House of Gucci: The explosive true story behind Lady Gaga’s upcoming crime biopic

Jennifer McShane

Rosemary MacCabe: ‘I thought I’d accepted my body – then I got pregnant’
Rosemary MacCabe: ‘I thought I’d accepted my body – then I got pregnant’

Rosemary MacCabe

‘Hello? Where is Fergie?’: Sarah Ferguson offered her help to ‘The Crown’… but they declined
‘Hello? Where is Fergie?’: Sarah Ferguson offered her help to ‘The Crown’… but they declined

Sarah Finnan

Westlife’s Mark Feehily is selling his Sligo lakeside home for €1.15 million
Westlife’s Mark Feehily is selling his Sligo lakeside home for €1.15 million

Megan Burns

10 of the best new movie trailers still to come this year
10 of the best new movie trailers still to come this year

Sarah Finnan

Image / Living / Food & Drink

The best salads, sides and dips to level up your next barbecue


by Megan Burns
17th Jul 2021
blank

You have your go-marinade for chicken and your favourite brand of sausages, but it’s the accompaniments that make a barbecue truly great. 


With the good weather having made a very welcome return, many of us will be eyeing up our barbecues when it comes to making weekend plans. And while you probably have some favourite recipes that you turn to over and over – a spicy marinade for chicken or a homemade burger, it’s easy for the accompaniments to become an afterthought.

In my opinion, it’s the dips, salads and sides that are the low-key stars of any barbecue. They’re there to get snacking on while you wait for the main dishes to be ready (which, let’s be honest, is always longer than promised). They can also provide such a range of flavours and textures, and provide a nice contrast to the often meat-heavy grilled offerings.

Here are some great recipes to get you started.

Greek yogurt with with sizzled scallions and chilli

A dip might not seem that important at a barbecue, but a good one will have everyone hovering around the bowl. This delicious one is really easy to make, with no food processor required, and is good with everything from chunks of bread to raw veg. You’ll even find yourself drizzling it over your grilled chicken.

Fine the recipe here.

Spicy lightly pickled cucumbers

barbecue salads and sides

Cucumbers are a common summer vegetable, but they are rarely at their best when left to languish in a leafy salad for a few hours at room temperature. Instead, use them in this recipe to add some spice and zing to your table. Yes, they’re delicious on a burger, but they’re hard to resist straight from the bowl.

It might sound tricky to make your own pickled veg, but this takes just five minutes’ prep. Find the recipe here.

Avoca’s Asian sesame and peanut noodle salad

It’s good to have at least one substantial salad on offer, like a potato or pasta option, and this noodle one from Avoca is packed full of flavour.

Ingredients:
300 grams egg noodles, cook to packet instructions, cool down & set aside
¼ a small red cabbage, shredded finely
2 spring onions, sliced finely
1 red chilli, finely chopped
½ red pepper, sliced thinly
½ yellow pepper, sliced thinly
Small bunch coriander, chopped
Small bunch mint, chopped
10 grams sesame seeds, toasted
100 grams, salted peanuts, roasted
50 ml soy sauce
10 ml sesame oil
10 ml Sriracha sauce, more if you like it really spicy
1 lime, juiced
Sea salt & black pepper

Method:

Simply add all ingredients into a large bowl and  toss lightly to combine. Check the seasoning and adjust to your preference.

Donal Skehan’s griddled baby gem salad with toasted hazelnuts and Pecorino

If it were up to me, vegetables would be given 90 per cent of the space on any barbecue grill. There’s something about the combination of high heat and smoke that turns even the most ordinary into something spectacular.

This lettuce salad is the perfect example, where normally mild-mannered baby gem is suddenly the charred, smoky star of the show. This method is also delicious with wedges of cabbage. Find the recipe here.

Ballymaloe summer green salad with edible flowers

A leafy salad is one of those things that’s usually at a barbecue somewhere, but is rarely drawing much attention. To elevate it a little, this recipe adds edible flowers to the mix. Their tip to add herbs as well as leaves is also a great way to inject flavour, while the honey and mustard dressing is a classic crowd-pleaser. Find the recipe here.

Nigella Lawson’s watermelon, feta and black olive salad

If it seems weird to have fruit in a savoury salad, just trust that the queen of cooking Nigella would never mislead you. The slight sweetness contrasts with the tangy feta, bite of the onion and salty olives beautifully, while overall being a very refreshing dish. Find the recipe here.

Grilled asparagus

barbecue salads and sides

I know I’ve already made the case for grilled vegetables, but asparagus is one of my favourites. It needs nothing else but oil and salt, but if you want to go a little fancier, it’s also amazing with some Parmesan grated on top, or garlic butter. Find the recipe here.

Jamie Oliver’s mega stuffed sweet potatoes

barbecue salads and sides

If you’ve never cooked sweet potatoes on the barbecue, it’s time to try. Their skin gets deliciously crispy, while the interior caramelises and takes on an even sweeter flavour. They’re good like this, but if you want to take it up a notch, Jamie Oliver shows you how to create an incredible cheesy filling for your potatoes. Find the recipe here.

Also Read

blank
INTERIORS
This 30-day declutter challenge will get your living space in shape

Want to declutter and organise your home from top to bottom? Start with this 30-day declutter challenge. Many of us...

By Katie Byrne

Summery interiors buys under €30
INTERIORS
Summery interiors buys under €30 for every room in the house

Easy home updates, from stylish candles to laid-back textiles.

By Megan Burns

blank
CULTURE
Britney Spears won’t perform again while her father controls her life

She also hit back at her sister and “so-called support system” in a new Instagram post explaining why she’s on...

By Jennifer McShane

Chateau Feely
INTERIORS
Perhaps it’s time to dream of another life, a total change?

For many of us, the pandemic has offered a chance to reflect, to think about what is important to us....

By Lizzie Gore-Grimes

Victorian restoration
INTERIORS
This couple accidentally bought a derelict Victorian home, but have embraced it with a careful restoration

A young couple bid on the wrong property at an auction, but have spent over two years restoring it themselves on a shoestring budget.

By Megan Burns

homes for sale for €350,000
PROPERTY
These 3 homes have plenty of character and outdoor space, all for €350,000

If you’re after a well-sized garden and a home with interesting features, these three properties will be right up your street.

By Megan Burns

blank
CULTURE
5 picks we can’t wait to watch on Amazon Prime this July

Amazon Prime is really upping its game when it comes to its original content. Here are the new picks worth...

By Jennifer McShane