There is nothing quite as an enjoyable as a barbeque on a warm summerís evening. Itís a time to enjoy the company of your friends and family, relax, and eat some delicious charcoal grilled food.
For the perfect cook out, you need to carefully select your meat. If you live in the UK, you can do this by looking out for a small Union Jack logo on the packaging that the British food labelling organisation provides. By buying meat that has this logo, you can be sure that the food has been farmed, processed and packed within the UK.
A traditional barbeque has always been a meat-focused cuisine with side dishes, playing a slightly minor role. This works well, but if a little extra thought is given to your choice of salads and side dishes, your barbequed meats can be greatly complemented.
To help you with you with your choice of barbeque side dishes, we have combined a short list, which may help you to get some ideas for your next big cook out.
1. Green Salad with Creamy Walnuts
Green salad with creamy walnuts will give any barbeque all little bit of extra crunch. This salad comprises of watercress, lettuce, young spinach, yogurt, walnuts and a dressing of your choice. Simply break up the walnuts, mix with a little fresh yogurt and spread over your dressed green salad. You can make this up just before the start the barbeque to keep it crisp and fresh.
2. Tomatoes with Peaches and Basil
A tomato, peach and basil side dish can really add a bit of zing to any barbequed meat. To create this dish, all that you have to do is simply chop 8 medium sized tomatoes along with 2 ripe peaches. To this, add chopped cucumber or sweet corn with a drizzle of olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste and garnish with some fresh basil. Itís a lively little side dish that can be made in less than 20 minutes.
3. Classic Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese and Garlic
Tomato salad with feta cheese and garlic will compliment any kind of meat splendidly. To make, all that you need to do is chop your tomatoes onto chunky pieces; add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and cubed feta cheese with some salt, pepper and basil for taste. Toss this all together in a large salad bowl and put into the fridge to chill for ten minutes. Very tasty and incredibly easy to make; this salad will be a great hit at any cook out.
4. Sweet Corn Salad
Sweet corn salad is incredibly easy to make and will compliment any barbequed meat nicely. To make a sweet corn salad, all that you need is a tin of drained sweet corn, finely chopped spring onions, freshly cracked black pepper and some white vinegar. Simply mix the ingredients together, add salt to taste and place in the fridge for an hour or two get it nice and chilled. Quick and easy, a sweet corn salad makes a perfect meat compliment.
5. Barbequed Capsicums
Barbequed capsicums make a quick and delicious side dish to most kinds of meats. Simply cut and core the capsicum and place onto your barbeque. Wait until the skin starts to turn black and turn to cook the inside. You can serve these as they are, or you can drizzle them with a little olive oil and serve with some goatís cheese and basil. Nice and tasty, these will go down a treat at any barbeque.
6. Grilled Potato and Tomato salad
A grilled potato and tomato salad is another quick and easy barbeque side dish. Simply slice your potatoes, rub in some salt and olive oil and place under a grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Place on a plate and serve with sliced tomatoes, olive oil and fresh herbs of your choice.
As well as complimenting barbequed meat, salad side dishes are low in calories and contain vital minerals and vitamins. By using plenty of fresh salad and vegetables at your barbeques, you can make the whole dining experience more enjoyable as well as more balanced in its nutrition values.
About the Author
Demi Polland is working on a freelance basis for Red Tractor, a food assurance scheme that covers production standards developed by experts on animal welfare, safety, the environment, and hygiene.