Spectacular BBQ sides

Do you get tired of the same old BBQ fare? Saying “no” to potato salad, we attended a lovely lunch at our friends cabin on Mt. Hood. They grilled pork tenderloin and shrimp skewers, which were both to die for. But I was really taken by the compilation of side dishes. They weren’t planned to go together, but they all worked beautifully.

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kohlrabi & cucumber slices, dressed with flat-leaf parsley, red wine vinegar and good olive oil

Do you know kohlrabi? It looks funny. I asked my farmer about it one day a few years ago, and he said, “Peel it, slice it thin and dress it with red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper. It will be your favorite thing!” He was right! It’s so yummy and crisp and refreshing. I usually add cucumber and flat leaf parsley, which is what I did yesterday. It’s equally good with lemon juice instead of vinegar – just citrusy, obviously. You can make it well ahead of time, but don’t dress it until it’s about to be served, as the acid starts breaking down the veggies. I’ve eaten it soggy the next day tossed on to a green salad, and it’s still good – but hardly crisp.

April brought her wonderful watermelon salad, which was completely devoured by everyone.

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watermelon, feta and mint leaves, dressed with lime juice

It’s such a refreshing combination of flavors! The watermelon is crisp and sweet, the feta tangy and creamy, and the mint bright and green. Lime juiced brought it all together. The key for this kind of salad (in my opinion) is to chop the mint really fine. Mint can be a little woody, so small pieces make it work. April did it perfectly, of course!

Judith grilled the corn on the cob to perfection, and at Yashi’s suggestion, we dressed it with lime juice and our choice of chili powder or curry powder. I chose chili powder, and it was so delicious. What a great alternative to butter and salt! I have to say, I usually grill corn while it’s still in the husk, then peel it back and use the husk as a handle. But I just fell in love with the grill marks on corn. I may have to try a combination of our two techniques in the future.

Gwenn made a wheat berry salad that I need to get the recipe for. It’s so satisfying to bite into those meaty little kernels, especially combined with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, goat cheese and basil. (I think, hopefully she’ll leave the recipe for us in the comments!)

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Wheat berry salad, and grilled corn with lime juice and chili powder

The kids were delighted with everything, and Otis the dog was delighted with Eric, who always seemed to be at the right height to share food.

Patiently waiting, singularly focused.

I love how all these dishes went together so beautifully. I like having interesting and delicious options for all the BBQs of summer coming up. I’d love to hear your favorites!

~Krista

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4 Comments

Filed under Family, Food

4 responses to “Spectacular BBQ sides

  1. Pingback: Mamavation Monday: Embrace the Hunger | Mostly Mommyhood

  2. Jan Aboussafy

    Delete the lime juice and mint in the watermelon salad and use basil with a small amount of white balsamic vinegar instead…Yum.

  3. Gwenn Baldwin

    It’s actually from a recent The Splendid Table episode! We swapped goat cheese for the feta and a red wine rather than sherry vinegar. Wheatberries=farro=kamut.

    From Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World’s Healthiest Cuisine by Martha Rose Shulman. © 2007, Rodale Books.
    Prep time: 1 hour
    Cook time: 1 hour
    Total time: 2 hours
    Whole wheat berries lend themselves to both summer and winter dishes. Much of the flavor in this salad comes from the tangy juice of chopped tomatoes, which is almost like a marinade for the chewy wheat. The salad is all about texture, with crunchy celery and/or cucumber, and soft feta contrasting with the wheat.
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup farro or wheat berries, rinsed, soaked for several hours or overnight in 1 quart water
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1 1/2 to 2 cups diced tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 cup diced celery or cucumber, or a combination
    • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (more to taste)
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 ounces feta, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    Instructions
    • 1. Place the wheat berries and their soaking water in a large saucepan, add salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 1 hour, or until the grains are tender and beginning to splay. Turn off the heat and allow the wheat berries to sit in the hot water for another 15 minutes. Drain.
    • 2. While the wheat berries are cooking, dice the tomatoes and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and add the sherry and balsamic vinegars. Toss together and let sit for 1 hour.
    • 3. After you drain the wheat berries, toss with the tomatoes and juices. Allow to marinate together for 1 hour. Add the remaining ingredients and toss together. Refrigerate until ready to serve, or serve at once.

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