Cook like it’s summer, even if it’s not.
Funny how I grew up thinking that the May long weekend was the start to summer. It’s funny, because I live in Southern New Brunswick where the average temperature in May is 16 degrees. Regardless of the weather, there was always the dare to get dunked in the river the Victoria Day weekend. But I also recall at least one May long weekend when there were snow flurries.
No matter the weather, Victoria Day weekend is a great time to cook like it’s summer.
If you’re planning a barbecue here are 10 healthy side dishes to go with what ever you plan to put on the grill.
10 Healthy Side Dishes for Summer
Quick pickled onions are mellow and tart with the fresh taste of lime juice and just a hint of savoury sweet from molasses.
When cooked for a long time, onions develop a rich, savoury sweetness that complements meats, cheeses and anything spicy. The recipe calls for a little balsamic vinegar (or cider vinegar) which balances the sweet and gives the flavour a bright edge.
This salad is gorgeous, with a chipotle molasses dressing that has a great sweet-with-heat balance. The nectarines soften when they’re grilled and the sugars caramelize a bit, which makes them irresistible. Both the dressing and the nectarine flavours go beautifully with the fresh, creamy goat cheese that you nestle in beside the fruit.
Eating this pretty salad will give your the delicious hint of summer that you’re craving.
This salad is sprinkled with peppered walnuts and dressed with a vinaigrette filled with fresh herbs.
I grew up eating this marinated tomato salad at big family parties where the food was laid out on the dining room table and served buffet style. Nestled in among the plates of ham and potato salad this salad was stunningly beautiful and added a welcomed variety to the standard fare.
Leafy salads are great but sometimes it’s nice to have a salad with a bit more crunch and colour, which is just what this salad offers.
The salad is also loaded with vegetables, so there is more flavour and texture than your regular potato salad. And the dressing isn’t mayonnaise-based so you don’t have the same hot weather storage worries.
This salad tastes especially good when it has had a chance to sit for a few hours to mellow the texture and flavour of the raw broccoli. What’s better, it can last in the fridge for a few days and maintains its crunch.
The grains are tossed with an aromatic vinaigrette spiced with coriander, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon, then sprinkled with currants and toasted almonds. The salad is full of flavours and textures that are just right for fish and chicken dishes. But you could also add some cooked lentils and crumbled feta to make it more substantial.
Every great barbecue needs healthy side dishes to round out the meal. This selection gives enough variety to keep everyone happy.
Enjoy the holiday weekend!