Great Summer Side Dishes

Shake up tradition with these grilling accompaniments

By Aïda Mollenkamp and Regan Burns

We’ll always save a little space on our picnic tables for those familiar potato and pasta salads (even the occasional Jell-O mold). But sometimes tradition needs a little shaking up. Enter these sublime sides, perfectly suited to accompany grilled dishes—a number of which you will find in our summer grilling feature.

1. Marinated Potatoes and Fennel. You can still call this tangy mélange of heirloom potatoes, sweet onions, and crisp fennel “potato salad” if it pleases you, but that might hurt its feelings.

2. Root Beer BBQ Beans. For some, a barbecue isn’t complete without beans—what else do you serve the franks with? This recipe employs root beer and extra seasonings to dress up canned beans.

3. Blue Cheese Coleslaw. This unbeatable slant on slaw is great with burgers or anything spicy—it was originally developed to accompany our Buffalo Chicken Tenders.

4. Indian Quinoa Salad. This cold salad made with protein-rich quinoa has a distinctly Indian flavor that comes from garam masala. Try it with grilled chicken or lamb.

5. Fennel, Avocado, and Mint Salad with Pistachio-Caper Dressing. A substantial layered salad, this warm-weather treat has the complexity of a main dish yet requires no cooking. Plus, it’s vegan.

6. Bourbon Creamed Corn. Why didn’t we think of this sooner? It’s a natural pairing: After all, bourbon is 51 percent corn. For a smashing virgin version, try our Corn with Chèvre and Red Peppers.

7. Cucumber, Olive, and Avocado Tartare with Raita. Light, crisp, and refreshing, this offbeat salad is the edible equivalent of a cool breeze.

8. Marinated Mango. Mushy bananas and brown apples just won’t do. For those who can’t live without fruit salad, we give you this lightly spiced combination of ripe mango, crisp jicama, and fresh mint.

9. Chipotle Double-Cooked Potatoes. These flavor-packed spuds, though time-consuming, are scene-stealing delicious and require little more than a simple grilled steak to make a memorable meal.

10. Okra with Tomato and Cucumber. This quick stir-fry, made with one of our favorite, oft-overlooked veggies, would be fantastic alongside grilled chicken that’s been bathed in Tandoori-Style Marinade.

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