When you barbecue at home, do you ever find yourself in a menu rut? Sure, the traditional side dishes are always a hit, but they can also become boring. This spring, when you barbecue at home, why not try a delicious new side dish that incorporates seasonal produce? You and your guests will enjoy a tasty and healthy twist on the traditional cookout menu.
- Ina Garten’s Garlic Sautéed Spinach is fast and easy, and will have everyone wanting to eat greens. After rinsing a pound and a half of baby spinach leaves and spinning them dry, place two tablespoons of olive oil and six cloves of chopped garlic over medium heat in a large Dutch oven for about a minute. Add the spinach, along with two teaspoons of kosher salt and ¾ teaspoon of black pepper, toss it with the oil, cover the pot, and cook for two more minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the spinach to a serving bowl before topping it with a tablespoon of unsalted butter, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkling of sea or kosher salt, if desired.
- Grilled Asparagus with Garlic and Parmesan Cheese easily works for a barbecue at home. In this recipe, you simply wash asparagus, snap off the tough ends, and toss them in a bowl with two minced or pressed garlic cloves, three tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, two to three tablespoons of olive oil, and sea salt and black pepper to taste. Then place the asparagus lengthwise on your preheated grill over medium heat, cover, and cook for about five minutes, turning often to prevent burning.
- Martha Stewart’s Rhubarb Pie brings a charming, old-fashioned touch to your barbecue at home. Using a prepared pie crust makes it easy: simply toss about six cups of rhubarb, trimmed and cut crosswise into ¾ inch pieces, with a cup of sugar, two tablespoons of cornstarch, and a pinch of salt. Put this mixture into the pie crust and sprinkle with a crumble topping made of ¾ cup flour, ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar, three tablespoons granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, and six tablespoons cold, unsalted butter. Place pie in a preheated 400° oven, then lower the heat to 375° and bake until topping and crust is lightly browned, about an hour and a half. Allow the pie to cool completely before serving.
- This Spring Onion and Pea Soup with Ramp Crostino from Mario Batali tastes impressive, but is easier to prepare than you might expect. To make it, sauté two finely chopped medium shallots and the white parts of two bunches of spring onions, chopped, in two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, until the onions are translucent, which takes about three minutes. Add two cups of vegetable stock, the green parts of the onions, and two cups of fresh, shelled peas, and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium, bring to a boil, then reduce it immediately to simmer, and simmer for about six minutes, until the peas are tender. Work in batches to puree the soup in a food processor or blender, then strain through a fine mesh sieve, divide between four bowls, place a ramp crostino in each bowl, and garnish with mint leaves.
To further shake things up at your barbecue at home, try pre-cooked ribs from Tony Roma. These delicious, crowd-pleasing ribs are so easy and convenient that you’ll have plenty of time to invest in creative side dishes. For more lifestyle and grilling tips, connect with Tony Roma on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!