Memorial Day weekend is all about the grill, but it doesn’t have to be all about the meat. Here are a bunch of side dishes to round out your party and ensure that you and your friends eat their vegetables.
Grilled Broccoli Rabe Char, garlic and red chili flakes transform this bitter-leaning crucifer into a delicious side dish.
Corn and Tomato Salad
This classic summer salad is sweet, juicy and fresh with the kick of poblano chiles and crisp red onion.
Blue Potato and Mustard Salad
Another no-mayo potato salad, napped with olive oil and spiked with fresh mustard leaves. Use blue potatoes if you can find them for color value. Otherwise, yellow potatoes will work too.
A fresh and satisfying Middle Eastern salad fragrant with mint and coriander, composed of crisp greens, crumbled feta and grilled pita bread.
Memorial Day weekend is a week away, but why wait to grill? Any weekend (or any night, for that matter) is a good excuse to fire up the Weber. I made these skewers to feed a crowd, but the following recipe will generously feed a table of four. A Middle Eastern inspired pomegranate marinade infused with aromatic spices tenderizes and flavors the chicken, which is best left to marinate overnight. If you don’t have time for that, then 4 hours will do.
Grilled Pomegranate Chicken and Vegetable Skewers
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Bamboo skewers, pre-soaked for 30 minutes
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 red or orange bell peppers, stemmed and seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks
Fresh mint and parsley leaves for garnish
1. Whisk the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside 1/4 cup for basting.
2. Cut the chicken into 1-inch chunks. Place in a large bowl. Add the marinade and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Thread the chicken on skewers alternating with onion pieces and peppers.
4. Grill over direct medium heat until nicely charred and chicken is thoroughly cooked through, turning as needed, 8 to 10 minutes, basting halfway through the cooking process with reserved sauce.
5. To serve, pile the skewers on a serving platter. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with extra salt and pepper if desired. Garnish with fresh mint and parsley leaves.
It’s Memorial Day in the U.S., which is also the semi-official kick-off to summer and outdoor grilling. It’s a busy weekend here in the San Francisco Bay area. Not only is it Memorial Day, it’s the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge’s staggering construction – and, even more importantly, it’s my son’s birthday. We have a busy day of festivities ahead of us, but before I sign off I will leave you with a Memorial Day menu worthy of a national holiday, a bridge building fête, and a birthday BBQ celebration.