We’re going barefoot with this edition.’Tis the season of BBQs, deck parties, and backyard socials. It’s the ultimate time of year for loose, casual dining and off-the-cuff meals that keep the frilly details to a minimum. These super simple sides offer tons of bang for your buck. They’ll have you less busy in the kitchen - and give you more time to enjoy the glories of summer!
Market Fresh Cucumbers
Buy these en masse from your local farmers market; they’re in season right now. Their crisp, delicious flavour is a perfect counterpoint to the steamy weather. This is so simple it doesn’t need a recipe, but watch them disappear.
Makes enough for 6-8
12 small cucumbers, sliced lengthwise, then lengthwise again (quartered)
extra virgin olive oil
Pita Chips & Guacamole
Makes enough for 4-8
Ingredients Pita Chips
2 bags large brown pita bread, roughly cut in chip size pieces
extra virgin olive oil
3 ripe avocados, mashed
1 ripe tomato, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 lime, squeezed
handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Preheat your oven to 300F.
Place cut up pita on 2-3 baking sheets and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and cayenne to taste.
Bake pita chips for 5-7 minutes. When ready, they will be crisp and slightly browned.
In the meantime, mix all the guacamole ingredients together. Serve with warm pita chips.
BBQ Corn on the Cob
These are two excellent options, equally easy and delicious. As simple as this is, it’s a crowd pleasing favourite!
Corn in the Husk
Place corn cobs in the husk directly on the rack and BBQ for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. The husks will be blackened when done, and the corn on the inside should be moist and tender.
Corn Without the Husk
Peel corn cobs and place directly on the rack. BBQ for 10 minutes, turning regularly. The corn will become slightly charred. This version is slightly less moist than cooking it with husk on, and comes out more nutty & smoky.
World’s Best Drizzle
Use this universal drizzle as a salad dressing, splash on top of BBQd meat, veg, and fish dishes, or add a dash of extra mayo and use it as a dip. Make it in advance, store in a Mason Jar, and keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Makes 3 - 4 cups, depending on desired consistency
1 cup mayonnaise (1.5 cups if making a dip)
2 cups extra virgin olive oil (it’s worth it to use the good stuff in this recipe)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoon tarragon
sea salt to taste
Fruit Salad with Fresh Herbs
This modern take on fruit salad can be served as dessert, with or without fresh cream. As always, if you can find these ingredients at a farmer’s market, I promise you it will taste better.
Makes enough for 8 -10
1/2 large watermelon, cut into bite size pieces
2 pints blueberries
2 pints blackberries
2 pints strawberries, tops off and cut in two
4 peaches or nectarines, pitted and roughly chopped
1 cup fresh mint, diced
1 cup fresh basil, diced
fresh cream as a drizzle (optional)