This year on the 24th of September, I want to place more emphasis on side dishes than the braai meat. Of course I love a great piece of steak, chop and wors, but sometimes the side dishes can be bland and rushed. At the end of the party, you’re often left with a massive bowl of unimaginitive boiled potatoes covered in mayonnaise and a “mixed salad” which no-one paid any attention to.
So what are my suggestions for the ultimate braai day side dishes? I think a freshly baked bread is always a winner. I prefer Franck Dangereux’s oil bread when I’m hosting a party – magnificent to keep the guests happy while the meat is still on the fire. Secondly, I would serve a warm potato salad made with baby potatoes, asparagus and gruyere cheese, dressed with a tangy mustard vinaigrette, or a creamy potato bake made with fresh cream, black pepper and lots of parmesan cheese. And then of course we need a bowl of fresh and crips cos lettuce leaves: my ultimate braai day salad with avocado, crispy bacon, peas, croutons, danish feta and a thick green goddess dressing. This salad is great because it keeps meat eaters happy but also scores points from the green veg lovers.
I always serve my large salads on a big tray rather than a deep bowl – this way none of the goodies can sink to the bottom and everyone can see exactly what they’re dishing up. And it looks generous!
PS: Don’t forget the traditional tomato/cheese/onion/chutney “braaibroodjies”! Everyone loves them!
Ingredients for salad:
- a bag of fresh, crisp, small cos lettuce leaves
- 2 ripe avocados, scooped out into rough chunks with a teaspoon
- 2/3 cup of fresh green peas*
- 200 g danish feta, crumbled into large chunks
- 1 cup of croutons **
- 200 g lean bacon, chopped and fried until crisp
* I buy frozen peas and leave them to thaw, but use them uncooked.
** I make my own croutons by frying cubed sourdough bread in Canola oil for about a minute, then drain on kitchen paper.
Arrange all the ingredients in the listed order on a large serving platter. End off with the bacon, then drizzle with green goddess dressing just before serving.
Ingredients for green goddess dressing:
- 2 heaped tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 heaped tablespoons Greek yoghurt (or plain)
- 1 generous teaspoon Dijon mustard
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 handful chopped chives
Mix all the ingredients together in a cup with a fork – this makes a thick, luxurious dressing. Add a teaspoon of warm water if dressing is too thick. Serve extra dressing on the side.
This post was especially written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.
Food: Ilse van der Merwe.
Photography: Tasha Seccombe.
Styling: Tasha Seccombe & Nicola Pretorius