Come rain or shine South Africans love to braai. There are no ifs or buts about it. There is always wood, firelighters and braai meat on hand in a South African household. The often asked question however is, what to serve as side dishes? We could stick to the traditional garlic bread, potato bake and Greek salad of course, but why not liven things up as we enter the festive season? Keep things healthy by including all of the food groups and bring the rainbow to your braai table with colourful salads and sides. Let’s look at two options you can try.
Salad with a Twist: Great with Lamb Chops
What is a braai without some juicy lamb chops? This colourful, crunchy salad is a light and utterly delicious accompaniment to any braai. Its fresh flavours are perfect when served with rich meats and marinades which we traditionally have at a braai. It is so good that it could be a meal on its own!
Bulgar Salad with Pomegranate Seeds
1 cup uncooked bulgar wheat
1 Tbsp oil
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup diced cucumber
½ cup diced feta
3 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
2 sprigs of fresh mint, stalks removed, and larger leaves torn in half
1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp olive oil for the dressing
- Cook the bulgar wheat according to instructions. Fluff up with a fork and mix in the oil.
- Heat a small, dry frying pan over medium heat and toast pumpkin seeds for 3 minutes, shaking the pan to toast evenly. Set aside to cool.
- Make the dressing by mixing together the lemon juice and oil.
- To assemble the salad, spoon bulgar wheat onto a large serving platter. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds, cucumber, feta and spring onions. Pour the dressing over the salad, fork through, then scatter over the toasted pumpkin seeds and mint.
Get Your Kebab on!
Enjoy these delicious fungi on a stick, as a starter or as an accompaniment to your braai. Either way, you can never make enough of these, and the tasty marinade will keep your family and guests coming back for more – and asking for the recipe!
Mushroom Braai Kebabs
2 punnets button mushrooms
½ cup tomato sauce
2 Tbsp soya sauce
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
- Skewer the mushrooms onto kebab sticks.
- Mix ingredients together, pour over the mushrooms, leave to marinade for an hour or more.
- Put the mushroom kebabs on the braai, turning occasionally and marinade with the leftover sauce often until cooked.
While the traditional sides are always a guaranteed win, why not adapt them, spruce them up with some interesting spices, pickles, pestos and chutneys from Wildsprout. Food does not need to be boring, as we can see from the two simple recipes above. The internet is filled with many creative and easy ideas shared by our nation’s top braai masters and chefs. Spring into summer and make your braai a healthy, tasty and memorable one this Christmas.