Looking for Interesting, Unusual BBQ Side Dishes

Good Questions

Q: I am throwing a surprise 40th birthday party for my husband. The majority of food will be done on the grill (ribs, burgers, dogs, corn, veggies) but I am looking to round out the menu with some new and interesting side dishes. Extra credit for dishes I can make ahead of time to freeze or store elsewhere, so I am not raising suspicion in my already sneaky husband.

There will be about 50 people, and I will be serving a wide range of ages, vegans, and omnivores alike. So filling, non-meat dishes are welcome! There will definitely be some Trinidadian and Iranian dishes from my side. Also, any fun booze ideas that aren't too expensive for a big group?

Sent by Tisola

Editor: Tisola, we are big fans of grain salads. They can be made ahead, they are a wonderful dish for vegetarians, and they are refreshing and cool yet fresh and more unusual. Here are a few favorite recipes:

Meyer Lemon Grain Salad with Asparagus, Almonds and Goat Cheese (pictured above)
Sweet and Savory Wild Rice Salad
Five Grain Salad from Emeril Lagasse

Readers, what are your suggestions for fresh, interesting BBQ side dishes, or for cocktails for a crowd?

Related: Make-Ahead Lunches! 9 Fresh and Satisfying Grain Salads

(Image: Faith Durand)

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