Bold Side Dishes Make a Father’s Day BBQ Festive


Mother’s Day is often associated with elegant brunches – crepes, French toast, fancy omelettes and all kinds of poached egg specialities. 

But Father’s Day is all about the meat. Usually, people celebrate with a barbecue of some kind because the weather tends to be warm and many Dads like to flaunt their barbecue prowess.

Some men, like my brother-in-law David, are terrific grill masters. My husband, on the other hand, tends to burn almost everything he barbecues.

In keeping with COVID guidelines, my family will be gathering in our backyard for Father’s Day. A barbecue is the simplest and safest plan for dinner. My husband will be manning the grill, but we’ll be limiting the main course to hot dogs and hamburgers.

I’ll be preparing some side dishes and serving them because a buffet-style spread has to be avoided during the pandemic. 

It’s still asparagus season and Teriyaki Asparagus, will be a nice addition to the meal. This recipe comes from Meal Leani Yumm! 800 Fast, Fabulous & Healthy Recipes for the Kosher (or not) Cook, by the late Norene Gilletz.

You can never go wrong with potatoes. I’ll be baking Hasselback Potatoes. The recipe I’ll be using comes from I Heart Kosher: Beautiful Recipes From My Kitchen by Kim Kushner, a Canadian cookbook author based in New York City. I’ll also be making Kushner’s Sexy Red Kale with Beets & Fresh Dill in Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. This colourful, bold-flavoured salad should give the meal some extra pizzazz.


1½ lb (750 g) asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 2-inch (5 cm) slices
2 tbsp (30 ml) teriyaki sauce
1 tsp (5 ml) minced fresh ginger
2 green onions, chopped
½ to 1 tsp (3-5 ml) toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp (15 ml) honey 
1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh orange juice
½ tsp (3 ml) Dijon mustard
2 tbsp (30 ml) toasted sesame seeds

Soak the asparagus in water and drain well. Place the spears in a 1-quart or (1-lL) casserole and drizzle with the teriyaki sauce. Sprinkle with the ginger and green onions.

Microwave on high for 6 or 7 minutes, until the spears are barely tender. Let them stand covered for 3 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil, honey, orange juice and mustard. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve immediately. 

To toast the sesame seeds: Place the seeds in a small pan and roast them on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.


Adapted version of Kim Kushner’s Kale with Beets and Fresh Dill Salad. Photo Barbara Silverstein

4 –6 cups (1–1½ L) red kale leaves, washed and stored, roughly chopped
2 Belgian endives, leaves peeled off whole
1 red beet, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup (250 ml ) frozen shelled edamame, thawed and rinsed
1 cup (250 ml) roughly chopped fresh dill
Juice of 3 Meyer lemons
½ tsp (3 ml) whole mustard seeds
¼ tsp (1 ml) crushed dried rose petals (optional)
1 tbsp (15 ml) honey
¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Combine the kale, endive leaves, beet, edamame, and dill in a large bowl or platter. Toss them all together.

Pour the lemon juice into a glass jar, add the mustard seeds, dried rose petals (if using), honey, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Shake well. Spoon the vinaigrette over the salad just before serving. Makes 6 –8 servings.


6–10 medium to large Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and dried
Light olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line an extra large rimmed baking sheet (or 2 regular baking sheets) with parchment paper.

Working with one potato at a time, cut thin slits into the top of the potato from one side to the other, cutting almost, but not all the way through, almost like a fan. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes and season generously with salt and pepper. Use your hands to rub in the seasonings and ensure that the potatoes are completely coated with the oil, salt, and pepper.

Place the potatoes, uncut side down. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until the potatoes are crispy and golden, about 30 minutes longer. Makes 6 to 10 servings.

Barbara Silverstein
Barbara Silverstein

Barbara Silverstein is a Toronto-area journalist and an award-winning food writer. She was a freelance writer and food blogger for The Canadian Jewish News. Her articles have also appeared in Homemakers Magazine, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and Tablet Magazine.