5 posh sides to brighten any midweek meal*

As summer draws ever closer, those BBQs and other chances to host friends and family are popping up thick and fast. You often want to make it count when entertaining guests by adding some wow factor with fancy side dishes. 

Or you might just be looking for a bit more variety in your side dishes altogether – it feels good making an effort for your nearest and dearest any night of the week. To give you a grasp on easy side dishes that also look the part, here are my ideas for sides that are a little more posh than the usual suspects. 

Tapas and pinxtos
Tapas has become a bit of a buzzword in the foodie scene, but nobody can deny their appeal. They’re simple enough to make at home, and for the ultimate high-class, low effort option, go for pinxtos. Those are made with olives, Spanish hams and cheeses cut into slices on a platter, served with thick crusty bread. Kids love grabbing a toothpick and sticking it into each of the different things they want to try. 

Classy salad
A decent salad goes a long way, and always looks the part. But a truly fancy salad adds a touch of exotic flair to the whole thing. There are lots of recipes to try for this one, although my personal favourite is the potato, pea and coconut salad. It uses coconut instead of mayonnaise to add a crisp twist to the usual potato salad. Of course, the right spices go a long way to helping your salad stand apart too. 


Posh fries
Believe it or not, even the humble chip can be turned into a fancy side. With the likes of loaded fries in vogue these days, chips are no longer just cheap and cheerful. Triple cooked chips are what to go for if you’re after a rich flavour with a crisp outside and a fluffy middle. Big names like McCain Gastro Chips are making these posh potatoes easier to get hold of than ever. 

Spicy rice
Big in Mexico and Portugal and a favourite side dish for visitors of a certain chicken establishment, spicy rice recipes have become very popular lately. Have some fun with this one, because the secret is in the spices. Chilli powder, turmeric, garlic and paprika can all be experimented with to make spicy rice of varying intensities. 

Glazed sweet potatoes
Chunks of sweet potato can be glazed with all kinds of goodness to bring out their distinctive flavour. A good recipe mixes in maple glaze and bits of bacon for a rich side that’s sure to put some smiles on faces, although I’d be just as inclined to add some cajun spices or even some yakisoba sauce. 

Side dishes of all shapes and sizes can be as classy as you need them to be. Luckily, taking things upmarket doesn’t need to mean spending more or working hard either. 

Do you have a go-to side dish that you’d recommend?

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