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side dish help....please....

I promised a friend who's about to have surgery that I would have a small dinner party for him. I thought small meant 6-8. He thought differently and invited 18 people. He's a good friend....so I'll roll with it. I've going to my "tried and true" dishes....so I'll enjoy the party. Besides, I'm basically making his favorites. I want to make couscous as a side dish...but I'm bored with the recipes I have for it. Can anyone suggest anything interesting?
Main dishes are grilled salmon and grilled flank steak.
Thanks so much!

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  1. try roasting some vegetables like:

    roasted pearl onions with basalmic glaze
    roasted acorn squash stuffed with quinoa
    roasted parsnips, rutabagas, and carrots
    or I guess for the flank steak you can do a roasted tomato salsa on the side or you can make herbed frites. I go to a restaurant that does an excellent steak frites with flank steak.

    green beans (cooked very quickly) and tossed with crumbled up goat cheese (I love this)

    1. I like to make a griddle roasted asparagus. You would do this in an oven with a large iron flat pan, I suppose, but I do them atop my Wolf stove iron flat griddle. Olive oil heated and hot. Add asparagus and roll asparagus in oil to coat, season wtih salt, fresh ground black pepper. Let it sit until it nicely browns on one side...do not toss for a bit...let it stick first. Toss just once to get another side browned. Then, make sure heat is high and add splash of balsamic vinegar unti it dances on the griddle, toss asparagus and let vinegar reduce to a thick sweet coating. It'll just take a minute. Serve immediately. Super simple. Super good.

      1. Barefoot Contessa's curried couscous is super easy and super tasty. You can probably find the recipe online, but let me know if you'd like me to post it. :-)

        1. For the Salmon you could try Isreali cous cous, which is actually pasta. I like to cook it in water thats been infused with saffron, for color and flavor. Then add chopped dried fruit, like dried cherries and apricots, and maybe sauteed shallots. This works grat with salmon, also with braised meats.

          1. love oven roasted asparagus - i toss w/goat cheese and lemon zest...yummy