HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Interesting Carb side for Grilled Salmon

I am stumped as to a new and interesting carb side for grilled salmon. The traditional is some kind of rice dish but I would like to do something a little different. I have ideas for the veggies but not the carb. Any help would be appreciated!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What ideas do you have for vegetables? I often serve it without carbs - just with a yogurt/cucumber/dill sauce and a salad. I think potatoes are wonderful with salmon - particularly if you can get new potatoes. Though, I was told at the farmer's market in NYC today not to expect them until July. Maybe potato galettes?

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      I will be having this dinner in early July (Calgary) and will probably grill veggies in season. That would mean perhaps green beans, baby carrots, peppers. I love this mint pesto sauce that I tried as a rub with the salmon. It was outstanding. I don't think the yogurt/cucumber/dill would work with that. But new potatoes. I had not thought of baby potatoes with salmon. And if they are not in season yet, then a potato galette would be nice. My salad idea was Caprese with buffalo mozarella. There should be some nice tomatoes, I hope. Maybe it is a bit early for tomatoes. Perhaps I should have an interesting green salad?

      1. re: sarah galvin

        grilled potenta would make a good colour contrast. you could make the polenta with flecks of peppers or other things for interest

    2. Bulgur. It's easier to cook than white rice (because it's cracked wheat that's already partially cooked and then redried) and has more fiber and flavor than brown rice. If you want to add spices and some chopped dried apricots or something like that and garnish with finely minced parsley, all the better.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Karl S

        I have rarely cooked bulghur. Would it work with some nice fresh herbs?

        1. re: sarah galvin

          Yes. Anything you'd use in rice can be used in bulgur.

      2. When we grill salmon we keep things simple simple simple. If it's a nice piece of fish it should be the star....as a result we tend to keep sides very simple as well. Sometimes new potatoes with butter and dill. Sometimes a tomato and cucumber salad. Last night we had some green beans tossed with a mustard vinaigrette and hazelnuts. Often we'll grill some corn.

        For guests I like to make a potato salad of purple fingerlings, green beans, lemon zest, olive oil and fresh herbs. Pretty and simple.

        1. I too often serve salmon without carbs. It's asparagus season.... lovely with salmon in any incarnation. Sautéed spinach or other greens are a good fit as well. If you do need a carb how about garlic bread????

          1. Couscous, instant variety. Use chicken broth, with chopped green onion for color and flavor.

            1. Israeli (sometimes called Mediterranean) couscous. I usually cook it in broth, then add some pine nuts, cranberries, and whatever I have on hand of red onion, scallions, shallots. Sprinkle with some lemon juice and sea salt.

              1. Maybe roasted potato salad? I usually use new potatoes, but if they're not available, regular ones will do. Roast the potatoes with a mix of vegetables (mushrooms, red and green peppers, maybe some zucchini, etc.), garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar to finish.

                  1. Quinoa or Orzo w/ cucumber, lemon zest, feta, fresh herbs (I like dill & parsley), EVOO, and S&P.

                    I served this recently w/ a cedar-planked salmon and it paired well and was super simple to make. Can also be served at room temp. or chilled depending on your preference. Leftovers are good for lunch the next day w/ some salmon or tuna chunks mixed in.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Carb Lover

                      I was going to suggest orzo as well, as a nice alternative to rice. I do think that pilaf with a lemon twist goes nice with salmon, depending upon *its* prep.

                      Also agree w/ the above nods for asparagus. With that, I might also serve a cauliflower puree.

                      1. re: Carb Lover

                        i immediately thought "quinoa", too! very versatile, so one can toss in some herbs to complement the salmon. lately hounds have been talking up mint with salmon, but i haven't tried that yet. i like your quinoa salad combination very much. serve at room temp, right? (i think i'd have to add a wee bit o' garlic!)

                        as to couscous, i think its texture as a side is more suitable for chicken (juicy chick in contrast to dry-ish, crumbly-ish couscous). salmon itself tends to be dryish (cf. to chick), so i think i'd be craving some juiciness, somewhere on the plate. just a thought.

                        1. re: alkapal

                          Yes, I served my quinoa salad at room temp., but if I were serving on a blazing hot day, I would chill. I like to make it a couple of hours before serving so the flavors have time to mingle and then toss in the feta right before serving.

                          I agree that quinoa is better than couscous w/ salmon.

                      2. Lentil salad is classic. (cook lentils in broth with carrot, onion, celery, garlic... with a vinaigarette mixed in after cooking)

                        1. Wow, what a bunch of good ideas! I made mint pesto and rubbed it on my salmon before grilling and it was fantastic. But next time, I would like a more interesting side - so the feta, herbed orzo or quinoa would be nice. And I had not even thought about polenta. And I like the roasted potato salad. That is an easy way to serve a variety of veggies. And bulgur. I didn't realize I was stuck in such a rut with my salmon.

                          1. We love Oven Roasted or Grilled Wild Salmon served on a bed of French Lentils.

                            Emeril recently did a neautiful version of this that I tried. The recipe is on the Food Network website in Emeril's recipe section.