Dinner party for 6 / Roasted Salmon / Sides Ideas?


I am hosting a dinner party for 6 this Friday. I'd like to focus on foods that I know how to do well, and that also don't require a lot of constant attention. I'm going to roast salmon in the oven with lemon, a bit of dill, and a bit of butter (I do this dish well!). I'd like to definitely do a salad, another side, and wondering if I need to do anything else?

For salads- I do either a simple greens salad well- butter lettuce w/ feta cheese and a lemon vinaigrette. Or, I can do an endive/apple salad. (Or anything else).

I am not super comfortable making rice, quinoa, barley or any of those types of grains, as I don't eat them often. I do know how to do roasted broccoli well.

Any ideas? Feel like my menu is super boring! Thanks in advance.


Heather Warburton


arcane54 February 14, 2015
My choices would be a garlic mashed potatoes and roasted beets with a subtle orange glaze... and I like just about everything everyone else has recommended! What an array of options!
Heather W. February 14, 2015
Thanks so much for everyone's great replies. FYI, here is what I made
-Roasted Halibut w/ sliced fennel and lemon ( no salmon avail)
-Roasted Carrots with a bit of ginger
-Roasted Potatoes mixed with sautéed mushrooms and thyme and rosemary
-Butter Lettuce & Endive Salad with goat cheese, pomegranate seeds and a white balsamic, dijon vinaigrette.

The salad was the biggest hit as were the carrots. The halibut fell a little flat, plus I overcooked it.

Next time I do a dinner party I will stick to things Iknow how to do well- maybe a bunch of mediterrean plates. thanks to everyone for their awesome ideas !!
Cristina S. February 11, 2015
Every time I cooked salmon in the past few months, I've paired it with this salad: http://theroamingkitchen.net/a-winter-salad-of-fennel-celery-root-lemon-and-pecorino/. You can make it the morning of. I'll also boil some potatoes, and serve with lemon and tzatziki. I also sometimes make roasted broccoli tosses with garlic, lemon zest, and a bit of microplaned parmesan.
Kristen W. February 11, 2015
These are all great ideas, to which I would add roasted potatoes. They are not difficult to make, and I just love any form of caramelized potato with salmon.
sexyLAMBCHOPx February 10, 2015
This contest winning broccoli recipe may work well https://food52.com/recipes/2678-roasted-bagna-cauda-broccoli
Nancy February 10, 2015
Your menu sounds fine...it has a balance of colors, food groups, tastes. If I were making it I'd add some crunch...like croutons to the salad, or nuts to the broccoli (pignoli goes very well). If no crouton, a good sourdough or baguette to mop up salmon butter sauce. Simple food made well is very relaxing, for all at table, esp hostess. Relax and remember, you are not having Anton (the food critic in Ratatouille), but your friends as guests.
keg72 February 10, 2015
If you are looking to perk up your menu a bit, I absolutely adore this salad:
https://food52.com/recipes/8766-sweet-salty-crunchy-zingy-apple-and-celery-salad. It is fantastic and certainly not boring! If you're a bit wary of rice or grains, you could make orzo and add to it absolutely anything, including kale, cashews, etc. A nice option would be to sauté some garlic in olive oil and add that, along with a spritz of lemon, to the cooked orzo as your "dressing" and then add some roasted asparagus cut on the diagonal into one-inch pieces, freshly grated parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts.
Audrey A. February 10, 2015
Sure thing! :) The rice is fool-proof (I do prefer Jasmine). And the cashews and raisins are always a hit. :) Best wishes for Friday! I hope it's lovely! The asparagus is always good with either a little lemon or Parmesan. If you do the Parmesan, stick it under the broiler for just a brief period to get it to stick to the stalks.
Audrey A. February 10, 2015
Grilled Asparagus, and rice (Amanda Hesser's 17 minute method works EVERY TIME: Add 1 cup rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 cups water to the pot, set over medium heat, and bring to a boil. When water begins to boil, cover pot, transfer to oven (400*), and cook for 17 minutes until perfectly cooked. Remove from oven, uncover, and fluff with a fork. Set aside). And maybe a kale salad with a balsamic vinegarette, cashews and raisins.
Heather W. February 10, 2015
Ooh I love those ideas!! Maybe I will do a trial run of the rice before Friday. I also really like the kale/ balsamic/raisins/ cashews ideas. Sounds delicious. Thanks for the idea!
LeBec F. February 11, 2015
wow, ALL of the suggestions are so good, you lucky girl! My idea is perhaps anathema on a home cooking site, but, as i was saying,
Do you have a Trader Joe's near you? There is a frozen starc h that they sell that I love more than anything I've bought there over the years. So if you have any salmon leftovers from your lovely dinner, or you're cooking salmon for yourself one night, pair it with TrJ Japanese Rice pilaf (multigrains and edamame etc). It's colorful and light and chewy, takes just ~ a few minutes in the microwave. For me, it makes every meal a hit!
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