Skip to main content

Eating & drinking   |   Recipes

Side dishes for a late summer roast

If you are used to doing the same sides each time you cook a roast dinner, this August bank holiday weekend why not switch to something new? Just right for the time of year and featuring seasonal veg, these dishes have a comforting feel but are a bit lighter and offer fresh inspiration for accompaniments to go with your meat, veggie or vegan centrepiece. 

A creamy beetroot gratin is an incredibly moreish side dish. It's quick to get in the oven and ends up a magnificent deep purple. Delicious with roast beef or smoked fish, for more of a kick you can add a teaspoon of grated or creamed horseradish with the cream and garlic. 

Beetroot gratin

Baked kohlrabi with almond and parsley crust is good with pork chops, or try on its own with some roasted carrots or beetroot for a vegetarian main course (swap Parmesan for a vegan alternative). You could substitute or supplement the kohlrabi with other summer roots such as beetroot, turnips or carrots, or mix in a handful or shredded greens before baking. 

Baked kohlrabi

Honey and thyme scented caramelised potatoes are another wonderful side, with a glossy golden sheen. In Denmark they are traditionally eaten with roast pork or duck, and sometimes with pork sausages. The potatoes are quite sweet so try to have some sour elements on the plate as well as plenty of salt on the table.  

New potato bake

This new potato, spinach and Gruyère bake is really easy to make and pairs well with a robust green salad alongside your main dish. Especially good with roast chicken or ham, it is flexible too - if you don't have any Gruyère substitute in any other cheese for a slightly different taste. Chard is a good stand-in for spinach if that's what you have to hand, but be doubly sure to remove the tough stalks. 

If you have never cooked a lettuce, now is the time to give it a go. Little Gem lettuces are great chargrilled - halve or quarter them depending on the size, brush lightly with oil, season with salt and pepper and place on a hot griddle pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes, turning frequently until tender. It will depend on the heat so use your judgement. The lettuce should be lightly coloured and half wilted, with black charred stripes and so tasty you will want to eat them straight from the pan.  

Minted little gems

As they are a miniature, crisper and sweeter version of Cos, Little Gems also retain a bit of crunch when braised. Minted braised Little Gems have an almost nutty flavour and are especially good served with lamb. You can also throw a handful of frozen peas or broad beans in at the last minute to add in extra green goodness. 


Wicked Leeks is out now

With a focus on regenerative farming, a cover interview with ethical restaurateur Asma Khan and we answer your questions on price, plastic and organic farming. Plus the joy of seasonal summer eating.

Read more

Ecological farming can feed UK if diets change

New report outlines how diets can support an ecological farming system in the UK to cut carbon, restore nature and preserve farming livelihoods.

Read now
veg box

Ethical organic veg. Delivered.

Set up by Guy Singh-Watson, Riverford now delivers across the country with a full range of fresh produce, meat, dairy and more.

Shop now

Join the Wicked Leeks community

Sign up for the newsletter and receive the five latest stories, once a week. Wicked Leeks magazine is published by organic veg box company Riverford.

Spread the word

The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity losses will be the defining stories of our future, but it is not too late to change direction. 

Here at Wicked Leeks, our mission is to help inform and inspire positive change. Our journalism is free to all because of this, but we want to reach as many people as possible who share our desire for a better world. We know our readers are some of the biggest advocates of sustainable living, and you can help us grow this movement by sharing this article widely, with your friends and on social media. Now is the time to act.