Few foods have the power that steak has. When cooked perfectly, steak can transform a mid-week dinner into something truly memorable. A perfectly seared steak, still fresh off the grill, requires very little else.
But a balanced meal requires more than just a juicy steak. While a simple salad may suffice, your side dishes should be as indulgent as the main attraction. The right side dish can complement a beautifully seared steak like nothing else can.
From traditional steakhouse classics to indulgent accompaniments, these top-rated side dishes will hit your palate with an appetizing sizzle. As recommended by the top-rated makers of the best steak in Abu Dhabi, here are the seven side dishes worthy of being plated with your steak.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a steak accompaniment as timeless as the potato. With the humble spud at your side, you can do no wrong. Whether it is baked, roasted, or mashed, potatoes can be cooked in the traditional method or given a modern update.
- Root vegetables
Potatoes aren’t the only root vegetables that perfectly complement a steak dinner.
Also a favorite in authentic Japanese cuisine, root vegetables are versatile and delicious. Root vegetables like carrots and rutabaga may appear homely, but with the right cooking method, they’re anything but.
Glazed carrots prepared with butter is a sweet and savory dish that will require seconds. The combination of flavors and textures found in roasted rutabaga drizzled with olive oil creates an enviable rustic side dish.
While often served raw, when it comes to a steak dinner, broccoli is better cooked. Roasted, in fact. As a tough, fibrous vegetable, you’ll want to wait to serve broccoli until it is supple and tender. Its snappy crunch will help balance the meaty texture of a steak.
Often overshadowed by its more well-known, green cousin, cauliflower deserves a place on your steak menu. Its mild flavor is infinitely adaptable. It lends itself well to a variety of spices and adapts perfectly to an array of cooking methods.
When deeply roasted and tossed with cheese (think parmesan) and spices, cauliflower offers your palate a degree of complexity not found in broccoli.
- Swiss chard
While spinach and lettuce are your typical hearty green accompaniments for steak, Swiss chard can make for a colorful and tasty addition to your plate. When served as a variation of the more traditional creamed spinach, Swiss chard adds a dimension of flavor to your steak that is irresistibly delectable.
Few vegetables triumphantly mark the arrival of spring like asparagus. Not only are these tender, grassy stalks a taste of spring, they are so versatile that there’s a recipe and cooking method out there to suit every mood, taste and palate.
For a mid-week steak, the easiest way to serve asparagus is by roasting them. Drizzle with olive oil, top with mozzarella cheese, and let the oven do the rest.
- Caesar salad
A Caesar salad is as classic a steak side dish as you can get. An authentic recipe calls for romaine lettuce leaves tossed with egg, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic-infused olive oil. Top with generous gratings of parmesan cheese and garlicky croutons and you have a side dish that is undeniably timeless.
- Macaroni and cheese
If your dinner calls for a visit to your favorite steakhouse, few side dishes can compete with the traditional macaroni and cheese. A staple in any great steakhouse, macaroni and cheese is a democratic dish if ever there was ever one.
No matter if it’s an upscale offering or a kid-friendly powder-based version, there’s a macaroni and cheese variety for everyone.
Another steak classic, mushrooms are the quintessential steakhouse side dish. Not only are they excellent when served as a side, but mushrooms can also wonderfully complement steak and other vegetable sides as a delicious topping.
Like macaroni and cheese, mushrooms are undeniably democratic. Regardless of how you enjoy ordering them, mushrooms are an all-time steakhouse favorite.
- Green beans
A simple side dish, green beans are a nice, light accompaniment that wonderfully offsets the richness of grilled steak. Roast or sauté your green beans for a fuss-free side dish addition to your steak dinner. This vividly green dish will be helped by the addition of caramelized shallots.
The combination of sweet and savory flavors will add a touch of decadence to the dish.
Finally, the appeal of onions can be found in their versatility. As a steak side dish, onions can be enjoyed through a variety of cooking methods, though few onion side dishes are as favored in a steakhouse as onion rings.
Light, crispy, and golden brown, the best steakhouse onion rings are delicious through and through and don’t fall apart after the first bite.
Choosing your sides
When you’ve got something to celebrate, celebrate with steak. Regardless if it’s grilled, pan-fried in butter, or wrapped in bacon and baked, a thick, juicy cut of steak is a memorable experience. But as there are numerous methods to cooking steak, there’s a whole world of side dishes available, too.
This list of 11 delicious options wonderfully complements the mouth-watering flavor of steak. Not to mention, we guarantee that there’s a side dish on this list that will fit your taste and palate. Knife and fork at the ready!
Jenene Bronwin Batts is the Senior Marketing Coordinator at Tourism Development & Investment Company or TDIC. She oversees website maintenance, PR requests, marketing initiatives and all general guests’ enquiries for the company’s destinations, including KOI Restaurant & Lounge and Boa Steakhouse in Abu Dhabi.