Should you feel the need to crowd your plate with two or three other things while getting your fill of ribs, you can keep it simple or try and pair a new side dish with the main feature. Me, just give me the meat and a bib.

Anyone who has enjoyed barbequed ribs has most likely scooped on potato salad, coleslaw, cornbread, baked beans, or some cold pasta salad. Never did understand the corn on the cob bit.

Now that we have summer weather the menu begs for fresh. And that fresh will probably come out of your garden or from the local Farmers Market. Stock up on those fresh-picked veggies to create a side dish that won't compete with the juggernaut of flavors coming from the ribs.

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Orzo Salad - One easy choice I like. With diced red and green pepper, several basil leaves, feta cheese, and toasted slivered almonds. A rich balsamic vinegar will bring out the pizzazz on this side.

Cukes & Tomatoes - This is a go-to for my wife. Thinly sliced cucumbers and quartered tomatoes with sliced red onion. Add fresh ground pepper and some chopped oregano and all you need to complete this salad is a drizzle of rich olive oil.

Vegetable Stir Fry - Everything from the garden can go in this pan. The more color the better. And for the seasoning just use those fresh herbs.

Sea Food Trio - This may run up your food bill but you'll thank me. Shrimp, scallops, and salmon. After all is cooked you can either serve hot or chilled. RECOMMENDED: forget the deep fryer!

Roasted Sweet Potato - Didn't want to leave out the meat & potato lover. After peeling some large sweet potatoes, cut lengthwise and place them in a sealed bag. Then add salt, pepper, fennel seed, and olive oil. Marinate for a couple of hours or overnight in the cooler. Roast on a sheet pan and serve hot.

5 Best Sides with Ribs

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