The first rule of being a good guest? Never arrive empty-handed. The Western Living team has cooked up 4 top picks for barbecue party recipes you can try out this weekend on your favourite friends and family.


1. Roasted Cauliflower Kale Risotto

Now that I’m into my second year of community gardening, I’ve learned a few things about managing theft. One: yellow zucchinis are desired, green less so. Two: the thieves are so over kale this year (perhaps they’re juicing as much as they were last summer). Which means: bully for me! I’ve got more kale than I can handle, so a barbecue is the perfect time to share the bounty. This Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Risotto is hearty enough to serve as a main for vegetarians, because really, veggie burgers on the barbecue are just sad. And very, very dry. —Anicka Quin, Editor-in-ChiefCochon-ribs-recipe-750x420

2. Cochon Ribs

Unless you have a smoker or long stretches of free time, the idea of doing ribs on the BBQ is unwise, but who wants to toil in the oven on a perfect summer night? The answer comes from New Orlean’s stellar Cochon restaurant, which starts the ribs in the oven to get them that perfect fall-off-the-bone consistency and then finishes them on the grill for that smoky taste and authentic grill marks. *Also a tip that the recipe doesn’t specify—you can actually let the ribs cool when they come out of the oven (or even refrigerate for a day) if that works better for your schedule. And double the recipe for the rub and keep it in a container in your pantry for future use. —Neal McLennan, Travel and Food Editor


3. Corn and Squash Succotash with Bell Pepper Jam

This succotash is perfect for an end-of-summer barbecue, because it’s essentially a warm ragout of all sorts of end-of-season vegetables. The cooking component is pretty straightforward too—it’s mostly tossing things into a skillet and the special Bell Pepper Jam is as complex as boiling and simmering seasoned peppers. (So even I, Julia Kraft Dinner Dilworth, could manage this one).  —Julia Dilworth, Staff WriterWL0615.EvaanKheraj.EVA_1467-780x420

4. Grilled Peach Salad

As a vegetarian, barbecues have never held too much appeal—the faux-meat industry has yet to create a non-rubbery veggie dog. But I’ve had a recent revelation that’s made the prospect of a backyard cookout all the more exciting: fruit and veg can find a home on the grill, too. This peach salad celebrates my favourite grill-able produce. Make the rest of the salad ahead of time, then slip over to the barbecue to char up the peach halves before tossing them in the mix. And with this dish, your carnivore friends will actually want you to share. —Stacey McLachlan, Associate Editor