What do you serve with lasagna?

They even link to my favorite style of cucumber salad, Hungarian.

We generally go with a green vegetable around here. Sweet peas or green beans. With almond slivers if we want to be fancy.

And always garlic toast.

I confess I didn’t read that far down before but it does sound pretty good. I’d also imagined a Southeast Asian cuke salad with lime, fish sauce, onion, chiles, maybe a few drops of sesame oil.

Yep. I always go with a salad of some sort. Something, light, crisp, clean, and bright to cut through the richness of the lasagna.

You eat a cold salad concurrently with a hot entree? My mother taught me that those are 2 separate courses. First, eat the salad, pause, then eat the entree.

Back to the original question: I say that lasagna (with meat or veggies) contains its own side dishes, and is complete alone. On the other hand, the suggested side dishes such as peppers, asparagus, or mushrooms sound like visually attractive optional enhancement. Either way, some sort of bread is definitely appropriate.

My folks always served salad with the main entree. I understand that’s not how it’s usually done in American culture, at least, (my folks are Polish), but it makes sense to me. It obviously has to do with how I grew up, but the usual salad course on its own always felt weird to me. I love hot entrees with cool refreshing bites of salad in between, acting as a sort of palate refresher.

Which is why I keep a cold bottle of Pellegrino (or some such) nearby.

Water is also the staple dinner beverage for me. Still, doesn’t cut through rich fat like the acid of a good salad (or pickle.)


I admit I’m a Philistine – I don’t care for wine with dinner, it makes my tongue stupid and the food loses its punch. That could be my faulty sinuses, though. Maybe a glass of Zinfandel after.

Naw, the Pellegrino water is perfect. When it came to wine, I actually liked brighter whites to tannic reds with meat sauced dishes. Even my sauce bolognese is made with white, not red, wine (usually – I think this came from a recipe by the Simili Sisters of Bologna that I read twenty or more years ago and it’s just stuck with me.) I like acidic and refreshing when it comes to something to offset a heavy dish: whether it’s wine, salad, or sparkling water (which has its own acidity.)

I’m going to have to try a pickle, sometimes a Caesar salad can be real hit or miss and for all sorts of reasons. Any recommendations?

Are we still in the context of lasanga here, or just in general? In general, a cucumber salad like mentioned above (which you can think of as a quick pickle even), is one of my favorites. It can be made with or without sour cream – I generally either leave the sour cream off or go very light on it. My mother made the Polish version of this all the time called mizeria. It’s the typical side I serve to something like paprikash or a hearty beef stew. For deep-fried breaded foods, I like either sours or half sours (fermented pickles from the deli, not vinegar-based ones.) or I have jars of homemade pickles in the basement, mostly green tomatoes and green beans that I enjoy the most. I also like Hungarian pickled peppers (almapaprika) when I can find them, but that’s going to be difficult for most people to find. Coleslaw/sauerkraut when appropriate, too.

But for lasagna, like several said, a simple salad, whether made from leafy greens or cucumbers or whatnot.

I misunderstood; I thought you meant just slipping a sweet gherkin or similar out of the jar and nibbling it during the lasagna course. No, it’s leafy salad for me – cuke salad will give me a sad tummy, but pickles don’t. Go figure.

Yeah, I’ve never done that with lasagna, but I wouldn’t be above it.

Oh yeah, definitely. I like to have a nice, crisp salad with pizza too.

Why would you need anything with lasagne, except maybe a glass of wine? It already has all four food groups in it.

Different colors, textures or temperatures for contrast?

Growing up, the only thing that wasn’t on the table was dessert. I’m sure many hold back fruit till after the course, but not us. So, melon ball some cantaloupe.

Green salad, asparagus, brussel sprouts, yep. Crunchy garlic toasts, yep.

There is no such thing.

Several different colours, textures and flavours within lasagne.

Certainly you can eat it any way you like. I prefer something crunchy and/or crispy, which lasagne doesn’t have, as well as something cool. Granted, this article is aimed at restaurants but IMO the concepts also apply to eating at home.

  1. Flavor and Texture: Contrasting textures and flavors also help avoid tasting boredom. You want diners to anticipate every bite, and engineering the plate in such a way that complementary textures and flavors enliven each bite ensures that element of surprise.

  2. Color: Think of how bored you’d be if you were faced with a totally beige plate. Vibrant and contrasting colors naturally attract. We eat first with our eyes and the rest of our senses follow.