Elevate the everyday: BBQ side dishes with Ashleigh Shanti

Learn how to bring better side dishes to your next backyard BBQ with two recipes from award-winning chef Ashleigh Shanti.

Capital One wants to help you “Elevate The Everyday” so you can do more of what you enjoy—like adding some unique stylistic spins to traditional recipes and drinks. We’re bringing you personal hacks, tips and tricks for all the things you love doing—straight from the professional tastemakers and trendsetters filling your feed. 

This episode of Elevate The Everyday is taking it out back. James Beard-recognized chef Ashleigh Shanti is here to show off her unique spin on side dishes with a flavorful salad and simple slaw. These aren’t your typical sides, but they’re sure to be the star of any backyard BBQ. 

Recently named a semifinalist for the 2020 James Beard Award “Rising Star Chef of the Year,” Ashleigh is a renowned chef based in Asheville, North Carolina. She specializes in African American foodways with a focus on Black Appalachian food. You can keep up with her culinary creations on her blog Food or Death.

Now that summer is here and social gatherings are starting up again, there’s never been a better time to step up your side-dish game. With these two recipes, you’ll have everyone asking how you made their new favorite salad and slaw. 

Chef Ashleigh Shanti stands in her kitchen smiling.

Ashleigh’s elevated backyard BBQ superior side dishes

In the video above, Ashleigh shares how to make two of her favorite side dishes. First up: a sweet potato salad with a delicious lemony Dijon dressing. Then she shares a new and different way to work with collard greens, with a raw collard slaw featuring fennel, a sweet and spicy vinaigrette, and some fresh, sweet blueberries. 

Keep an eye out for a couple of cute cameos from her furry four-legged friend and full-time collard green snacker. 

Side dish 1: Sweet potato parsley salad

(Feeds 4-6)


2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 slices thick bacon, diced

1 shallot, thinly sliced

Juice of one lemon

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 cup parsley, picked

Salt to taste 


Preheat oven to 500 degrees. 

Spread sweet potatoes and bacon in an even layer on a large baking sheet. 

Roast for 40 minutes until sweet potatoes are golden brown and bacon is crisp. 

While sweet potatoes roast, place shallots in a large bowl with lemon juice and set aside to marinate.

Once sweet potatoes are done, carefully strain the bacon fat using a mesh sieve and heat-proof bowl. 

Spoon 1/4 cup of warm bacon fat into shallot mixture and whisk in mustard. 

Add roasted sweet potatoes and bacon along with parsley to a large serving bowl. 

Toss and allow parsley to wilt. Serve warm or room temperature.

Side dish 2: Raw collard summer slaw

(Feeds 6-8)


1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 bunch collards, julienned

1 bulb fennel, thinly shaved

1 cup blueberries


In a large bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes for your dressing. 

Add collards to the bowl with your dressing and, using your hands, massage the dressing into the collards to tenderize for one to two minutes. 

Gently toss in fennel and blueberries. Enjoy!

Capital One is proud to be the official bank and credit card partner of the James Beard Foundation and support the impactful work they are doing in the dining industry. “Capital One is constantly looking for ways to give our customers exclusive access to unique opportunities and this multiyear partnership allows us to do that, while supporting chefs and their local communities,” says Lauren Liss, Managing Vice President at Capital One. 

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