Though burgers, dogs and kebabs tend to take spotlight at annual Memorial Day celebrations, it just isn't a barbecue without those trusty salad side dishes.

From rich, creamy potato salads to crunchy and light bulgur or green bean chops, these trusty sides provide the perfect contrast to meaty barbecue dishes. And while they are meant to be eaten with a main course, many of these hearty salads can stand up for themselves on their own. I won't try to deny the fact that I've spent many barbecues eating only side dishes, filling up on the array of salads before the meats are even cooked.

It is easy to get distracted by burger buying before a cook-out, but we're here to help you remember the importance of the side.

Photo courtesy of lynn.gardner via Flickr/cc