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Category: simple side dishes

  1. Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Beets That Are Pure Gold + Roasted Beet Salad

    I’ve tried to convince you to like beets before, and I’m not going to stop until I get at least one of you beet haters on the beet bandwagon. As a beet convert myself, I know it’s possible. And, today, I’m going to make it even easier for the beet haters to give them another try.

    Here’s the secret: eat golden beets. I don’t even know where you can find them because I found them in my CSA bag the week before Easter. But all of you (beet haters and lovers alike!) should try to find fresh, in-season, golden beets sometime. The flavor is milder and, well, just plain yummy. (I think the food magazines are knocking on my door after that amazing description.)

    Before I get you thinking golden beets don’t taste like beets, they do. And, I’ll be straight with you…the non-beet lovers at the Easter feast did not gobble these beauties up. But the non-beet lovers did admit these beets are better than your average, run-of-the mill red beet. I consider that success.

    Plus, they’re gorgeous. Seriously. My camera ate them up almost as enthusiastically as I did.

    Roasted Beet Salad with Spinach and Goat Cheese
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
    • - Beets (golden if you can find them)
    • - Spinach
    • - Goat cheese
    • - Your favorite salad dressing”¦Girard’s Champagne dressing is awesome with this salad
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the greens and ends off of the beets and wrap each beet in some foil. Place in a roasting pan. Roast 40-60 minutes, until beets are pierced easily with a sharp knife. Let cool a bit, then peel of the skins.
    2. Slice beets then top with spinach, crumbled goat cheese and salad dressing.

  2. Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    60-Second Maple Brussels Sprouts

    A while back I shared a video showing how to make 60-second Brussels sprouts (thanks once again to my culinarily-geniused friend Lindsay for sharing that with me so long ago). The idea behind the recipe is that you slice the brussel sprouts thinly, allowing them to cook quickly (hence the 60 seconds), which keeps the sulfur from emerging and stinking things up.

    Nate’s parents were here for Easter and Nate’s dad loves Brussels sprouts. Pat was telling me how her niece Morrigan recently roasted Brussels sprouts with maple syrup, and that they were deeeeee-licious. I then told Pat about this quick cooking technique, which she had never tried. We decided to combine the two ideas and created a very delicious side dish for our Easter feast last week.

    It’s quick, it’s easy, and the subtle sweetness of the maple syrup complements the flavor of the Brussels sprouts really nicely. I may never use lemon again!

    60-Second Maple Brussels Sprouts
    Recipe type: Side Dish, Vegetables
    • 15-20 Brussels sprouts
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (the real stuff!)
    • Salt & pepper to taste
    1. To see how to prepare the Brussels sprouts, click here and watch this handy dandy video. Here’s what you do in words: cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise, cut out the core, then thinly slice the sprouts, so it looks like sliced cabbage for coleslaw (see photo above).
    2. Heat the olive oil and butter over high heat in a large skillet, preferably with high sides. Once the pan is hot, add the maple syrup, stir quickly, then add the Brussels sprouts. Cook them for 60 seconds, stirring throughout the cooking time. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, then serve immediately.

  3. Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Skillet Biscuit Bread

    Despite the fact that Nate and I used to be addicted to the show Good Eats, we actually hardly ever watch any food shows on TV. One of the cooking shows that has had staying power for us, however, is Jacques Pépin’s More Fast Food My Way on PBS. Jacques shares low-key, simple food and I especially like it when his daughter is on the show with him. Their interactions are so, I don’t know, un-produced and we love it. On a recent episode, Jacques made a simple skillet bread. I paused the TV, got out a pen and piece of paper and wrote down everything he did. The result? Today’s recipe for skillet biscuit bread.

    Quick and easy biscuit skillet bread recipe, inspired by Jacque Pepin, from This Week for Dinner

    I am so happy I took notes and tried out this skillet biscuit bread. It was really good. By the way, Jacques did not call this skillet biscuit bread himself. I’m renaming it because the bread tasted a lot like biscuits, minus all the stress that goes into making biscuits! This bread is really so easy to throw together and my 2-year-old Anna couldn’t stop eating it! Three cheers for skillet biscuit bread!

    How to make biscuit skillet bread like Jacque Pepin from This Week for Dinner

    Here’s a side shot so you can get an idea of the texture. The outside is quite crusty and cripsy, while the inside is very moist and biscuity (how’s that for an adjective?). So, if you’re tight on time and ingredients and want a simple biscuit-like bread to go with dinner, give this a try.

    Jacque Pepin's Skillet Biscuit Bread, easy and tasty weeknight bread!

    Skillet Biscuit Bread
    As described by Jacques Pépin on More Fast Food My Way
    Recipe type: Side Dish, Bread
    • 1½ cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 cup water + a few more tablespoons
    1. Mix the dry ingredients, then add water and mix.
    2. Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil (I have also used butter with great success) in a 9-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Immediately pour the batter into the pan, spreading evenly and letting some of the oil come on top as you press the dough down. Add a few tablespoons of water around the edge of the bread then cover with a lid.
    3. Cook for about 7 minutes (until browned), flip and and then cook covered about another 7 minutes or so. Bread should be browned on both sides.
    4. Cut up, butter the bread and enjoy! Would also be delicious with a bit of honey!




  4. Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Simple Roasted Acorn Squash with Shallots

    I am so happy the weather has finally turned cool. So happy. If we have any more hot days, I just don’t know what I’ll do! Shake my fist at the heavens and curse the weather gods, I suppose. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

    Since it’s finally autumn and it’s okay to have my oven on for an hour at a time, I made this squash the other night. It was super easy and darn tasty. The salty sweet butter mixed with delicious shallots complements the squash nicely and makes it pretty much impossible to resist. I was inspired by a recipe in a book that I’ll be sharing with you tomorrow…but it’s a surprise. And who knows, maybe we’ll have a few copies to give away. Just maybe.

    Until then, enjoy some roasted acorn squash with my most favorite member of the onion family, shallots.

    Simple Roasted Acorn Squash with Shallots
    From Jane Maynard, This Week for Dinner
    Cuisine: Side Dish
    • Acorn Squash
    • Butter
    • Brown Sugar
    • Chopped shallots
    • Cinnamon
    • Salt & Pepper
    1. Cut the acorn squash in half. One half of a squash will feed one person, so do as many squashes as you need.
    2. Sprinkle the following ingredients into each squash, in the following order: Shallots (maybe 2 teaspoons or so), 2 pats of butter, a teaspoon or so of brown sugar. Sprinkle cinnamon over the tops of all the squash.
    3. Bake in a 425-degree oven for around 45 minutes (until the squash is easily pierced by a knife). Sprinkle with coarse salt and some pepper. Eat!

  5. Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Hummus Guacamole Dip

    I am sharing a GEM with you today. My mom got this recipe for Hummus Guacamole Dip from her good friend Jenny, of Jenny’s Green Salad fame. When my mom first described it to me, I must admit I was skeptical. Hummus WITH avocados? Hmmmm….but then I had it for the first time on the Cape this summer. Oh…my…goodness. It is delicioso. The flavors blend together so nicely. And the best part? It’s super duper healthy while also tasting like a very decadent dip.

    I can have this stuff for lunch with some corn chips and be all set. Well, maybe not all set…since it tends to appear for afternoon snack time, and then again at dinner! I also served this at a pool party recently and EVERYONE was asking about the dip…when it was time to go home, the giant bowl was empty. See, I know what I’m talking about.

    Hummus Guacamole Dip
    A healthy decadent dip!
    Recipe type: Appetizer
    • Two 12oz pkgs of Guacamole (Jane’s Mom’s Note: of course I NEVER use packaged Guac (she smashes up a bunch of avocados))
    • 1 Pint of Hummus w/roasted garlic (or any flavor you want)
    • 1 15.5oz can black beans (slightly drained)
    • Chunky mild/medium salsa (about a cup)
    1. Mix by hand and chill. Serve with whatever corn chips you like!
    Several notes from Jane: Above is the original, official recipe. I’ve actually never used it because I just got it from my mom. I HAVE eaten it and it WAS fabulous. I’ve made the dip blind twice and generally just threw the ingredients together with proportions that looked about right. I believe I did the following, or something close to this. This also makes a lot less if you don’t need dip for an entire army.

    3 avocados, smashed up
    8 oz hummus
    1 can black beans (drained)
    8 oz chunky or fresh salsa
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Mix by hand and chill. Serve with corn chips!


  6. Friday, June 11, 2010

    Grilled Crostini with Goat Cheese and ‘wichcraft Tomato Relish

    grilled crostini web

    Grilled Crostini with Goat Cheese and 'wichcraft Tomato Relish
    Cuisine: Side Dish, Appetizer
    • 1 baguette, sliced int ¼-inch-thick rounds
    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 8 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
    • 1 jar (8.8 oz) ”˜wichcraft Tomato Relish
    • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
    1. Lightly brush both sides of the baguette slices with olive oil. Preheat a Calphalon Unison Grill pan with Sear Nonstick over medium heat. Working in batches, place the baguette slices in the pan and cook until light golden brown and toasted on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. (If you don’t have a grill pan, you can bake in a 400 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, until nice and crispy.)
    2. Transfer to a serving platter. Spread about 3 teaspoons of goat cheese on each crostini and top with ”˜wichcraft Tomato Relish. Sprinkle with basil and serve. Makes about 24 crostini.


  7. Grilled Radicchio with Orange & Balsamic

    I’m so bummed. I totally forgot to photograph this recipe! And it was beautiful! Oh well. You can kind of see it in that bowl next to the small bouquet of pink roses.

    food at party zoom web

    Grilled Radicchio with Orange & Balsamic
    • 6 heads of radicchio, quartered through the core (I think I used only 3 heads)
    • 3 tablespoon olive oil
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • Grated zest and juice of 3 oranges
    1. Drizzle the radicchio with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    2. Preheat Calphalon Unison Grill pan with Sear Nonstick over medium-high heat. (I actually did use the grill pan for this recipe”¦but you could use a regular griddle, too.)
    3. Place the radicchio in the pan and cook for 2 minutes per side.
    4. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle the radicchio with salt and pepper. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic, orange zest and juice together and drizzle over radicchio.
    Once the radicchio were grilled, I salt and peppered them as directed, but then I cut out the hard piece of core near at the bottom and then sliced the radicchio. I then put the radicchio into a bowl and drizzled with the oil dressing.


  8. Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Lots o’ Grains Salad

    For my party last week, I made this concoction, which I’ve decided to name the “Lots o’ Grains Salad.”

    lots o grains salad web

    It’s a rice-like dish that you can serve hot or less hot, i.e. mine sat out for a little while before the party started and still tasted great. It’s super easy and I thought a nice compliment to a summery meal, and a great side dish for the pork tenderloin (recipe tomorrow).

    Lots o’ Grains Salad
    From Jane Maynard, This Week for Dinner


    • Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe’s (if you don’t have a TJ’s, here are the grains so you can replicate: Israeli Style Couscous, Orzo, Baby Garbanzo Beans and Red Quinoa)
    • Brown Rice Medley from Trader Joe’s (if you don’t have TJ’s, here are the grains: Long Grain Brown Rice, Black Barley, Daikon Radish Seeds)
    • Olive Oil
    • 2 shallots, diced
    • Chopped parsley, to taste
    • Fresh grated parmesan cheese to taste (prob. ~ 1/2 C)

    Cook all grains according to package directions. While grains are cooking, sauté shallots in oil over medium heat until soft and translucent (use a large 12-inch skillet with higher sides or a large saucepan). Add cooked grains to shallots, then stir in the parsley and parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and serve!

  9. Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Simple Side Dishes: Roasted Cauliflower

    Today I just have a healthy and easy recipe for you. It’s so easy, in fact, I hesitate to even call it a ‘recipe.’ This roasted cauliflower is to die for. Trust me. I’ve been popping these florettes like candy for the last two days. Yum!

    roasted cauliflower web

    Simple Side Dishes: Roasted Cauliflower
    Cuisine: Side Dish
    • Cauliflower, broken up into small-medium sized pieces
    • Olive Oil
    • Salt & Pepper
    • Handful of fresh, grated parmesan cheese
    1. Place cauliflower on a baking sheet or in a 9X13 baking pan. Drizzle olive oil over cauliflower, then salt and pepper. Toss cauliflower to lightly cover all pieces with oil and seasoning.
    2. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Stir once or twice during cooking. Check for doneness with a sharp knife, to the point where you can pierce the cauliflower fairly easily but not to the point of mushiness. Remove from oven and toss with grated parmesan cheese.
    3. Sit, eat and enjoy the simplicity and buttery goodness that is cauliflower!

    roasted cauliflower2 web

  10. Monday, November 23, 2009

    Thanksgiving Prep: Sweet Potato Souffle

    You ask, I deliver. Here is the recipe for the sweet potato souffle that my friend will be making this week for our feast. A nice alternative to the usual marshmallow concoction. My friend got the recipe from her sister who got it from a friend who got it from…well, you get the picture.

    sweet potatoes web

    Sweet Potato Souffle
    Base – mix together and put into a buttered glass cake pan:
    – 1/2 c. sugar
    – 2 eggs
    – 3 c. mashed sweet potatoes
    – 1 Tbsp. vanilla
    – 1/2 stick melted butter

    – 1 c. brown sugar
    – 1/3 c. flour
    – 1 c. chopped pecans
    – 1/3 c. butter (softened)

    Note from reader Matty: Use softened butter and mix with the flour and brown sugar (like a crumble). Once that is sprinkled over the sweet potatoes, cover with chopped pecans.

    Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.