Category Archives: side dishes

Butternut Squash Gratin

november 10, 2017

butternut squash gratin

 

Each year at Thanksgiving, folks divide up into two camps. Sweet potato and no sweet potato. For the sweet potato lovers, further subdivision yields the sweet sweet potato side dish aficionados  (marshmallow people, I’m talking to you) and those who insist on savory sweet potato dishes at the holiday table, like my Ginger Scallion Sweet Potatoes. Me, I like it all. I grew up with what my parents referred to as candied yams, sweet potato chunks swimming in a sweet glaze and more of an afterthought to the meal. It was our duty to serve them, but no one was clamoring for their presence. And if memory serves, they were canned and not fresh, an oddity because of the global availability of sweet potatoes in autumn. Continue reading

Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes and Apples

october 18, 2017

brown sugar sweet potatoes and apples

It’s not the easiest thing to plan fall menus when the humidity and temperature are still elevated past September. The calendar, however, clearly shows autumn is in full swing and I am getting mentally prepared. Local summer produce has an inner time clock that tells production to halt making way for fall delights like squashes, sweet potatoes and hearty greens. There is change in the air. A stroll around my  local farm stand with beautiful rusty-dusty sweet potatoes and fragrant multi-hued apples tumbling from bins and boxes can bring back my inspiration every time this season of bounty rolls around. Continue reading

Basil Pesto Corn

july 7, 2017

basil pesto corn

We all love to hear those three little words — no, not those words —I’m talking local sweet corn. Local. Sweet. Corn. When it’s in season and available at farmer’s markets and roadside stands, grab those ears and enjoy the best of summer.

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Cranberry Coleslaw

june 23, 2017

cranberry coleslaw

Grilling season is in full swing. It’s so much fun to look through foodie magazines and dream of menus for backyard meals and picnics. The easiest menu items are simple grilled entrees—marinate, grill and done. The hard work comes in choosing and preparing sides to please a crowd. Make-ahead is best so that all you need to do at the last minute is grill the entree. I like an array of sides in the form of crunchy or creamy salads. Today’s cranberry coleslaw is both although not excessively creamy and perfect for the vegans in the crowd.  Continue reading

Asparagus with Smoky Yogurt

april 14, 2017

asparagus with smoky yogurt

 

When asparagus season rolls around, I simply cannot get enough. Plain is fine by me, either roasted or steamed. Sauces for dipping or drizzling, or vinaigrettes for tossing, are also welcome at the table.

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Crunchy Quinoa Vegetable Salad

april 1, 2017

crunchy quinoa vegetable salad

 

You probably have your breakfasts covered, even if your choices are routine and familiar. Perhaps dinners are easy, too, since you cook on the weekends for the week ahead. But lunches may have you scratching your head , as you decide what to pack, if you take a lunch, or where to pick up something not too heavy, something that won’t have you napping in the early afternoon. If you are in the habit of buying lunches out, you may fall into the trap of eating too much in volume and not enough in quality. Continue reading

Green Curry Corn Tomato Salad

august 27, 2016

green curry corn tomato salad

How lucky we are that corn and tomatoes are in season at the same time, because there is nothing better than an ear of buttered sweet corn next to sun ripened sliced tomatoes on your plate, adorned with nothing but a light sprinkle of your favorite salt.

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Duck Fat Fries

april 9, 2016

duck fat fries

My buddy and project partner in culinary school was affectionately nicknamed Duck Fat. Not only did Jason love its taste and texture, he found ways to incorporate the creamy white fat into nearly everything. Within reason, of course.

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Butternut Squash and Savoy Cabbage Lasagna

february 13, 2016

butternut squash and savoy cabbage lasagna

 

 

Sometimes the best lasagnas are made without pasta. Pick a season, choose something that can be sliced as thin as a noodle, and off you go. Summer brings eggplant and zucchini squash and fall/winter brings butternut squash. For me, lasagna was always about the cheese and sauce, so take out the pasta and I’m a happy diner.

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Wild Rice Salad with Butternut Squash and Arugula

january 16, 2016

wild rice salad with butternut squash and arugula

The most versatile salads have several characteristics. They are easy to assemble and have components that may be made ahead of time so that putting all together is a snap. They may be served as a salad course, or as a side dish. They can stand alone, or serve as the base for grilled meats, seafood or tofu. Here is such a salad, made to please a variety of palates and served recently at a holiday dinner in my home.

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