Category Archives: side dishes

celery root mashed potatoes

Celery Root Mashed Potatoes

november 15, 2018

celery root mashed potatoes

Sure, the Thanksgiving holiday usually has turkey as the centerpiece of a bountiful spread, but it’s really all about the sides, right? Ask folks what they like to see at the table and they rarely mention turkey—they rhapsodize about the sweet potatoes, the green beans, the pies and yes, the mashed potatoes which are destined to cradle all that silky turkey gravy. Continue reading

garlic roasted peppers

Garlic Roasted Peppers

october 18, 2018

garlic roasted peppers

I’m finally getting around to reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in which food choice and overabundance are believed to have engendered paralysis in today’s kitchens. With so many options in our crowded market aisles, we sputter at decision time. What to have for dinner? We have good intentions. Colorful vegetables are purchased at grocery stores with the operative plan being to cook them up on the weekend and enjoy them all week. Excitement turns to dismay when we see these same vegetables staring at us reproachfully from the way back of the shelf four days later, unchopped and uncooked. We are time-challenged and over scheduled. Continue reading

autumn fruit salad

Autumn Fruit Salad

september 20, 2018

autumn fruit salad

A visit to my local roadside stand tells me the seasons are beginning to change. Sure, there are still tomatoes and cucumbers and squash, but now we see the first autumn apples and crisp Asian pears. Soon there will be fragrant apple cider and pumpkins of every color and stripe. I love combining local produce to bridge the seasons, as with this spring’s Asparagus and Shiitake Stir Fry, marrying the tender spears of spring asparagus with the last of winter’s butternut squash.  Continue reading

Thai Melon and Radish Salad

july 18, 2018

thai melon and radish salad

When it gets so hot outdoors I wilt from the humidity, I turn to cool things. Not cool as in trendy, but delicious things to enjoy which don’t involve cooking. Some days the very thought of standing at a hot grill turns me to melting mush. It helps that I have a bounty of beautiful Thai basil growing in pots on the deck, and that the anise-like flavor is most appreciated when enjoyed in the uncooked state. And that watermelon radishes are always available in warm weather months! The baby melons adorning store shelves and roadside stands have been calling me to craft tart and sweet salads with thin slices of their summer goodness. Continue reading

Asparagus and Shiitake Stir Fry

april 11, 2018

asparagus shiitake stir fry

 

What better way to welcome spring and say so long to winter than with a recipe featuring elements of both seasons? Hey, there, asparagus, nice to see you again! Butternut squash, it was a good run, and now it’s time to make way for greener crunchies. With my quest to add more veggies to my daily meal plan (see previous post for Socca Pizza), I am finding that if vegetables are roasted ahead, or stir-fried ahead, I”m much more likely to heat and serve alongside my main dish. Continue reading

Winter Fruit Salad

february 2, 2018

winter fruit salad

It’s so easy to toss together fruit salad in warmer months. Rinse some berries, cut up some melon and throw in something else for color, perhaps a few green grapes. During the chillier months, you have citrus at peak season but if you’re like me you don’t always think of those fruits as part of a salad. There’s peeling involved. Work to be done. But the payoff! A brilliantly hued platter of abundance and the opportunity to play with your food and make it pretty.

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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