Category Archives: side dishes

skillet of tangy cheddar cauliflower

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower

skillet of tangy cheddar cauliflower

Make your plan for Thanksgiving yet? Each year I think of new vegetable sides to grace the table of bounty (and it’s all about the sides, right?). I also dream of harvest desserts, which in my mind are second in command.

head of cauliflower

we must place cauliflower on the pedestal it so richly deserves

Behold the cauliflower, Queen of Vegetables. Roasted, riced, in crackers and gnocchi, in wraps and soups and stews, the main affair and the sidekick. Moreover, stores are now loaded with fresh cauliflower, even vivid colors like orange and purple. This is a Recent Thing.

Potatoes occupy the number one place in my heart of hearts and I will never forsake them. A holiday table is not complete unless something like Cheddar Parmesan Potato Gratin makes an entrance. However, let us eat more veggies and fewer starches for better balance. This cheesy side dish holds its own against any creamy potato side, I’ll wager.

Save the Cauliflower Bits for Enjoying Later

Here is my trick for cutting cauliflower : divide into quarters and manually make florets. Cut and save the trimmed bits for a tasty salad; they keep in the fridge for days.

quartered cauliflower

cauliflower trimmings

save those trimmings – they make a great salad

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower is a good make-ahead dish. Once defrosted, run under the broiler to give a nice burnished top and serve hot. Equally important, now all you need is a great accompanying potato dish to complete your holiday table.

closeup of tangy cheddar cauliflower

Tangy Cheddar Cauliflower

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes 6-8 servings

ingredients 

one large head cauliflower
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons gluten free flour mix – I like King Arthur measure-for-measure*
one cup whole milk
one cup greek yogurt or sour cream
1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
* regular all purpose flour also works well

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut head of cauliflower into quarters and manually break into large bite size pieces, placing on heavy non insulated sheet pan; if desired, save cauliflower trimmings for enjoying later.
  3. With clean hands, toss cauliflower with olive oil and one teaspoon kosher salt, on the pan.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, giving a good shake halfway through to move pieces around.
  5. If making ahead, turn off oven and if serving soon, place oven on high broil setting.
  6. While cauliflower bakes, make sauce : melt butter in sturdy two quart saucepan over medium heat, whisk in flour and cook over medium low heat, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes, avoiding browning.
  7. Slowly add milk, whisking (few tablespoons at a time to avoid shocking the starch and making sauce grainy), then do the same with the greek yogurt or sour cream.
  8. Increase heat slightly and cook mixture about 4 minutes, whisking occasionally.
  9. Off heat, add cheddar and whisk well just until cheese is melted.
  10. Add roasted cauliflower to sauce and place all in oiled heavy broiler proof cast iron skillet or baking dish.
  11. Broil several minutes or just until top is nicely browned.
  12. If dish is made ahead and frozen, defrost thoroughly in fridge, then bake at 400 degrees until warmed throughout (time depends on depth of dish), then broil until just browned on top.

bacon tomato potato salad

Bacon Tomato Potato Salad

july 6, 2021

bacon tomato potato salad

Normal kids ate sandwiches for lunch during summer vacation. This kid scrounged around for ingredients in the family kitchen. Then I moseyed out to the back garden for ripe tomato and  cooked up this Bacon Tomato Potato Salad. Continue reading

garlicky kale and carrots

Garlicky Kale and Carrots

march 8, 2021

garlicky kale and carrots

 

Are you in a vegetable rut? This recipe for Garlicky Kale and Carrots  will give you a boost. By rut, I mean the sameness of our vegetable side game: open bag of frozen veggies and heat. Roast simple vegetable in oven. Buy precut veggies and make a stirfry. There is nothing wrong, however, with these vegetable sides unless you are bored with the repetition. Continue reading

slice of cheddar parmesan potato gratin

Cheddar Parmesan Potato Gratin

january 26, 2021

slice of cheddar parmesan potato gratin

Set your priorities for the new year. What are your favorite foods and how will you incorporate them into your meal plan? Potatoes, Cheese and Chocolate are my top three and if I had to eliminate one it would be chocolate. Put potatoes and cheese together and watch me swoon. Breakfast, lunch and dinner could be this combination, in all its myriad forms. This white cheddar parmesan potato gratin is tasty hot, cold (I ate the leftovers for breakfast) and at room temperature. My dinner tasters got a little serving, too. Continue reading

platter of red cabbage and delicata squash

Red Cabbage and Delicata Squash

october 28, 2020

platter of red cabbage and delicata squash

When it’s time to plant fall pansies, my eye is drawn to the color combination of orange and purple. Although if taken individually, they are not part of my favored home color scheme of natural browns and greens. But there is homage to the memory of my wardrobe preferences in early adolescence of orange and purple everything. And I do mean everything. Shirts, shorts, dresses, culottes, coats, scarves and all manner of accessories simply had to be either orange, or purple, and preferably both. Continue reading

plate of manchego potato cakes

Manchego Potato Cakes

march 5, 2020

plate of manchego potato cakes

Must be my Irish heritage. I could eat potatoes three times a day, every day. Daydreaming of food when hungry, I used to make a list of ten things to take to a desert island.Potatoes, cheese and chocolate were always on the list. Now chocolate is something I crave on occasion but could do without. Potatoes, especially when  paired with cheese? That combination goes onto the essentials list.

Continue reading

Cauliflower Corn Tomato Salad

july 17, 2019

overhead of cauliflower corn tomato salad

When in the thick of summer, take advantage of local summer produce, and generate as little heat as possible. That’s a good couple of loose rules to follow when you want something bright, crunchy and easy for serving at home or taking to a dinner gathering. Continue reading

bean and artichoke pasta bake

Bean and Artichoke Pasta Bake

march 21, 2019

bean and artichoke pasta bake

It would be easy to categorize this dish as a variation of macaroni and cheese, which is what we all tend to call pasta in a creamy, cheesy sauce. But there are veggies in this pasta, with a sauce made creamy from blended white beans and artichoke hearts, as well as feta cheese, and green peas and roasted red pepper nestled among the noodles. This, my friends, is not your mother’s mac and cheese. Continue reading

sweet potato pilaf

Sweet Potato Pilaf

january 10, 2019

sweet potato pilaf

 

This sweet potato pilaf is for everyone who loves the idea of adding sweet potatoes to their diet, but will enjoy them more without all the sweet hoopla of brown sugar and marshmallows. There is a bit of sweet tartness with the addition of pomegranate seeds, but not a smidge of sugar in sight.

Continue reading

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