Delightful side dishes for your dinner meals

Delightful side dishes for your dinner meals

Go to your local farmers’ markets and look around at all the beautiful, organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Go to your local farmers’ markets and look around at all the beautiful, organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

You have decided on your entrée for dinner, but you want something different to serve with it — not the usual vegetables and rice or mashed potatoes. Today, many choices abound. Go to your local farmers’ markets and look around at all the beautiful, organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Among the array of vegetables at the markets, you can now find cauliflower that is white, purple, green or orange, multiple kinds of kale and lettuces, wonderful winter squashes and a wide selection of fruits.

 

Green Bean and Blood-Orange Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds thin green beans
  • 6 large blood oranges
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt, to taste

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Cook the beans in the boiling water until bright green and al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge the beans into the ice water. Drain again and pat dry. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, peel four of the oranges, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over a bowl, cut between the membranes to release the sections into the bowl. Zest one of the remaining two oranges, and juice both of them. Transfer the juice to a saucepan and add the vinegar and honey. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderate heat until reduced to a syrup, about 10 minutes. Season the syrup with salt. Transfer the beans and orange sections to a platter and drizzle the syrup on top. Garnish with the orange zest and serve. Serves: 8.

 

Broccoli Matchsticks and Kale Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound kale, stems and inner ribs removed and leaves thinly sliced
  • 3 broccoli stems, peeled and julienned (1 cup)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup coarsely shredded fresh Pecorino Romano or Manchego cheese

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the hazelnuts evenly in a pie plate and toast for about 13 minutes, or until the skins blister and the nuts are golden. Transfer to a kitchen towel and let cool. Rub off the skins and chop the nuts. Put the kale and broccoli stems in a bowl; season with salt, to taste. Using your hands, squeeze the vegetables to soften them slightly. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the leeks and cook over moderate heat, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the kale and broccoli, and let stand for 2 minutes. Toss well to coat. Add the cheese and hazelnuts and season with pepper; toss again. Serve immediately. Serves: 4 to 5.

 

Zucchini Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds zucchini, cubed
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 cups seeded, chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

Preparation:

Combine the rice and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes, until rice is tender. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a shallow 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the zucchini, green onions and garlic 5 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt, pepper, basil, paprika and oregano. Mix in the cooked rice, tomatoes and 1 cup cheese. Continue to cook and stir until heated through. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with crusty French bread or soft breadsticks. Serves: 6.

 

Spice-Roasted Butternut Squash

Ingredients::

  • One 3-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a large bowl, toss the squash with the olive oil, cumin, coriander and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Spread the squash on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, until tender and lightly browned, tossing once halfway through. Transfer to a bowl and serve. Serves: 6.

Sources: bonappetit.com, gourmet.com and Joanne’s recipe box.

 

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 6, December 2015/January 2016.

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