Entries Tagged as 'side dishes'

spinach and mushroom couscous

July 29th, 2009 · 8 Comments


I almost always prefer couscous to pasta.  It’s easier to make, just as versatile, and no draining required.  And when it can be combined with two of my favorite veggie ingredients?  Yes, I think we’re done.

This isn’t a dish you’d serve to impress guests.  Frankly, it probably isn’t a dish you should post about on a food blog.  But it’s easy, simple, healthy and really good, and if that’s not the kind of food you’re proud of, then what is?

I’m back on Wednesday of this week, with honeymoon pictures to boot.  I’m writing this post up four days before the wedding, so I’m going to keep it short, but let’s hope that I’ve read a lot of good books, done a little writing, and gotten a fantastic tan over these two and a half honeymoon weeks.  And if it didn’t rain for the wedding?  That’s just icing on the cake.

Nectarine Salad with Blue Cheese from Sugarlaws

Spinach and Mushroom Couscous

1 box couscous
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 package fresh or frozen baby spinach (about 5 ounces, either way)
1 package baby bella mushrooms (about 12 ounces)
1/4 cup olive oil

Cook the couscous according to the directions on the package (including 1 tbsp of olive oil), and set aside, covered, to keep warm.

At the same time, saute garlic and diced shallots in 3 tbsp olive oil.  When fragrant, lower the heat and add spinach, musrooms and 1/4 cup water.  Cook until the water burns off, the spinach wilts and the mushrooms are cooked.  Add to cooked couscous and salt as needed, toss to combine, and serve.

Nectarine Salad with Blue Cheese from Sugarlaws

Tags: food · main dishes · side dishes

Roasted Red Potatoes

February 3rd, 2009 · 15 Comments

Roasted Red Potatoes from Sugarlaws

I don’t know what magical farm my CSA gets its produce from, but I gather from prior cooking experiences that most red potatoes are not, in fact, red on the inside.  Rather, a peeled red potato usually looks the same as a white potato. 

These red potatoes, as I quickly learned, were special potatoes.

Unfortunately, that rather drastically limited my options.  Bright red mashed potatoes?  Good luck getting my fiance to eat those.  Pink potato soup?  Not so much.

And honestly, what better way to serve gorgeous, fresh potatoes than to prepare them as simply as possible?  Garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, an hour in the oven, and we had an easy, colorful side dish that we both loved.

I promise, at some point on this blog, I will do something with a root vegetable other than roasting it.  In fact, I have a few recipes coming up that will be totally different, substantially less healthy and just as delicious.  But for now, if you find yourself with some brightly colored potatoes, please don’t make soup.  Try this instead.

Roasted Red Potatoes from Sugarlaws

Roasted Red Potatoes

1 1/2 lbs red potatoes1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cube the potatoes, or halve them for the very small ones. Toss the potatoes with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and arrange in a baking dish.

Roaste for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until potatoes are soft and caramelized on the outside. Serve.

Serves 3-4.

Roasted Red Potatoes

Tags: food · side dishes

Roasted Panko and Pecorino-Crusted Cauliflower

December 9th, 2008 · 14 Comments

 I love, love, love my fall produce.  I mean, I love summer and spring fruits and veggies, too, but there is a special place in my heart for cauliflower, winter squash, and amazingly delicious famer’s market apples.  That is why there is not one but two (yellow and purple) roasted cauliflower recipes that are already listed in this site’s index. 

Fortunately, they’re from back when I first started this site, so most likely, none of you have ever seen them.

And I made this slightly different — an embarrasingly long time ago, Progresso sent me two boxes of panko, which I had never really cooked with before, but have grown to really like.  So the next time I made my regular roasted-cauliflower recipe, I threw them in, and yum.  Who knew fall-vegetable perfection could be improved on so easily?

So pick a cold, dark, snowy Sunday night, and make these for dinner.   You’ll start loving fall (winter?) vegetables as much as I do.

And — very importantly, my Kardea bar winners are:

  • Comment 5 (Erin)
  • Comment 27 (MRM)
  • Comment 31 (Dineen)

I’ll be emailing later today for your addresses!  And for the rest of you, don’t worry — amazingly, this isn’t even the last Sugarlaws giveaway of the holiday season.  Check back in a few weeks for another one.

Roasted Golden Cauliflower

3 large cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoon olive oil
6 tablespoons of white wine
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place cauliflower florets in a large roasting or casserole dish. Add the garlic, olive oil, wine, salt, and pepper; toss thoroughly.  Mix the panko and pecorino together and sprinkle over the cauliflower. 

Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven, and serve.

Serves four.

Tags: food · side dishes

Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Aioli

July 27th, 2008 · 19 Comments

At the end of winter, as spring is just beginning, before the raspberries and blueberries and apricots and plums, there was asparagus.  And weeks ago, with the first asparagus of the season, I made this dish.  And then somehow managed to forget about it until I realized, just recently, that I hadn’t seen asparagus at the farmer’s market recently.

So here is a great asparagus recipe, after asparagus season is over.  Don’t want to wait 9 months to try this?  Grocery stores have asparagus for much longer than the farmer’s markets, so you should still be able to find it.

This is only the second time I’ve made homemade mayonnaise, and for a girl who’s not much of a mayo-eater, I gobbled this up.  Roasting gives the asparagus a crispy outer layer, and creamy aioli is the perfect complement.  

I used hardneck garlic for this recipe (pictured below), which I definitely recommend if you can find it!  Otherwise, a small head of softneck garlic would work too. 

So here is a little dose of spring, in the middle of summer.

Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Aioli

1 pound of asparagus, ends trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt
Ground pepper
1 head garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2/3 cup canola oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss asparagus with 1 tbsp olive oil, sea salt and ground pepper, and place it in a roasting pan.  Cut the top of the head of garlic off so that each bulb is partially exposed.  Pour 2 tsp olive oil over the head of garlic and place in a ramekin in the oven.  Roast the garlic and asparagus for 10-15 minutes, turning the asparagus once, until the asparagus is cooked through and crispy on the edges.  Remove the asparagus, and roast the garlic for another 25-30 minutes, or until tender.  Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolk, salt, mustard and vinegar.  Slowly, whisk in a few drops of the canola oil at a time, beating thoroughly to incorporate.  While continually whisking, add canola oil a tablespoon at a time, and eventually add the oil in a thin stream until it’s entirely incorporated.

With a sharp knife, separate the garlic bulbs from their skins and mince the garlic bulbs.  Whisk the minced garlic into the mayonnaise.  Serve alongside the roasted asparagus as a side dish or light snack.

Serves 2-3. 

Tags: food · side dishes

Sauteed Ramps and Shallots

May 5th, 2008 · 28 Comments

At the farmer’s market this week, I overheard two girls standing over a pile of ramps, asking each other what they were and what to do with them.  And I didn’t want to butt into their conversation, but I really hope those two girls read this blog, because I humbly suggest that the perfect way to serve ramps this spring is sauteed whole with shallots and olive oil.  

But that didn’t answer their first question — what are ramps?  Since I can’t just refer to them as “yummy things that grow in the earth in springtime” without being a little bit more specific, here goes.

Ramps are tiny, delicate, thin spring onions that are sometimes known as wild leeks.  According to Wikipedia, they’re especially popular in the state of West Virginia and the province of Quebec.  Seriously. (Who writes this stuff?)

But those West Virginians and Canadians are onto something, because they are absolutely delicious. Wild-tasting and incredibly fresh, I could barely photograph them before popping each stalk into my mouth.  I didn’t eavesdrop for too long, but I really hope those girls bought a bundle or two — it doesn’t get any more fresh and seasonal than these.

Sauteed Ramps and Shallots

2 small bunches of ramps (around 1/2 pound, I think)
2 large shallots, peeled and cut into slices
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Heat a medium sized saute pan over medium-high heat, with the olive oil, for about 4 minutes, or until oil is almost smoking.  Add shallots to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until caramelized on one side (try not to stir too much).
2. Add ramps to the pan and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until leaves have wilted and cooked down, and stalks are tender.  Remove from heat and serve.

Serves two.

Tags: food · side dishes