Tag Archives: Side Dishes

Carrot Ginger Slaw

Carrot Ginger Slaw

It’s slaw season people.  The weather in New England has been hovering around the 80 degree mark for a week or so now (give or take a few dips into the 60’s and 70’s) and I am ready for strawberries, fresh vegetables,  and cold salads. 

Shaved Carrots

We definitely have an affinity for cold salads in our house.   We devour heads of lettuce in record time, broccoli salad makes a regular appearance at our dinner table, and I never turn down a cold noodle dish.  However, the nice weather is young, which means that things like lettuce and broccoli are still in short supply.  Luckily, we still have carrots.  Carrots that have been sitting around since the winter, concentrating all of that delicious sugar.  These bright orange beauties make a lovely cold salad.  Punched up with some ginger, curry powder, and raisins, carrots are great for when you don’t have any other veggies around or for when you just want something a little different.

Simple list of ingredients

Ginger Carrot Slaw

Adapted generously from Alton Brown

Ingredients:

1/2 lb carrots (about 4 medium), washed and peeled

2 tbls mayonnaise

1/2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup raisins

pinch of celery seed (optional)

chives or finely chopped green onions for garnish

To Make:

Using a vegetable peeler, shave long strips* of the carrots into a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, curry powder, garlic, ginger, and celery seed.  Gently toss the carrot strips with the dressing until well coated.  Stir in the raisins and garnish with chives. 

To Serve:

Serve cold or room temperature.  The carrots are pretty hardy and can stand up to being dressed and refrigerated for a few hours without going soggy.  Serves 2-4 as a side dish.  Recipe is easily doubled (or more) for a larger crowd.

* Using the peeler to shave the carrot creates a lovely texture and look to the salad.  However, it is kind of a pain in the behind.  If you are pressed for time, grate the carrots using the largest holes on your box grater or food processor disk.  You could also julienne them using a mandoline if you are so inclined.

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier?  If so, then this is the recipe for you.  This beet salad has it all.  It is light and healthy.  It brings a hefty dose of color to the otherwise gray winter landscape (can you tell we haven’t seen the sun in days?).  Most importantly, this salad is delicious.  Even my 3 year old eats it with gusto.

Delicious dressing

Don’t like beets you say?  I am willing to bet that’s because you have only eaten those nasty canned ones.  You know the ones I mean, they are smushy and smelly and taste vaguely of tin.  Of course you don’t like those… you have better taste than that. 

Salad ingredients

Fresh beets, however, are a revelation, especially when they are roasted.  They get soft and sweet and stain everything they touch that beautiful  rich purple color.  So, pick up some beets from a local farm and try this recipe.  Then, if you tell me that you still don’t like beets, I guess I can respect that.

Roasted beets

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Adapted from the Produce Bible

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tablespoon capers, chopped

5 small to medium sized beets (1 lb 2.25 oz/516g), feel free to use classic purple beets or any of the cool heirloom varieties that are often available these days.  This salad is especially pretty when you mix purple and gold beets.

~2.5 oz/68 grams crumbled goat cheese

To Make:

Make the dressing first so the flavors can marry.  In a container with a tight fitting lid (good Tupperware or canning jars work well), combine the red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, capers, and smashed garlic clove.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Shake until all the ingredients are integrated.  Set aside at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Scrub the beets well, trimming off the tops and the long tap root.  Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet.  Roast beets in the oven until they are tender when pierced with a knife, about an hour.

Remove the beets from oven and unwrap.  Cut each beet in half and let sit until cool enough to handle.  Using a clean tea towel or a paper towel, rub the skins off of the beets.  Chop the beets into 1/2 inch pieces and place in your serving bowl. 

Remove and discard the crushed garlic from the dressing.  Toss the warm beets with the dressing.  Refrigerate the beets until chilled, at least 30 minutes.  Once cool, fold in the crumbled goat cheese. 

To Serve:

Serve either chilled or at room temperature.  If you are in a hurry or don’t have time to chill the beets, you can eat the salad warm.  The goat cheese will melt into the beets, turning the whole thing a light pink color.  It doesn’t look as pretty but it still tastes darn good.  Serves 4 as a side dish.

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Filed under Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Slow Roasted Leeks

Slow Roasted Leeks

Leeks are beloved in our house.  We get very excited whenever leeks arrive in our CSA boxes or show up at the farmer’s market.  If you have never had leeks they have a mild onion-y and garlicky flavor that is really delicious.  You can finely chop, saute, and add them to soups, quiches, or strata.  Or, you can do what we do… slow roast them with a little butter until they are melt-in-your-mouth soft and delicious.

Fresh CSA Leeks

This is how we make leeks 90% of the time.  It is one of those recipes that is exceptionally simple and uses only a few ingredients but elevates the leeks from a supporting player to a stand-alone side dish.  I know there are other culinary options out there but this is so darn good that we keep coming back to it.  Why mess with perfection?

Washing the grit away

A note on prepping leeks: they tend to be very dirty and gritty because of the way their concentric rings push up through the soil when they are growing.  To help combat this, cut them in half lengthwise and soak them, cut side down, in a deep bowl of cold water.  Don’t be afraid to let them soak for at least 20-30 minutes.  Then remove the halves and rinse under cold running water (I like to separate the leaves at the ends just a little bit to make sure all the grit is rinsed out).  Pat dry before cooking.

Boiled and buttered

Slow Roasted Leeks

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

Ingredients:

12 slender leeks, white and light green parts only halved lengthwise, well cleaned (it is helpful to leave the barest sliver of the base intact to help the leaves hold together)

1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

4 tbls unsalted butter

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

To make:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil.  Add the leeks in a single layer, cut sides down, cover and bring the stock back to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.

Carefully remove the leeks, draining out the excess stock (reserve the stock for another use such as soup or to make mashed potatoes to serve alongside your leeks).  Pour about 1 tbls of the butter into a large baking dish and spread around.  Place the leeks in the baking dish, cut sides up, and drizzle with the remaining butter.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Place the baking dish in the oven and roast, uncovered, until the leeks are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 40-60 minutes.

To Serve:

Serve immediately drizzled with any pan juices that remain.  Serves 4 as a side dish.

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Filed under Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Wayside Inn Corn Muffins

Wayside Inn Corn Muffins

And now for something a little different… something savory.  It seems like it has been all sweets, all the time around here lately.  I have been on a crazy cookie-making binge that finally seems to be coming to a close.  Rather than regale you all with even more sweet stuff, we thought we would share one of our favorite recipes for corn muffins. 

Muffin Batter

The recipe comes from the restaurant in Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA.  The Inn has been in existence since 1716 and is an historic landmark.  Down the road from the Inn is the historic grist mill that still grinds wheat and corn using the same process that has been used for centuries.  The stoneground corn meal that they produce is really delicious.  It has a light and fluffy consistency (unlike regular cornmeal which is like hard little pellets) and the flavor is much more corn-y.

Freshly Baked Corn Muffins

These muffins are a bit on the sweet side (which is how I like them) and have a bread-like texture.  It is worth it to seek out stoneground corn meal to use for these muffins as regular corn meal would change the texture.  Serve these up alongside some chili or another hearty stew. 

 Wayside Inn Corn Muffins

Recipe from Longfellow’s Wayside Inn 

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/3 cups stoneground corn meal

7 tsp baking powder

3 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cups cold milk

4 large eggs

1/2 cup neutral flavored vegetable oil

To Make:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all ingredients but the oil for three minutes, using either the first speed of your mixer or by hand.  Slowly add the oil as you continue to mix for another three minutes. 

Fill well greased muffin tins to 3/4 full.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

To Serve:

Serve warm or room temperature.  Makes 18 muffins.  If you are interested in a spicier option, add in 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped pickled jalapeno and 4 ounces softened cream cheese.  Yum.

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Filed under Baked goods, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetarian