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Archive for the ‘Side dish’ Category

Moroccan couscous salad

Couscous1Couscous is a grain and a staple throughout North Africa and the Middle East. The boxed, pre-steamed versions you can find in the supermarket makes it a convenience food and an alternative to rice or pasta. Serve it as a side with meat either plain or mixed with vegetables, dried fruit, and nuts.

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EggplantTricolor1

Roasting eggplant seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper makes a tasty base for eggplant tricolor.

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Kale3I know what you are thinking: Stop with the kale recipes already! It’s no longer trendy! I can’t eat anymore! I’ll never like it! But the fact is, kale is going to keep growing from the ground and your local community supported agriculture share (CSA) is going to keep putting it in the bags it delivers to you, so keep calm and kale on.

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Popcorn2

If you are binge-watching Oscar nominated movies or any of your favorite TV shows at home while waiting for this never-ending winter to pack up and leave, here’s how to bring some buttery stove-top popcorn to your armchair.

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At warm-up Thanksgiving this year, the annual pot luck my friend Jenna hosts a few days before Thanksgiving, I brought a butternut and kale side dish that was a hit. The butternut squash is tossed with spices and olive oil before it is roasted, and then sautéed onions, dried cranberries, and toasted pumpkin seeds are added to a bed of leafy green kale.

Not only does it look pretty on the table, it tastes delicious! This dish quickly emptied out at our pre-Thanksgiving meal.

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For some reason Brussels sprouts is a vegetable capable of releasing passion. Like this:

I love Brussels sprouts!

or

I hate Brussels sprouts!

Very rarely do you hear, “Brussels sprouts? Meh. I could take them or leave them.”

It’s sad really, because in the much-loved, much-hated division we are all overlooking an important point: Brussels sprouts are cute.

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From last year’s archives,  I thought I’d dig it out this annual favorite for Thanksgiving 2012!

Every Thanksgiving I brace myself for the inevitable: green bean casserole.

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I wish I had a picture of risotto to share with you. If I had a picture you’d see soft pillowy mounds of arborio rice, with flecks of green broccoli, and earthy mushrooms held together with Grana Padano cheese but I don’t. Because I ate it before I could take a picture. All of it. It was that good.

So here is an autumn Valentine for you instead.

It’s almost as good, right?

I felt like I had gotten a Valentine the night my friends came over to eat risotto in heaping bowlfuls. My friends are all single urbanites, charging in a million different directions. I wan’t sure who would show up at the dinner table. In the end, there were five of us – just kind of “coming home” together after a week of hectic schedules, new jobs, and surviving the ordinary. (more…)

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The next time you get a crunchy, salty craving you might try making kale chips.

They are so easy to make and tasty it’s almost ridiculous. You simply tear a bunch of kale into bite sized pieces, coat in oil and seasoning, and bake for about 15 minutes. If you’ve signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) share this summer you’ll thank me in a few weeks when kale starts to arrive by the bagful.

The great thing about kale chips is you can play around with flavorings. Try adding a dash of cumin or garlic salt. Or you can use a seasoned oil. I have some Australian macadamia nut oil in my cupboard and this ended up being a delicious choice. I also toasted some sesame seeds and sprinkled them on top. I recommend a crunchy salt like sea salt or kosher salt for added texture. (more…)

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Cape Cod cranberry orange relish

At every Thanksgiving table there is some kind of cranberry, whether it is canned, sauced, or chopped into a relish. We have always been a relish family. Again, this is a preference of texture – something to balance all of the sweet mash on the dinner plate like peas and pearl onions do. And if the relish is tangy, even better for cleansing the palate between the second and third helpings of sweet potato casserole.

I was delighted to come across this recipe in “Cape Cod Table” by Lora Brody. It has walnuts and lime juice to keep that tangy texture that I like. It also uses brown sugar and maple syrup as sweeteners instead of white sugar. I like a dish that tells a story and this one tells the story of New England. (more…)

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