Category Archives: sides
It’s the end of the Summer and the Palisade Peaches are still here in Colorado along with the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes. It’s a no-brainer salad going on here made with the freshest of ingredients. Fresh Mozzarella is readily available almost everywhere now and grab some fresh basil while you’re at it. This salad worked out well with a few easy ingredients and it packed some super delicious flavor. Hurry to your farmers market or produce store to grab some of these beauties before they’re gone .
*this recipe should serve 2- 4 but can easily be doubled for more
1 pint of cherry tomatoes ( I grabbed some heirloom cherry tomatoes)
1 large peach or 2 small (Palisade Peaches here in Colorado have been amazing)
4 ounces fresh mozzarella
some fresh basil–throw in about 8 pieces and add more or less depending on your own particular taste
1 1/2 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or any flaky salt you like –this is approximate and use as little or as much salt as you like, tomatoes can endure a lot of salt
app. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Rinse off tomatoes and cut in 1/2. Clean and cut the peach in half, remove the pit and cut into bite size pieces. Add tomatoes and peaches to a platter or a bowl. Cut up the mozzarella and add to bowl.
Peel and slice the shallots into thin slivers or rings whichever you prefer. Scatter over tomatoes, add the basil, drizzle the olive oil, salt and pepper and stir gently.
This is a most delicious salad and a departure from the usual fare of lettuces etc. Sweet and Savory and very refreshing . Simple to pull together and easy to make. Of course you can substitute or add other items if you’d like such as olives, arugula , basil etc. This is how I did it and we all totally enjoyed it!!! The salad is a rather loose recipe and can be adapted very easily to other ingredients and your own particular tastes.
It really is the perfect Summer Salad. The saltiness of the feta and the sweetness of the watermelon make for a perfect summer salad.
1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1″cubes or melon balls.
1 shallot finely chopped
1 chunk of Feta Cheese– I like to cut my feta cubed but crumbled could work as well. Feta is usually a greek style cheese made with sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. I prefer a block even though I know crumbled is more convenient. The block is usually sold in a brine and that will keep the feta moist and crumbles tend to be dryer. They all taste good though so buy what you prefer. I often buy Bulgarian Feta which is rather firm and cuts and crumbles easily. Look for it. Also French Feta sometimes–check out the assortment in the cheese section of your market. And of course Greek Feta is probably the most preferred. Salty and tangy the way feta should be. Cut or Crumble your choice.
4 Tbsp. Torn Fresh Mint — more for garnish –I love Mint but some people really don’t you can substitute Basil or nothing if you’d lke
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 persian cucumbers — I buy the small ones and cut into small cubes
1/4 red onion sliced thinly
1/3 cup Pistachio Nuts — I chop them gently — obviously no shells –you can omit this all together if you don’t like them for a nut free salad
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
3 small cloves Garlic–finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
In a small bowl whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine the watermelon,1 finely chopped shallot, and mint in a large bowl with the 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil . Season with Salt and Pepper to taste and toss to combine. Transfer to fridge and let marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
Remove from fridge and add the cubed feta, cucumbers, red onion slices and pistachios. Toss to combine. I transferred to a serving platter , drizzled with the vinaigrette and served with extra pistachios and extra mint.
You’ll want to use a slotted spoon for serving.
This is an oldie but goodie and always welcome on the table. It is perfect with a bbq and always seems to be a hit. It’s the time of year when cold salads are abundant but this beauty is really wonderful all year round.
Napa Noodle Salad
4 cups sliced Napa Cabbage ( I cheat and buy the cabbage in a bag. It’s not always Napa but sometimes I don’t feel like chopping. if you buy the bag, it’s fine, just use 1 whole bag. It’s more than 4 cups but it’s fine, and if all you can find is the cole slaw kind it’s Ok too, it will just have some carrots and some purple cabbage.
5 green onions (scallions) sliced very thin (green parts only)
Mix cabbage and green onions and refrigerate for a few hours (at least 2). This gives it a chance to meld and wilt a bit.
2 packages of Ramen noodles (It doesn’t matter which flavor you buy b/c you will be throwing away those flavor packs –you won’t be needing them for this salad–just the noodles
handful of sliced almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds (available in the spice aisle)
1/4 cup butter
Take the noodles (hard crunchy ones) and put in a large plastic bag. Bang noodles with a mallet or your fist (fist is fine) and just crack them up. They’ll be easier to work with. Add the almonds and sesame seeds and brown all together in the butter.
1/2 cup sugar ( I know, but I never said I cook DIET)
1/2 cup salad oil (plain old vegetable oil will do just fine)
1/4 cup vinegar (I use white rice vinegar, which is available in Asian section of supermarket or just wherever the vinegars are.)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce (low sodium always)
Toss all together and Serve
*cabbage and onions need to meld and wilt a bit, so make sure to give them at least 2 hours in the fridge. The hard noodles should stay a little crunchy. Don’t burn–just brown–the ingredients until the butter gets a bit bubbly; not burnt. Be careful. While you’re browning the noodles with the almonds and sesame seeds, move them around with a wooden spoon so it all gets buttery.
I know this is fattening, but isn’t everything fattening so yummy??? And you’re not eating the whole thing, so enjoy!!!
Of course you can double up this recipe, it’s just a whole lotta cabbage to toss! As a side dish, this is a nice amount as is.
Serves 4 – 6 as a side dish
It’ s June so let’s break out all the delicious summer food. This is a most perfect summer salad and it is a vegetarian delight . It is totally vegan. I am not a vegan but totally love this salad with all it’s fresh flavors . I had 2 beautiful ripe avocados on hand and all the ingredients for this yummy salad. I had some fresh corn so I just brought the water to a boil threw it in and when it turned yellow took it out and threw it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Of course I love jalapenos , use your own discretion and this would be amazing without as well but it was kick ass with them. You can make the salad ahead and let juices meld but don’t add the avocados till you’re ready to serve. You can give them a little squeeze of fresh lime juice so they won’t turn brown so fast. I like to serve salad at room temperature, you just don’t get the flavors when it’s too cold. It will keep in fridge for a few days, but you’ll have to take out the leftover avocado since it will turn brown. I cut this salad in 1/2 for the 2 of us. This easily will serve 6 as a side. By the way Joel took a bite but too much healthy stuff going on in here for his liking, although he’s gotten better he’s not quite up to this yet, it’s OK because there was more for me with leftovers.
I was inspired for this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa recipe for Guacamole Salad. The corn was my idea.
2 cobs of fresh corn ( cook and then shuck corn off the cob) if no fresh corn available use frozen . I use frozen when I have to and 1 small bag is usually sufficient. The frozen corn will defrost very quickly so just take it out and when you mix in with other ingredients it will start to completely thaw by the time you’re ready to serve. You want to serve at room temperature anyway.
1 pint grape tomatoes , halved
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced into small pieces ( app. 1/2 “)
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup small diced red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded ( app. 2 small jalapenos) use at your own discretion . Remove Seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice ( 2 limes)
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into small cubes.
Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and cayenne pepper. Pour over the vegetables. Toss well. In the meanwhile cook the corn , bring water to a boil throw in for a few minutes to turn bright yellow, then I throw in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes to stop the cooking and lock in flavor and color. Then remove corn from cob. I let the salad sit for about an hour before adding avocados into the salad. Just fold avocados into the salad when you’re ready to serve. Check for seasoning and serve at room temperature.
This is my easiest Charoset. It’s traditional in the sense that it’s an Ashkenazi (Eastern European) recipe. I add a little brown sugar instead of white sugar and it gives it just a bit more character. This makes about 4 cups, but you can easily double it. My family loves it, so I always make a double batch. Remember, while a reminder of the mortar used in making bricks for Pharaoh, charoset is really just a sweet condiment of apples and wine!
3 medium Fuji apples (or any other kind you like), peeled, cored and finely diced (use processor to make your life simpler) I usually use whatever is in the house, but on Passover I go through so many apples, so buy what you like (I always like Granny Smith because they are nice and tart)
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped (buy them pre-chopped)
1/2 cup sweet red wine such as Manischewitz Extra Heavy Malaga or just Concord Grape is fine
*20 pitted dates, chopped; or 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
*for a bit of extra added flavor you can add 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger (optional)
After chopping apples, stir all ingredients in a large bowl. Keep in refrigerator ’til ready to serve. Serve at room temperature. You can also pulse everything together in processor, just be very careful not to over-process. I often do this to save time. You don’t want it too fine, so just go gently with the processor if you go that route. I do it in the processor, and I know exactly how I like it to come out, so go easy with the chopping. If it’s a little dry or too thick, you can always add more wine. I find this always tastes better after it sits and allows the wine to really soak and ripen for 24 hours. Before serving, check for consistency and add a little more wine, if necessary.
I have always felt obliged to have this recipe on my Thanksgiving table because everyone wants it. Believe it or not children and adults alike will always look for this tasty concoction of sweet potatoes and marshmallows. It just wouldn’t be the same without some version of this. It is easy and I just felt I owed it to all of you to pass it along. It is especially good for those of you who need to bring something to someone’s house, and don’t have time for fuss and muss. So here you go. And those darn mini marshmallows which you just gotta have. I have to admit that I love this recipe!
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 large cans of yams or app. 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, drained
1 small can (I like 8 oz.) crushed pineapple (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
mini-marshmallows (1 bag will more than cover it) or one jar of marshmallow topping
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and pecans. Simmer for a few minutes. In the meantime, place drained yams in a large bowl and mash them (you can leave a few chunked pieces.) If you’re cooking your sweet potatoes , peel and cut into quarters (cubes) fill a large pot of water to cover potatoes , add a little salt to water and bring water to boil. Boil for about 12 minutes till you can pierce potato with a fork easily. Remove and drain potatoes. I always place my potatoes back in pot to steam off excess water.
Pour sugar/pecan and pineapple mixture over the yams. Stir until combined thoroughly. Add in cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer to a pie pan, actually any baking dish will do. Oven to Table is perfect here. Bake for about 15 minutes. Then remove, put mini marshmallows on top to cover, and raise the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes to brown the marshmallows. Don’t let it burn.
I made this recipe for the first time Thanksgiving 2011 and it is now the only Stuffing I make. I found it in a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, loved all of the ingredients and thought it was delicious. I know there a lot of stuffings out there and unfortunately this one is not vegetarian This year I will be adding a vegetarian stuffing to my table so be on the look-out for that recipe.
I don’t cook my stuffing in the turkey. I make it ahead of time and cook it in a buttered/sprayed baking dish the day of.
3/4 cup diced dried figs, stems removed
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Calvados or brandy (I used Calvados, bought the bottle last year)
2 yellow onions, diced (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 cup (3 stalks) celery, diced about 1/2 inch
1 lb. pork sausage (I do 1/2 sweet and 1/2 hot. Feel free to substitute any kind of sausage you would like. Try to get the butcher to take it out of casing for you. It’s one less thing to do.)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (please don’t leave this out)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (put in oven at 400 for about 5 minutes and watch them!)
3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix –I use Pepperidge Farm Brand
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 extra large egg, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place the dried figs and cranberries in a small saucepan and pour in the Calvados and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat, add the onions and celery and saute until vegetables are softened and onions are translucent (don’t burn them.) Add the sausage, crumbling it as you go. Continue to saute, stirring frequently and breaking up sausage. Keep cooking for about 10 minutes, until cooked and browned up. Add the figs and cranberries with their liquid, the chopped rosemary, and pine nuts, and cook until all ingredients come together, for a couple of minutes. Scrape up and remove all the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, beaten egg, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and mix well. (This can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight, which is what I do. It’s just too much to do the day of.)
I put the stuffing in a well-sprayed, slightly buttered (optional), baking (gratin) dish. If you put this in the preheated over, you will likely cook it for at least 45 minutes and probably more like an hour to two hours if it’s doubled. I also stir frequently while it is cooking, and then let it go for the last 15 minutes and it browns up. Taste for Salt and Pepper.
obviously if you are doubling this recipe you will need to use a large (very) frying pan. Or you can just do it in batches. You will need a very large pan to cook it up in though. You need to spread it out while it cooks so it cooks through. Once it is cooked you can always put it in a pretty baking dish and as it heats up just mix it through every once in a while so top doesn’t burn and bottom won’t be soggy.
I know everyone thinks that their stuffing is the best, but if made properly this one is absolutely amazing!
*This will probably serve at least 8 as one of many sides, but feel free to double.
This recipe has been around pretty much my whole married life. If there is a turkey on the table, there is cranberry crisp next to it. It originated from my friend Karyn, and we even make it for Passover with matzoh farfel. It’s so sweet and delicious that it could really be a dessert. We love it with our meal; love the sweet and savory thing. You can’t eat too much of it, it is so rich. It is also very dangerous to have in the fridge the next day, so try to give it to everyone who wants to take home leftovers. This tastes good either hot out of the oven or at room temperature. Some people may even want to make it as dessert and serve with vanilla ice cream, but the Kolens don’t. We always serve it as a side dish and it is awesome however you serve it. Thanks again, Karyn.
I suggest reading through the entire recipe before making it.
*you def want to double this recipe
4 medium apples ( I use all different kinds)
1 can (1 lb.) whole cranberry sauce
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup uncooked quick rolled oats
1/2 cup flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 9×13 baking dish with Pam.
Peel apples, slice them, then arrange in baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Spoon cranberry sauce over the apples.
Separately, stir rolled oats, flour, and brown sugar together. Cut in butter until it’s mixed in and crumbly. Sprinkle this over cranberry layer. Bake at 350 degrees until apples are cooked and top is lightly browned. The entire mixture will be bubbling and your house will smell divine. You will bake about 40 minutes to an hour. You can make ahead of time, and then on the day you need it, just heat it up until it bubbles. I usually make this a few days ahead, because it’s that much less that I’ll have to do the day of. You can freeze this also, so make it way ahead and freeze it. If you freeze it, take it out a day before you need it, and then heat it up the day of.
*just a little hint, if you are having trouble cutting in the butter, melt it first . This is a good hint . Then use your clean hands to squish it together. It is easier to work with this way. If you did it the other way , it’s OK, it will all come out the same, just easier to melt first, sorry I didn’t suggest that from the get go. Karyn pointed this out to me on Thanksgiving!
My friend Audrey gave this to me many years ago, and it has become a staple on our thanksgiving table ever since. It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it. It is a favorite in our family. Can be doubled easily, just make sure your baking dish is large enough.
1/2 cup butter (unsalted) 1 stick
8 oz. sour cream (lite is OK but not fat-free)
8 oz. can sweet corn (drained)
8 oz. can creamed corn
8 oz. pkg. corn muffin mix
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter, mix in beaten eggs, then add the rest of the ingredients.
Pour into glass baking dish (Pyrex is good and I spray it first.) 9 x 12 works fine, it’s not a very deep pudding.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.