Category:  Sides

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Chard & Tomatoes

In Sides, Vegetables On September 20, 2013 0 Comments

I still have lots of chard sprouting like weeds in my vegetable garden.

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Here’s a simple, but fine-tasting recipe with limited ingredients. This means that if you’ve got to buy chard to make this dish, your cost won’t break the bank. I know this is a good thing, since many of us are aiming for bargains at those end-of-summer sales.

Enjoy Chard and Tomatoes as a healthy and delicious side to grilled meats, poultry or seafood dishes.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 (as a side dish)

Ingredients:
2 bunches (about 8 cups) coarsely chopped fresh chard
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or more, depending on your taste)
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 yellow or red tomatoes, deseeded & cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1. Rinse, drain and spin dry the chopped chard in cold water about 3 to 4 times (this will remove dirt particles). Set chard aside.

2. Meanwhile, bring a 5 to 6-quart sauce pot filled with water to a boil.

3. When water is boiling, add the chard.

4. Cook chard about 2 to 4 minutes or until it is wilted and tender, but not overcooked.

5. When chard is cooked, drain it in a colander and let it cool slightly, for about 5 minutes.

6. Drain the chard very well and transfer it to a serving bowl.

7. Stir the oil, salt and pepper into the chard. Add tomato pieces and stir once more.

8. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve immediately.

Text and Photograph ©2013 Nancy DeLucia Real

Fennel, Potato & Zucchini Mash

In Sides, Vegetables On August 2, 2013 0 Comments

Feel frustrated when you open the refrigerator and see one of every vegetable? Any thoughts of mounting one vegetable on a pedestal and letting it shine solo are immediately gone.

Recently, I found myself holding one fennel, one potato and one zucchini in my hands. As I grabbed these three veggies, I was about to toss them in the trash. I ultimately decided not to do that because they were still fresh.

So I became creative and found myself cutting up the trio into one-inch chunks. I then threw the melange into a medium pot covered with cold water and …. Well, just look at the photo! This fennel, potato & zucchini mash is exquisite, healthy and vegan.

Prep time: 15 minutes (10 minutes for the boil and 5 minutes for the mash)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

One fresh fennel, green stalks cut and discarded and white parts cut into 1-inch chunks
One medium potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
One medium zucchini, peeled and tips cut and discarded; flesh cut into 1-inch chunks
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste (about 2 tablespoons)
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1. Rinse the peeled and cut vegetables in cold water and drain.

2. Transfer to a medium pot and cover with cold water.

3. Bring to a boil and cool approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until all vegetables are fork-tender.

4. Drain the cooked vegetables completely.

5. Using a hand masher or a handheld electric mixer, beat the vegetables until a puree is formed. Stir in the olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve immediately as a side dish to chicken, seafood or meat. Alternatively, serve as part of a vegetarian or vegan meal.

Text and Photograph ©2013 Nancy DeLucia Real

Potato-Yam Chipotle Mash

In Sides, Vegetables On November 18, 2012 0 Comments

With our turkey holiday right around the corner, I started thinking about smaller feasts. What do you do when you’re not cooking for 15 to 20 people? You downsize a recipe, right? And, you can also tweak a traditional recipe like mashed potatoes.

Here’s a  Potato-Yam Chipotle Mash for four that’ll blow you away. Made with potatoes, one yam and spiced with chipotle chiles in adobo sauce – it’s deliciously sweet and HOT!  Of course, you can control the amount of heat you want. 

Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
Two medium Russet potatoes, about 5 inches in length (preferably organic)
1 medium yam (weighing about 1/2 pound)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
3 to 4 tablespoons milk (2% milkfat, 1% milkfat or whole milk*)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pureed chipotle chiles in adobo sauce**
Salt, to taste

1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2-inch chunks; transfer the potato chunks to a bowl of cold water and set aside.

2. Peel the yam and cut it into 2-inch chunks; transfer the yam chunks to the bowl of potatoes and cold water.

3. Drain the potato and yam chunks and transfer them to a 4 to 6-quart saucepot. Cover with cold water. Set saucepot, covered, on a burner on high heat and bring to a boil. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt.

4. Uncover saucepot and cook the potato and yam chunks for 7 to 8 minutes or until they are fork-tender.

5. When the potato and yam chunks are cooked, drain them in a colander and transfer them to a medium glass or porcelain mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add the butter or olive oil to the poato-yam mixture.

6. If using a mixing bowl, beat the potatoes with a hand mixer. Alternatively, use medium mixing speed on a stand mixer.

7. When the potatoes are beaten, stir in the milk and 1/2 teaspoon of the mashed chipotles. Beat once more until well-blended. Taste and add more mashed chipotle, if desired. Adjust salt level, if needed.

Serve Potato-Yam Chipotle Mash with turkey on Thanksgiving Day. This recipe makes for a great side with any meat, poultry or fish filet such as salmon, halibut, sea bass, etc.

Text and Photograph ©2012 Nancy DeLucia Real

Drunken Brussel Sprouts

In Sides, Vegetables On November 14, 2012 0 Comments

How do you prepare Brussel sprouts? Do you boil or steam them? I sauté Brussel Sprouts with a splash of Whisky or wine. As they cook, the alcohol reduction makes this simple veggie sweet – and happy! 

Enjoy these Drunken Brussel Sprouts as a side dish for your Thanksgiving turkey. You’ll get great reviews on this recipe.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 (as a side dish)

Ingredients:
1/3 cup olive oil
1 to 1-1/2 pounds fresh Brussel sprouts (15 to 18 count)
1/2 cup chopped white or brown onion
1/2 cup Whisky or dry white wine
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1. Working over a sink, trim and discard the stubs from the Brussel sprouts. Remove outer leaves, cut the sprouts in half lengthwise. As you cut the sprouts, place them in a bowl with cold water.

2. Drain the Brussel sprouts and pat them dry with paper towels; set aside in a bowl.

3. Heat the oil in a 10 to 12-inch skillet. Add the Brussel sprouts and stir fry on medium high heat for about 2 minutes.

4. Stir in the chopped onion and stir fry 2 minutes or until onion is clear.

5. Add Whisky or wine, salt and pepper to the Brussel sprouts in skillet. 

6. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the sprouts are crunchy-tender. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer for a softer consistency.

Serve as a side dish to poultry, meat or fish.

Text and Photograph ©2012 Nancy DeLucia Real

Aunt Menina’s Leaves & Potatoes (Foglie e Patate)

In Sides, Vegetables On February 26, 2012 0 Comments

While living in Avellino, Italy, my Aunt Menina sometimes came to spend the day with us. These visits stand out because Menina was great at creating exquisite dishes from my Nonna’s vegetable garden. And she would introduce us to recipes from her husband’s village, Pietrastornina (that’s a mouthful, ain’t it?).

Today, Menina and Antonio Urciuolo serve a fav of mine, Foglie e Patate (Italian for “Leaves and Potatoes) at their restaurant, La Locandina (located in Pietrastornina).

Although my recipe is delicious, whenever I have this vegetarian dish at La Locandina, it’s as though I’m tasting it for the first time. The main ingredients of this recipe are rapini (the leaves) and potatoes.

Make it – I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!

Prep time: 30 to 35 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
2 pounds Russet potatoes (about 3 large potatoes)
1/3 cup fine quality extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced
1 bunch rapini, washed, drained and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
Dash ground black pepper & nutmeg, to taste

1. Place potatoes in a 5 or 6-quart saucepot and cover them with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil.

2. Cook potatoes on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until fork-tender.

3. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool.

4. Meanwhile, in a 10 to 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil.

5. Add the garlic cloves and fry on medium heat until the cloves are golden.

6. Add rapini to the oil and garlic. Cook rapini on medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, occasionally tossing with thongs, until crunchy-tender.

7. Stir in the salt and set skillet with rapini aside.

8. Peel the cooled potatoes and mash them in a large bowl; set aside.

9. Return the skillet with rapini to a burner set on medium heat. Heat the rapini until they are hot.

10. Stir the mashed potatoes into the rapini. Stir and cook until Leaves and Potatoes are warmed through. Season with a dash of black pepper & nutmeg.

Serve in 4 bowls as a vegetarian meal or as 6 side dishes to chicken, fish or meat.

Wine pairing suggestion: Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon (reds).

Text & Photographs ©2012 Nancy DeLucia Real