Sides are one of those things that can really compliment the star of the dish your making. They can also echo the flavors you put so thoughtfully into your star ingredient of what you may be serving. I wanted to talk about a few really delicious sides that you can make, and are no trouble to put together, yet still have that wow factor.
For my sauteed garlic spinach with a hint of spice, I started out with a large hot saute pan and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. To that I added 3 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes.
I let that bloom into the oil for a minute, just long enough to where you smell the garlic. To that I added, 1/2 of a 16 ounce bag of one of those pre-washed bags of fresh baby spinach leaves. It may look as though there are too many leaves for the pan, but just add them in batches. They will wilt way down as they start to cook. Once you’ve added as much spinach that can fit, sprinkle some kosher salt and toss with your tongs so that the garlic, oil, and red pepper flakes coat the leaves before adding in more spinach and repeating the same process.
In the picture above you can see how the first batch of leaves wilted way down. When your finished adding in all the spinach it will look like this. This spinach side dish is so delicious and so good for you.
The second side is my Curry and Ginger Roasted Baby Carrots.
This side dish is another very easy one to make. i started out by trimming the tops of the carrots off, but not all the way. I love the rustic look they give to the dish. In a small bowl I mixed 1 tablespoon of a mild curry powder, 1 tablespoon of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Those are the ingredients in the bowl on the right. The other bowl I’ll get to in just a minute.
On two small baking sheets I lay out the carrots and drizzle some olive oil over all the carrots. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan or the carrots won’t roast properly.
Then I sprinkle the curry, ginger spice mixture over each of the carrots on both sheet pans. Then I just toss the carrots all together so that they all get good and coated. I roast them off in a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Check on them after 15 minutes or so to see if they are fork tender. If they are, then they are done and you can take them out.
I just sprinkle them with a little Kosher salt and some freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley. The carrots are naturally sweet, and the spice mixture gives them a unique warm flavor. It’s a roller coaster for you taste buds. This side has even been know to make a great soup.
Now this is another side that couldn’t be simpler to make. My Roasted Sweet Potatoes with a Brown Sugar Glaze.
I just took 2 sweet potatoes, peeled them and cut them into large wedges.
In the spice bowl on the left I have 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, 2 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.
In a baking sheet again, I drizzled the sweet potatoes with olive oil and sprinkled the brown sugar mixture all over. Then again. I just toss them with my hands to get all the potatoes coated. Into a 450 degree oven for around 15-20 minutes. About halfway through the cooking, turn the potatoes over so they get nice and caramelized on the other side as well. Check after the 15 minutes to see if they are fork tender. If they are then they are done and you can take them out. They should be crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Yummy!
The last side I want to talk about is my Fennel and Tangelo Salad with a Citrus Vinaigrette. It’s light and the perfect pairing with any kind of fish.
Using a mandolin, I shaved 2 fennel bulbs and half of a red onion, I just arranged them onto a plate and then segmented 2 tangelos for the top. I laid the tangelos segments all over the top. I took the juice from the tangelos and made a vinaigrette. In a small bowl I had the leftover juice which came to around 1/4 cup of juice. To that I added 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper. Then I added 1/2 a cup of E.V.O.O. and whisked that together to make the dressing and just spooned a few spoonfuls over the top of the Fennel and Tangelo Salad. Garnished with some chopped fresh parsley and there you have it. That’s it for “Everything Sides”, hope you will try one of these with one of the meals your serving.