Side Dish Recipes

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Beet Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe Recipe

Beet Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

07.25.11 by Jackie

Orzo salad is an easy one-dish, summertime meal. You could add anything you like, so you can adapt the recipe to fit whatever you find at the market. The most labor intensive work involved in preparing the salad is chopping all the ingredients. For this version, I added cherry tomatoes, broccoli, sugar snap peas, pickled carrots and canned black beans. The main event though, was the addition of the roasted beets. I prepped them in the morning and let them cool to room temperature.

We spent a very low-key, relaxing weekend and I didn't feel like cooking a ton, raising the temperature in the kitchen with the stove and oven during the afternoon, as the temperature got higher. This cold pasta dish was light, complete but still flavorful, and we got to enjoy it by the scoopful in our garden.


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Zucchini with Parmesan and Croutons Recipe

I love zucchini. It’s so easy to cook, which is nice in the summer when I want to minimize my time in the kitchen. The one issue to keep in mind though is that zucchini tends to become watery as it softens, so to counteract this I added bread croutons to soak up all the juicy flavors. I learned that trick from Emily, Lulu’s friend.

I used leftover masala tandoori naans for the croutons and flavored the dish with Herbes de Provence, lemon zest and Parmesan for added natural saltiness. This vegetable side dish pairs wonderfully with roasted duck (my favorite meat) or chicken.


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Cold Rice Salad with Papaya Recipe

Cold Rice Salad with Papaya

06.13.11 by Jackie

We finally have beautiful sunshine in the Bay Area. We've been waiting for the sun for so long that today, in honor of our quite overdue patron of summer, I prepared a dish that is refreshing, healthy and flavorful.

Specifically, I made a cold rice and papaya salad. I boiled brown rice, and mixed in vegetables, steamed lentils, lime juice, ginger and fresh papaya. The key to good rice salad is to have a homogeneous mixture. All the ingredients should be cut the same size. The other factor for a good salad in general is a flavorful dressing. I met that requirement with a sweet and spicy papaya ginger dressing.

This version is vegetarian, but you could also finish the salad with grilled jumbo shrimp in shells or grilled chicken breasts. Also, I served it in tea cups. For an original presentation, you could serve it in papaya halves. Here comes the sun!


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Vietnamese Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky: Goi Du Du Kho Bo Recipe Recipe

I've posted several Vietnamese salad recipes (called gơi) but amusingly, I've never posting my favorite of all: Món gơi đu đủ thịt khô . The salad is made of shredded green papaya, daikon radish and beef jerky. I used Vietnamese-style beef jerky, which is slightly sweet and spicy. I love this type of gơi salad so much; I ended up polishing off three bowls. In the end though, I didn't feel too bad as this dish is pretty healthy. Now, if it were three plates of Vietnamese fried shrimp and sweet potatoes (called khoai lan chiên tôm)…

Note: Glossary of relevant Vietnamese cooking terms.

Bò = beef

Món = dish

Gơi = salad

Đu đủ = papaya

Khô = dried

Thịt = meat


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Vietnamese Green Mango Salad Recipe: Goi Xoai Recipe

Vietnamese salads are usually made with the same dressing. A blend of lime juice, garlic, sugar, red Thai chiles and fresh mint leaves bind raw vegetables into a flavorful and healthy salad course. Today, I made green mango salad, called gơi xoài xanh. I create long, thin strips of mango that I mixed with similarly sliced carrots. It makes a very tasty salad thanks to the tangy, sour and sweet flavors.

I made it vegetarian, but you could pair the raw vegetable salad with boiled, shredded chicken (gơi gà), boiled shrimp, dried shrimp (tôm khô) or fire-roasted shredded dried squid (khô mực), which is my favorite. 


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