Side Dishes Recipes

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Goat Ricotta Cheese and Pine Nut Stuffed Baby Zucchini Recipe

I typically serve stuffed zucchini as a side dish. It is very similar to my eggplant rollup recipe. It's very creamy and hearty and is a great accompaniment to red meat, such as a steak or some lamb chops.

What I love most about this dish is that it looks very healthy. But appearances can be deceiving. The green zucchini is the perfect cover for all the cheese and pine nuts that are stuffed inside. It may not be that good for you, but it surely is good. If you still feel guilty after eating this or any other of my recipes, do what the French do: chase after a bus, a train or a metro. I did this for the first 24 years of my life. If that's not possible, you can always go for a walk.

 

 


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Vegetarian Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

Vegetarian Orzo Pasta Salad

05.25.09 by Jackie

Orzo is a rice shaped pasta that is very convenient for making salads. Just dice all the vegetables the same size as the orzo grains, add a vinaigrette, and you're all set. If you need meat in your meal, diced smoked turkey is a healthy and tasty option.

The reason I made this is that Lulu's family organized a fun picnic for Memorial weekend in Big Basin. It was a pot luck, and I volunteered to make the veggie dish. The orzo pasta salad is easy to make and easy to transport, which are both important considerations when you're planning a picnic. Just drizzle the vinaigrette when you're ready to eat.  Make it for your next family picnic or barbecue; it's guaranteed to be a hit!


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Sara's Baigan Bharta (Indian Mashed Eggplant Dip) Recipe

Baigan Bharta is very similar to the Middle Eastern dish called baba ganoush. I discovered the Indian version after I got married. Lulu's aunt, Sara, makes it whenever we come over for dinner and I absolutely love it. It's very fresh and full of Indian spices. She adds yogurt at the end, and I think it gives the dish a velvety creaminess and adds another dimension of flavor to the eggplant.

One of the best characteristics of Baigan Bharta is its versatility. It is perfect as an appetizer served with baked pita bread. I also like to use it as a spread when I make vegetarian sandwiches. It even makes the perfect element for a fusion dish. I like to serve it as a first course with Israeli couscous.The creamy flavor of the Baigan Bharta melds very well with the tangy vinaigrette that I pour over the couscous.


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Israeli Couscous and Lentil Salad with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Gelee Recipe

I think Israeli couscous and lentils are a great combination. Lentils are often eaten with rice, and couscous is really just a grain shaped semolina pasta, so it's a perfect replacement.  

I added a roasted red bell pepper gelée for texture and flavor. It is basically a red bell pepper and walnut caviar, un caviar de poivrons aux noix in French, that I mixed with a little agar so it would hold its shape when I stack the layer of lentils, bell pepper and israeli couscous in a circle cutter for a nice appealing presentation.


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Stir-Fry Pea Shoot Tendrils in Garlic and Black Bean Sauce (Rau Muong Xao) Recipe

Rau muống xào tỏi, literally fresh stir-fry pea shoot tendrils in Vietnamese is my favorite Asian vegetable. It is a staple that can be found on almost every dinner table in Vietnam. This is mostly because it is very easy to grow and very cheap in Vietnam.

In America, pea shoot tendrils can be quite expensive. I always find it interesting that foods that are considered working-class fare in their country of origin can be so expensive in other place. Maybe it's because they are not grown in great abundance here or maybe it's because immigrants crave the foods of their childhood and are willing to pay more for the memories.

In terms of preparation, pea shoots couldn't be easier. Just stir-fry the vegetables very quickly over high heat. Blend in some garlic and black bean sauce and you're set.


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