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Entries in Side Dish (23)


Pickled Vegetables

Pickled vegetables

I was very excited when I found out that the theme for this month's First on the FIrst was pickles! When it comes to those sweet, tangy, crunchy vegetables, you either belong to the "love 'em" or "hate 'em" camp. I belong in Camp Love 'Em! I'm the kind of girl who always asks for an extra pickle whenever I'm at a hot dog stand; my favorite part of eating at a deli is the pickle on the side of the sandwich; you get the picture. Generally, when you think of pickles, you think of cucumber slices soaked in a brine, but lately, I've been enjoying other vegetables as pickles too! We went to the farmers' market last week and I picked up a big bunch of beets and radishes. While I didn't have anything in mind for them at first, I quickly decided that they would be delicious pickled, so I gave it a try. There is something about a pickled beet that I can't quite describe, but it is absolutely delicious! Below, I have listed the vegetables that I chose to use, however the recipe can be easily adapted for whatever vegetables you like best. Give these pickled vegetables a try for your next backyard barbecue. I promise, you won't be disappointed, and they will disappear very quickly!

2 Kirby Cucumbers, sliced thin
1 Carrot, peeled and sliced thin
2 Radishes, sliced thin
1 Beet, sliced thin
1 cup White Vinegar
4 tablespoons Sugar
2 tablespoons Salt
2 tablespoons Yellow Mustard Seed
1 cup Cold Water

Using a mandolin or a knife, thinly slice the vegetables. Evenly split the vegetables between glass jars (I used 2 pint jars). In a saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, and mustard to a simmer, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat, stir in the cold water, and allow the brine to come to room temperature. Pour the brine over the sliced vegetables, evenly dividing it between the glass jars. Cover the jars and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve on sandwiches or as is. 

SOURCE: Smitten Kitchen



Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad

Broccoli pasta salad

I love a good pasta salad. They are the perfect summer dish, great as a side to a grilled meal or eaten in a big bowl as a main course. They are so versatile too, made up of seemingly random ingredients, tossed with pasta and dressing, creating a perfectly easy dish. Aside from broccoli, I generally have all of the ingredients of this pasta salad in my fridge or pantry at all times. I picked up a head of broccoli at the store for about 75 cents and got to work throwing this salad together.  We had it along side of chipotle bacon burgers, which sadly I didn't get a picture of, but this salad made enough for us to eat for another 2 days.  Between the fact that it was so cheap to put together, so easy to make, and so delicious, I can see this pasta salad becoming a summertime staple in our house!

1 pound Tri-Color Pasta 
4 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1 medium Broccoli Head, chopped into 1/2-inch florets
8 ounces Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and return to a pan or a large bowl. Add one tablespoon of oil and toss until well coated; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli and cook until crisp-tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the broccoli, feta, and olives to the bowl with the pasta and toss. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the vinegar, then pour over the pasta and toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until serving.

SOURCE: The Kitchn


Dilly Potato Salad

Potato salad

Yesterday, we (unofficially) welcomed summer with a very productive day. After waking up early, making banana bread, and going for a run, we walked to the Memorial Day Parade that marched right past our street, which made for very easy viewing, and then we worked on our garden. Since we are getting a new fence installed, and since our backyard is mostly clay, which is not so conducive to gardening, we decided to plant our vegetables in large pots this year. We have 12 pots in all, containing several types of tomatoes, a few kinds of peppers, some zucchini, and some yellow squash. Hopefully they all do well, and maybe next year, we can build a more permanent garden along our new fence. After such a long day outside, the only thing that seemed fitting to have for dinner was all-American picnic fare. We grilled up some burgers and I tossed together this potato salad. It was incredibly easy to make, and it chilled while I finished cleaning up the yard. We have a few more things to do before we are done with gardening this year, but so far, we are pretty happy with our progress!

3 pounds Red Potatoes
2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup Fresh Dill, chopped
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Celery, chopped
1/2 cup Red Onion, chopped 
1 Hardboiled Egg, chopped

Place the potatoes and salt in a large pot of cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and can easily be pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, dill, and black pepper, then set aside. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters and place them in a large bowl, along with the celery, onion, and egg. Pour the dressing over the top of the potato mixture and gently toss to coat. Refrigerate for about an hour to allow for the flavors to meld. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves 6-8.

SOURCE: Slightly Adapted from Ina Garten


Spring Vegetable Tortellini Salad


Now that spring is in full swing and the warm weather is here, I'm constantly on the look out for new dishes to try that  don't require me to use my oven. Since I love pasta salads, especially when they are made with tortellini, as soon as I saw this one, I knew it was bound to be on our table. Since Joel is obsessed with prosciutto, I knew that this would win bonus points with him, too. I made this salad to go along with some grilled sausages, since I'm apparently all about the side dishes (at least that is what Joel says), but I think this would also be a great stand alone meal on a hot day in the summer. Light, refreshing, and delicious--the best words to describe this salad. 

For the Salad:
9 ounces Fresh Cheese Tortellini (I used a 12 ounce frozen bag…turned out perfectly)
1/2 pound Asparagus, woody ends removed
1/2 cup Frozen Peas
2-3 slices Prosciutto, chopped 
1/4 cup Herbs, chopped (I used parsley and thyme) 
Dressing, recipe below 

Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces and add them to the tortellini for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain the pasta and asparagus and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again. Toss with the peas and set aside. In a small skillet over medium heat, cook the prosciutto until crispy and lightly browned, stirring often. Drain on a paper towel. In a large bowl, toss the tortellini, asparagus, peas, and herbs. Top with the dressing and stir until combined. Sprinkle with the prosciutto and serve. Serves 4.

For the Dressing:
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Tiny squeeze of Honey

 Combine the zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and honey in a jar with a lid. Make sure that the lid is tightly secured and shake the jar until the ingredients have combined. 

SOURCE: Pink Parsley


Pickled Jalapeño Peppers


It's Secret Recipe Club reveal day. How has it been a month already? This past month, I was assigned to Jane's wonderful blog, The Healthy Beehive.  I enjoyed reading about her healthy way of life up in the mountains of Colorado, and her cheese making skills! While I would have loved to make a cheese recipe, I wasn't sure where I could find the ingredients around here, so I started searching for something else to try. I ended up choosing these jalapeños because we tend to eat a lot of Mexican food, and I thought it would be a great added touch to those dishes. A great added touch is quite the understatement! These jalapeños took about 10 minutes to throw together and cost about $1 to make! That's my kind of recipe! SInce making these, we have enjoyed them on burgers, tacos, on top of nachos, and even just out of the jar. When I get an overabundance of jalapeño peppers from my garden this summer, I am coming right back to this recipe so I can enjoy it again! Thanks for sharing, Jane!

8-10 Jalapeño Peppers, sliced
1/2 Red Onion, cut into slices
5-10 Garlic Cloves, depending on your tastes
2 cups White Vinegar
1 teaspoon Oregano
2 tablespoons Salt

Mix the vinegar, oregano, and salt in a pan over medium heat. Cook until the salt dissolves, then let it cool. Meanwhile, layer the jalapeños, onion, and garlic in a quart-sized jar. Pour the cooled vinegar over the top, cover the jar, and put it in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Enjoy!  (I successfully halved the recipe and it fit perfectly in a 12 ounce jar)

SOURCE: The Healthy Beehive