Category Archives: Side dish

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Turkey meatballs and roasted eggplant with lemon and onions

Turkey meatballs and roasted eggplant with lemon and onions

After getting the cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi from the library, I decided to make this meal of turkey and zucchini burgers with a sour cream sumac sauce and roasted eggplant with fried onion and chopped lemon. It was a bit of a challenge to find the sumac, but Penzeys had it. It was a delicious meal! I am really enjoying cooking with these new Israeli ingredients and flavors.

Parmesan chicken with orzo with a side of Swiss Chard

Jill Pickle:  I wanted to make a quick and easy recipe so I tried Parmesan Chicken and Rice from the Cooking Light, Dinner Tonight Cookbook.  I made a few changes.  I added orzo instead of rice and added the whole can of chicken broth.  It was really good!  The wine, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese added so much flavor!  I also used thyme and Italian parsley from my herb garden.  As a side, I made Swiss Chard.  In my garden, I’m also growing lovely Rainbow Swiss Chard and it was surprisingly good!!

Israeli Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes

Katie:  I like making couscous, especially since it’s pretty easy to prepare.  It’s not very flavorful by itself, but it works well as a base with other ingredients.  While I’ve often had the finer variety of couscous, I’ve recently tried Israeli (or Pearl) couscous which is bigger, chewier, and a little more flavorful.  I was excited to try this recipe for Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes from Smitten Kitchen.  It pairs Israeli couscous with roasted grape tomatoes, olives, fresh herbs, and a dressing made with roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic.  I made this recipe as written, using fresh herbs from the garden.  It went well with fish, and was a good choice for a summer dish! 

Grilled Panzanella

Here’s a recipe that I’ve wanted to try for a while.  It’s healthy, vegetarian and goes well with chicken or fish.  (We served it with barbecued salmon.)  You want to mix just before serving so you don’t end up with soggy bread.  If we have leftovers, I store the bread, vegetables and dressing separately.  We added olives but you can add any other vegetables you want: eggplant, summer squash, etc.

Corn Relish

Matthew:  Well, I’m not sure that I’m ready to try canning at home yet, but I was curious about the corn relish that we canned for the food pantry.  I  made approximately 1/3 of this recipe, using corn, red bell pepper, onion, and a hot reddish/orangish pepper.  I also added a little extra liquid (water and vinegar) since it seemed like it needed more.  After it was done cooking, I let it cool in the fridge overnight and then tried it the next morning.  I was glad that the corn still had a crunch to it.  The red pepper adds a nice sweetness to contrast the vinegar.  I put the relish on a few different things, including a black bean burger, a fried egg on toast, a baked potato, and just some corn chips.  I was pleasantly surprised with how good this was.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Corn Salad

Katie:  After a warm, sunny summer, it’s hard to see the days getting shorter and the air getting chillier.  At least there’s one thing that helps make the transition to fall a bit easier:  pumpkins!!  I’ve been spotting pumpkins, or as I’m always corrected “squash”, at the farmer’s market for the last couple of weeks.  I made two batches of muffins with the ambercup squash I found.

After a difficult week, I was in need of a pumpkin to cheer me up a little.  I had a butternut squash to use, but didn’t want to make anything too wintery yet.  Since sweet corn is still in season, I was happy to find this recipe for Roasted Butternut and Corn Salad.  The roasted butternut and corn made an interesting combination.  I only used 1/2 of a chili pepper for the dressing, but it was still pretty spicy, so I’m glad I decided not to mix it in the salad.  I added extra fresh basil.  The toasted sunflower seeds and feta cheese enhanced the other flavors.  Next time, I might try adding some lime or lemon juice or even some yogurt to the dressing to balance the spiciness.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Corn Salad (adapted slightly from The First Mess)
serves: 2-4

  • 1 small-medium butternut squash, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • olive oil
  • 1/2  – 1 small chili/hot pepper (I used a Thai chili pepper)
  • 3 ears of corn, husked and cleaned
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted (I toasted them in a skillet over medium-high heat until they were lightly brown)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2-4 fresh basil leaves, slivered
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix the pieces of squash with 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out onto a baking sheet. Add the whole chili to the sheet as well. Roast until the squash is soft, about 30 minutes. The chili should be crinkly and slightly brown. Remove the seeds and stem from the chili and set aside.

While the squash is roasting, cut the corn from the cobs.  Mix with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, or until corn begins to turn light brown. Set aside.

For the dressing, combine the apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, garlic, roasted chili, dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons oil, water, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend mixture until well-mixed.

Combine the squash, corn, and basil in a large bowl.  Top individual servings with dressing, roasted seeds, and feta cheese.

Baba Ganoush

Matthew:  I recently discovered that I love eggplant.  Now that it’s in season, I want to take advantage of all the local eggplant I can get ahold of.  I first tried grilling it and now I blackened, roasted, and pureed it into baba ganoush.  I found this recipe from food writer David Lebovitz.  He recommends serving it as an appetizer with toasted bread or pitas.  You could also pair it with grilled meats and vegetables for a more substantial dish.  To prepare the eggplant, you have to put it under the broiler (or grill it) and then bake it in the oven until it is soft.  Then, you just scoop out the inside and puree it with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.  It’s actually really easy to make and you can adjust the flavors at the end based on your preferences.  My first batch that used two eggplants is almost gone, so I’ll have to go get some more while they are still around at farmer’s markets!