Often at restaurants the creative accompaniment to an entree makes the decision for me. Don’t get us wrong; we love a juicy burger or perfectly roasted beef tenderloin. But what really makes a meal, in our opinion, are the side dishes. With the turn of the season comes a hearty serving of comfort. Take full advantage of the fall harvest with flavors from butternut squash to fennel with the following vegetable-inspired recipes — they are sure to color your table and satisfy your soul. Move over turkey. The side dishes are stealing the show.
Blue Cheese Coleslaw
Tangy, crunchy, and creamy, the addition of blue cheese makes this slaw something truly special.
1⁄2 green cabbage (small head)
1⁄2 red cabbage (small head)
4 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled
2 cups mayonnaise (preferably Duke’s)
1⁄4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery salt
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 1⁄2 cups blue cheese, crumbled (Roquefort or even gorgonzola is perfect)
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Cut the cabbages in half and then in quarters and cut out the cores. Set up the food processor with the slicing blade (according to manufacturer’s instructions) and place the pieces of cabbage, one at a time, lying horizontally in the feed tube. (If they don’t fit, cut them to fit lying down.) Place the feed tube pusher on top and turn on the processor. Don’t push on the feed tube pusher or the slices will turn out too thick. Continue with the remaining red and green cabbage quarters. Transfer into a large bowl, discarding any large pieces.
Replace the slicing blade with the large shredding blade and cut the carrots so they also lie down in the feed tube. Since the carrots are hard, replace the feed tube pusher and press firmly with the food processor on (you can also use a box grater and omit this step). Transfer to bowl with the cabbages.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, both mustards, vinegar, celery salt, kosher salt, and pepper. Before you pour the dressing on the salad, save a handful of the grated vegetables to decorate for serving. Pour enough mayonnaise dressing over the grated vegetables and toss to coat well. Add crumbled blue cheese, parsley, and toss together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to develop. Serve cold or at room temperature. Serves 8 to 10.
If you do not have a food processor, you can use a mandolin or slice the cabbage thinly with a sharp chef’s knife.
Roasted Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Everyone loves a good potato salad, and we suggest impressing guests with a twist on this classic.
2 (1 1/2 pound) bags yellow baby potatoes, either halved or quartered, depending on size
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided use, plus a drizzle for the baking sheet
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus a pinch, divided use
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 large red onion, quartered and sliced thinly
1 tablespoon sugar
6 strips apple smoked bacon, uncured, chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl, add the halved (or quartered) baby potatoes along with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and the cracked pepper, and toss well to combine. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil onto the foil-lined baking sheet, turn the baby potatoes out onto the baking sheet, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and tender. While potatoes roast, crisp the bacon and caramelize the red onion.
To caramelize the red onion: in a medium large, nonstick pan set over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add the sliced red onion, the tablespoon of sugar, and toss to coat with a pair of tongs. Cook to caramelize the red onions over medium heat for 12 to 14 minutes or until they are softened into a golden, caramel color. Once onions are caramelized, add the pinch of sea salt to them, stir to incorporate, and remove from heat; set aside and keep warm until ready to add to potato salad.
Next, in a medium, nonstick pan set over medium heat, cook the bacon pieces until brown and crispy. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place onto a paper towel to drain. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings and set aside to use in the vinaigrette. Keep the drippings warm.
Once the baby potatoes are roasted, remove from oven, and allow them to cool for a few moments while you prepare the warm, bacon vinaigrette, below.
Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons reserved, warm bacon drippings
1 tablespoon olive oil
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients beginning with the apple cider vinegar through to the salt; slowly drizzle in the bacon drippings while whisking, and then add the olive oil. Whisk until the vinaigrette is well combined.
To assemble: Add the warm, roasted baby potatoes to a large bowl, and then add the caramelized red onions, the crispy bacon, the chopped flat-leaf parsley, and the vinaigrette. Toss well to completely combine, making sure that all of the potatoes are well dressed. Divide equally among plates, and serve while still warm. Serves about 6.
This potato salad is also delicious served cold, with the addition of spinach or arugula greens.
Curry Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpeas with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
This is a warm and satisfying fall dish. Enjoy!
2 large butternut squash (5 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dices
One 19-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
3/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with the chickpeas, olive oil, curry, and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Spread the squash cubes and chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 1 hour or until tender. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir the yogurt with the cilantro and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the roasted butternut squash and chickpeas onto a platter and drizzle with 1/2 cup of the yogurt sauce. Serve the remaining yogurt sauce on the side. Serves 10 to 12.
Autumn Succotash with Gruyere Grits
This rustic blend is sure to satisfy.
2 tablespoons butter
1 large fennel bulb, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 (10-ounce) package baby lima beans, thawed
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
4 medium plum tomatoes, chopped (about 1 cup)
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fennel, onion, and garlic; cook 9 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring often. Add peppers; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn, lima beans, and whipping cream; cook 5 minutes or until cream has thickened and is thoroughly heated, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and next three ingredients. Serve over Gruyere Grits (recipe below). Sprinkle with chopped tomato.
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
1 (8-ounce) block Gruyère cheese, shredded
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Bring 5 1/4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Gradually whisk in 1 1/4 cups grits, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, whisking occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in shredded Gruyère cheese and remaining ingredients until cheese is melted and mixture is blended. Serves 6 to 8.
Your patience will be rewarded with these addicting bites.
4 pounds white button mushrooms
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 quart Burgundy wine (other reds will work)
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 cups boiling water
4 whole chicken bouillon cubes
4 whole beef bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon dill seed (optional)
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons salt
Thoroughly wash the mushrooms and throw them into a large stockpot. Add all the remaining ingredients except the salt. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for six hours. Remove the lid, and then continue cooking, uncovered, for three hours. Add salt to taste at the end if desired. The mushrooms will be very dark in color. Simmer until ready to serve. Serves 8.
These recipes were developed by the ladies at Lillian’s Eatery & Bakery.