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Side dishes to complement a "blush" theme?

I belong to a wine and gourmet dinner group. The key ingredients are fun, great food and great wine. This weekend the theme is "blush". The hosts are serving rose, and we've each been instructed to bring dishes that are in some way related to the "blush" theme ... e.g., anything that's the color blush, would make you blush, etc. I'm responsible for a side dish and have been mulling over options like figs or beets. The side dish should complement salmon (blush in color). Any ideas? Thanks!

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  1. I just made a salad the other night with shaved fennel, cucumber and red naval oranges (they weren't blood oranges) - added olive oil, salt and pepper - could have benefited from some mint - the juice was a lovely blush color.

    1. I made a dish not too long ago that used rhubarb and I loved the color it turned in the cooking of it. Don't know if this helps. It was a sweet dish, but rhubarb could be made into a savory dish too I'd think.

      1. Radicchio risotto is a lovely rosey shade. I haven't made it for years, and I think my recipe was out of an otherwise uninspiring vegetarian cookbook, though I've heard that Marcella Hazan has a good recipe. I expect a Google search might yield good results.

        As for transporting it, you could check with the hostess about whether burners would be available before dinner. Just cook it to halfway through, then finish it there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: miss_mia

          Ruby chard also produces a lovely blush colored risotto. I trim the ends of the stems, then cut the stems from the leaves. Cut the stems thin (1/4 to 1/8 inch) and put them into the risotto about halfway through the cooking so that they'll cook tender; shred the leaves and put them in about 5 minutes before done.

        2. hmm.. how about some sort of bean salad with pink beans and red onion?

          1. Couscous salad tossed with raspberry balsamic sauce. You could add any type of cheese, veggies, fruits or nuts. Super easy and definitely goes with salmon.

            1. Cranberry beans are fresh in our markets now and they are such a lovely mottled pink color. I don't have a specific recipe, but the one on epicurious, FRESH CRANBERRY BEAN SALAD, looked good... or perhaps it could be a component in a succotash.

              Also, brandywine and other heirloom tomatoes are pink so a tomato salad might be lovely too.

              But I like the idea of something that would make people blush... so perhaps some aprodisiac foods. Saw an article in Vegetarian Times... here is an excerpt that might give you ideas:

              "Foods are thought to be aphrodisiacs for a number of reasons. Some gain that distinction simply because they remind us of parts of the anatomy (bananas, celery, asparagus, peaches, melons, oysters). Spicy fare like hot peppers, curries and ginger makes people feel sexy because they cause sweating, increased heart rate and flushing, sensations normally associated with getting it on. Dishes containing vanilla, licorice or truffles give off a scent that whets the appetite for both food and sex. Then there are edibles that are rich in nutrients that may improve both desire and performance. Still other foods taste so good that some of us swear they are as good as--or better than--sex."

              and for the sake of attribution: http://www.findarticles.com/p/article...

              1. A beet risotto is a fabulous almost electric pink color . . .

                1 Reply
                1. re: bropaul

                  I just made a beet and orange segment salad and thought it looked very pink and "voluptuous"

                2. Artichokes are supposed to be aphrodisiacs; I'll bet there's a way to make them look rather suggestive.

                  1. Pasta is considered an first course, so you can do a tiny plating of a rich pasta with a cream tomato sauce... :)


                    1. Wow. You guys rock! Last night I "discovered" Chowhound in a Google search, created an account and posted my inquiry as I had by then been scouring books and web resources for inspiration, without much results. I cannot thank you enough for your absolutely fabulous ideas. Moreover, my gourmet buddies are going to love to hear how phenomenally creative you are. I'll let you know what I decide to create, and I'm looking forward to returning the favor ... thank you MMRuth, morebubbles, miss_mia, Allstonian, ceeceee, Main_Line_Tracey, maviris, bropaul, DGresh, MuppetGrrl, and Dommy.

                      1. Watermelon salad, very trendy right now...lots of posts about it right here on Chowhound.