what are your favorite vegetable sides?
I can't wait to see the responses you get because I am SO tired of mine. During the week I try to keep things simple and healthy so I make a lot of:
steamed broccoli (with butter)
roasted zucchini and summer squash
Napa coleslaw with cucumbers and red peppers and an Asian dressing
baked sweet potatoes (DH needs cinnamon and brown sugar on his)
cut up veggies with dip
boring boring boring
This is a yam or sweet potato side I make a lot.
Largely dice up a few yams. Boil for about 7 minutes and drain. In a non-stick skillet add a few tbls. of olive oil, a few cloves minced garlic, about an inch of grated fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. fennel seeds, 1/8 - 1/4 cayenne. Fry that mixture for a minute or so and add the yams, saute for about 15-20 minutes on medium heat, turning occasionally until the yams are a bit brown and crispy.
I make this many times ahead of time as it reheats great! You could also prepare this side with potatoes or cauliflower.
Steamed chopped swiss chard with a sauce I make of
and Spike (it's a seasoning I get at Ralphs)
I also really love carrots with 1 tbs. maple syrup, butter and fresh ground pepper.
or what about asparagus wrapped in bacon with cumin. Yum!
In the summer, to make up for my tomato deprivation for 9 months of the year, most or all of my veggie "sides" consist of tomatoes in some form-- with avocado, with salt, with EVOO and mozarella, tomatoes just as is, tomato w/ dill, bruscetta, etc. etc. I would be a sad sad person if they took away my tomatoes from me. But I'm assuming you're less tomato-obsessed than I am, so you probably need some variety.
-As for other sides, cucumbers with a sesame sauce (I use a store-bought kind, but once I run out of this stuff, I need to figure out how to make it. . ..)
-same cucumber (buy the thin-skinned Japanese kind for this) very thinly sliced (no need to peel), salted to exude water, then squeezed w/ a kitchen towel, then mixed w/ a Japanese vinegar marinade (and wakame if you have it and octopus if you eat that sort of stuff, which I do. :))--lots of sesame seeds, and a dressing w/ a neutral vegetable oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and maybe some sugar.
-If radicchio counts as a veggie, I like searing it, adding corn, and smoked mozzarella. I think it tastes like what I imagine bacon to taste like, if I actually ate cooked meat. :-P
It's not in season, but brussel sprouts thinly sliced (so it has a slaw-like consistency), sauteed w/ butter and evoo, with cumin seeds and a little bit of sea salt (and toasted pine nuts). Stop when it gets vibrantly green. (Actually, this is just the veggie portion of a super-easy pasta dish I love making in the fall.)
-If I had a grill, grilled zucchini would be on the list of regular veggies, too.
-This is another Japanese side I like-- I take an eggplant (thin long kind), "grill" it till its skin is charred, then soak it in cold water (so the skin peels. You really need to char every surface of the skin, so it peels off easily), peel, pat dry, cool (I typically do this part the day before consuming), and then I like drizzling w/ soy sauce and lots of grated ginger, and bonito flakes (though you can omit the last thing if you don't have access to an Asian food store).
-green beans parboiled, then sauteed in butter, with toasted slivered almonds.
-grilled sweet potato rounds (grill them till they have a crispy, even charred, exterior) are yummy, too.
I've been experimenting with braising all this year. This summer I've been braising veggies with good results. I put a mixture of veggies in the brasier with a little liquid, bring to a boil, back off the heat to med low, and cook till done. I've done potatoes with onion, carrots with green pepper (really good!) and a mixed veggie pot. I usually use no-fat chicken broth for the liquid, adding a little wine. Put a sprig of rosemary in the pot. Or season your way.
And, I've been grilling veggies on my stovetop grill, as well. I've discovered that you can grill button mushrooms whole. Just trim, place on grill then weight them down a bit. Again, it is the seasoning that makes them. Use a little olive oil or lemon juice or whatever appeals. Then grill.
In the last week we got our first sweet corn of the season. We eat this plain--2 ears each, even if I am dieting--every week it is in season.