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non-carby side dish for my pizza party?

i'm having some friends over for a dinner party next week. i'm going to be making three different types of pizza, garlic bread and a big salad. i want to add one side dish, but am not sure what to make. suggestions, please (and no meat, please.)!

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  1. between the toppings, the bread and the salad, i'm not so sure you *need* another dish, but...

    obviously if it's not meat and not starch, you're pretty much left with fibrous vegetables. it would help to know what the toppings will be on the pizzas so we can suggest something that will complement them and not be redundant.

    off the top of my head, how about steamed artichokes with an aoili for dipping, or roasted baby artichokes?

    1. Rapini - the bitter flavour cuts the rich cheese and meat.

      4 Replies
      1. re: julesrules

        I was kinda thniking something like that -

        Sauteed escarole with beans - lotsa garlic, evoo, and butter
        Sauteed Spinach
        Broccoli rabe
        etc...

        GHG - artichokes - heck yeah!

        1. re: gordeaux

          I immediately thought of braised rabe...and now my pregnant self wants some!

          1. re: invinotheresverde

            my first thought was roasted rabe and the second one was artichokes.

          2. re: gordeaux

            sauteed spinach is what came to my mind as well.

        2. Personally, I think of pizza as more of a complete food and would serve it alone (+ beer) or, at most, a green salad.

          I think garlic bread is overkill...too much yeasty goodness.

          1. goat cheese and olive tapenade, laced with extra virgin olive oil to dip the garlic bread in

            1. I know what it's like to want to prepare more than less - so despite the wariness of the others - I would suggest perhaps a roasted veggie bowl - a mixture of baby carrots, cauliflower and broccoli florets, brussel sprouts. They can all be roasted on one big sheet pan, tossed with olive oil, s+p and dried thyme. Easy and usually a hit - also attractive with the colors!

              1. if not roasted veggies of some kind, perhaps grilled portabello mushrooms topped with caramelized onions. or stuffed zucchini or eggplant.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Emme

                  Agree with the stuffed eggplant or zucchini; you could grill or roast off slices of either and spread with pesto or softened herbed cheese spread (or both). Roll up, place in a baking dish then top with halved grape or cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of Italian herb seasoning. Broil in oven until hot.

                  Another thing I like is is to wrap quartered onions, whole garlic cloves and peeled/cut carrot in foil (this dish does have some carbs, though but at least it's not pasta) Drizzle with olive oil; season with s/p and thyme. Roast in oven until caramelized; puree in blender or food processor with a bit of olive oil then serve in a dish to go with the garlic bread.

                  1. re: Cherylptw

                    cheryl - oh yum - can't wait to try the veggie spread with some garlic or even plain italian bread! thanks for sharing both of those!

                    1. re: smilingal

                      People love this; you could also leave it a bit chunky to add texture and pretty much season it the way you like...I like spice so sometimes I'll add ground cumin and a bit of ancho chile powder to kick it up.

                      1. re: Cherylptw

                        thanks - i just added your notes to my already copied file! While we're at it - how long do you roast them for - you said till carmelized - I am wondering since they will be wrapped and more difficult to see!

                        1. re: smilingal

                          Because every oven is different, check it at about 20 minutes on 375F. degrees; you can adjust the time from there.

                2. One of my favorite pizza places serves the most amazing minestrone. They also have some of the best pizza in my state, yet I always have to order the minestrone because it's just that good. It's a little bit spicy, full of tomato-y goodness (probably their San Marzano tomatoes) and the other veggies are still tendercrisp. I don't have a recipe, but I'm sure someone could offer up a great one for you.

                  1. Thinly sliced zucchini sauteed with garlic, oil and crushed red pepper.

                    1. I'd go with grilled veggies or beans and greens.

                      1. Zucchini carpaccio - julienned zucchini, slivered almonds, tons of pecorino, olive oil, salt, pepper.

                        1. I'd go to Trader Joe's or a big Italian deli and buy the fixings for an antipasto platter - lots of marinated and pickled veg, a selection of olives and cheeses and maybe cherry tomatoes and endive leaves with some white bean spread to scoop up with the endive.

                          1. Honestly, I'd just throw some cooked, seasoned lentils in that green salad and call it a day. Pizza is pretty complete by itself, so all you need are greens and fiber.