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Side for Lasagna other than Garlic Bread

I'm making a white sauce vegetarian lasagna for a group tomorrow (Wed. dinner, Honolulu time.) I will probably have a green salad as well. Maybe that alone is enough. Usually with "Italian" food I make garlic bread. I was wondering (hoping?) someone had another suggestion.

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  1. I made a meat lasagna over the weekend for visiting family and kept wondering what else I could make. We ended up with the basics of lasagna, green salad and garlic bread like you said. If you want an appetizer this Double Tomato Bruschetta is great!


    You could also do a caprese type salad of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, EVOO, fresh basil, balsamic, fresh pepper or maybe pesto topped.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TXMandy

      I agree, a tomato bruschetta would be lovely, especially since your lasagne has a white sauce.

    2. Are you looking for another type of bread? Or something else entirely?

      1. My first instinct is always a nice green salad, but if you want to add another veg, how about broccoli rabe? Blanch in hot water, drain well, and sauté in olive oil with garlic, sliced shallot & a pinch of red chile flakes. Easy and delicious.

        1. imho,
          by adding anything else you will be gilding the lily.
          you have the perfect combo: lasagna, garlic bread, green salad.

          1. Caviar on Melba toast.

            You need some protein to balance out all those carbs.

            3 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                blast it all, my dealer is in Gstaad skiing this week. No fishberry jam for this meeting.

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  ok, kalmukiMan,
                  try for something more local.
                  how about the "medical" stuff they sell at the storefronts with green cross symbols??

              2. Shrimp sauteed in either pesto or romesco sauce

                1. I would roast some asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper, finish with lemon juice and a sprinkle of parmesan.

                    1. I served a white sauce vegetarian lasagna for lunch Sunday accompanied by with bundles of two or three asparagus wrapped in a slice prosciutto and cooked. The bundles were drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinegar. Huge hit with the crowd!

                      The recipe called for thick asparagus to be briefly blanched before being wrapped in the prosciutto, and then sauteed on each side. However, I used thinner asparagus and the only cooking occured during the brief saute.

                      Incidentally, I brought the bundles to the table without the vinegar drizzle and folks had taken one forkful of the dish when I remembered my omission. We all agreed that as good as the version tastes without the vinegar, the taste is better with.

                      I used good quality Villa Manodori balsamic since that's what I keep in the house, but the recipe stated the dish could be made with lesser quality balsamic that had been simmered to thicken and, if desired, sweetened with a pinch of sugar.

                      1. A lot of good ideas, thanks. Since its vegetarian lasagna I think the idea of some kind of animal protein on the side is good, only one or two of the board are vegetarian or lean vegetarian. The rest are true omnivores. Shrimp seems a bit . . . temperamental for this particular occasion, but maybe I can do something with pesto & chicken. Hummm... protein as a side rather than a main . . .

                        The caprice salad (damn auto correct) sounds great but would basically be the lasagna all over again in cold format. I have no doubt all of these will end up in one meal or another sometime in the near future. thanks again!

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                          How about ditching the garlic bread and having a variety of crostini as a first course? I like to use chopped chicken liver, an olive artichoke spread and a smoked salmon with a lemon pesto.

                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                            is there no cheese in the lasagna?
                            mozzarella cheese has a little under 7 grams of protein per oz.
                            usually lasagna has parmasean cheese in addition..

                            (i'm one of the few idiosyncratic people that is not a big fan of mixing cheese or cheese dishes with chicken or seafood. i also, am not a fan of mixing legumes with chicken or seafood.)

                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                              And I can see that I need to be more specific when I ask for suggestions.

                              1) This is an organization's monthly board meeting. It lasts from 6pm till about 9pm. Most of them have no time to eat before arriving.

                              2) I have found that if I feed them the meeting is often done by 8pm, and if I don't, it can last till 10. Music may calm the savage beast, but food definitely does. If only I could get away with a wine and beer station . . .

                              3) It's 10-12 people, they meet about 9 times a year. This comes out of my pocket: a) because I don't like to wait till 9 or 10 to have dinner, b) they really appreciate it, and c) because I like to get out of there as soon as possible.

                              4) The food is set up about 15-20 minutes before the meeting starts (if all goes according to plan.) Some people arrive early to eat first, some nibble during the meal, still others eat when the meeting is done, and a few do all three. One or two will take "leftovers" home with them.

                              5) I didn't start the tradition, but I see why my predecessor did, I just try to do a better job of it than he did (geno's pizza rolls and chips ahoy - every month.)

                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                  Here's a suggestion that easy to transport: a rice/bean/vegetable salad to be served at room temperature and a platter of antipasti (ex: sliced Molinari salami, cheese slices, olives and cherry tomatoes), plus apple bananas and clementines for desert.

                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                    I go to similar meetings a few times a year and the ones with really good main course, Lasagna is a favorite, usually are smoother than the pot lucks or processed snack platters. This post is making me hungry.

                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                      to me, an organization's board meeting is inherently a very DIFFERENT animal than a dinner party.

                                      taking the additional info into consideration:

                                      1) for a group like this, with some of them being vegetarians, AND with the entire cost coming out of your pocket, i would completely forego the meat/poultry.

                                      the cheese in the lasagna will provide more than enough fat and protein, and, imho, the addition of meat as a side dish unnecessarily complicates the service (a real consideration for a meal that will be served and consumed during a board meeting) and unnecessarily adds to the cost.

                                      2) i would also skip the salad.
                                      salad, imho, is not a good choice either for serving during a board meeting and is especially a poor choice for nibbling during a meeting.
                                      after all, the main purpose of this get together is the meeting, right?
                                      if you feel like you absolutely must have something along the lines of a salad, i'd go with crudite, but my first choice would be to skip this entirely.
                                      the vegetables in the lasagna are adequate.

                                      i would avoid thinking of food served at a board meeting as some sort of variation of a full-blown dinner party.
                                      i'd save the "dinner party" treatment for a REAL dinner party.
                                      wowing people with my hostess and cooking skills is not the point of a board meeting. having too much food variety changes the focus, imho.

                                  2. homemade focachia with rosemary and seasalt

                                    1. I never serve bread with a dish as starchy as lasagne. I would probably serve sauteed broccoli rabe with onions and garlic. and a tossed salad.

                                      and I don't "do" fresh tomatoes this time of year in my neck of the woods.

                                      1. You are in a produce-friendly area. How about a fruit salad? It will double as an appetizer and a dessert, and nibblers will appreciate it.

                                        Beyond that, lasagne and garlic bread are just fine. Are you putting plenty of veg in the lasagne?

                                        EDIT: OOH, and of course the green salad, too.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. I prefer plain bread to garlic bread. Would never serve lasagna without bread.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: kengk

                                            I understand what ChefJune is saying about the starches with lasagna and bread, but I'm with you. I just always HAVE to have bread to sop up all the goodness.

                                          2. I also thought fruit would be perfect. If you want "animal" protein, how about a simple herbed chicken breast, sliced on the bias and put on a platter? It doesn't need a sauce since the main entree is so heavy. Keep it light.

                                            1. Green beans. Either sauteed or blanched and mixed in a cold salad with a garlic/thyme/balsamic vinaigrette.

                                              If you're going for protein, I'd do Italian sausage in a crock pot full of good sauce.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Heatherb

                                                The sausage/sauce thing is a good way to add some meat - sort of like providing the part of the lasagne that some might feel is "missing" - !

                                                1. re: Heatherb

                                                  i was thinking green beans too, or thick, long wedges of zucchini, roasted and finished with some olive oil and good salt. good hot or room temp.

                                                  and yes, i like the idea of a side of some meatballs or sausage for those wanting some animal with dinner.

                                                2. I was gonna write, steamed artichokes but I saw your follow up description. So- I would do that at home but not for this meal.

                                                  For this one I like the side of sausage and/or meatballs.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: hambone

                                                    Sorry I never got back to everyone. I lost an hour and a half due to work and didn't end up with enough time to cook anything. They all enjoyed the Pizza, garlic bread, and green salad. There's always next month or the month after that.

                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                      You can serve mini pepperoni or cheese sticks, both are served inside a soft bread sort of like a calizone(spelling). You can do garlic bread but add a soft white cheese to the top. You can do a salad without the lettuce like sweet beets, eggs, tomatoes, cheese, crab meet ranch dressing. You can do an Italian soup like seafood and bean or tortellini in rosemary broth