If you’re like me, you’re always on the look-out for great side dishes to add to your recipe file. New recipes can put the sparkle back into vegetable, grain and pasta dishes that have lost their creative luster. Let’s face it, we’ve all had moments when we’ve stared down a few stalks of broccoli and found them less than inspiring.
Side dishes can and should be able to hold their own along side a great entrée. The goal is to compliment the entrée and not over power it. Pairing foods is a skill that gets better with practice, but there are a few rules of thumb that can guide one to making the right selections.
Rices, quinoa and other gluten-free grains are great as side dishes and can be married with just about anything, although they shine when paired with poultry, pork or fish. The addition of dried fruits, herbs and nuts will add flavor and interest to any rice dish and the combination is a natural with almost any poultry, pork or fish recipe.
Vegetables can be spiced up in a variety of ways. Sauteeing onions, shallots or garlic and tossing with almost any vegetable will wake up the vegetable’s natural flavors. Herbs, cheeses or nuts are also great with most any vegetable and can add nuances and textures from crunch to tart flavors.
Potatoes…well what can we say? Baked, gratin, mashed, fried, roasted, any way you slice or chop them, they are great accompaniments to most meat entrees. Just like the saying ‘meat and potatoes’ nothing compliments a steak or roast better than a potato dish.
This holiday season, we’ve picked our top 10 favorite side dishes and in David Letterman fashion, we will now begin the Top 10 Countdown: