Recipe(s): Quick Winter Side Dishes

Nothing turns a standard dinner of roast chicken, pork tenderloin, or bun-less burger like a killer side dish. I like to cook from one of Seattle’s many local markets, so much of the produce that I buy is seasonal. This time of year, that means I’m chowing down on a lot of root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, along with standards like sweet potatoes, mushrooms, winter squash, and onion. This week looked to be the last that I would find high-quality Brussels sprouts at the market, so I wanted to create a dish that would give them a big high-five for being so amazing this season. I also knew I wanted something earthy, sorta spicy, and filling this week – I picked out a mushroom gratin to whip up and found an assortment of mushrooms to throw in at a very reasonable price.

My Market

These side dishes turned out perfectly – they are hearty enough to serve together as a main course or as a side to anything else I might crave this week. As an added bonus, they were fast – I had them ready to go in under 30 minutes combined!

End-of-Season Warm Brussels Sprout Salad
* Feel free to play with the nuts and dried fruit in this salad – almonds, walnuts, cranberries, or apricots would also pair well here. Also, little bits of bacon will be a huge hit among those of you not partaking in a Whole30 right now!

20130110-100659.jpgIngredients:
3 Tbsp. coconut oil (or bacon fat)
1/2 c. yellow onion, finely diced
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved and cut into thirds
1/2 c. pistachios, chopped
1/2 c. dried, unsweetened cherries, chopped
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:
1) Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt in the coconut oil or bacon fat; toss in yellow onion and cook until it begins to caramelize and turns slightly brown – about 7 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Cook Brussels sprouts until the leaves begin to soften.

2) Add in pistachios, cherries, vinegar, and olive oil. Stir well and cook until Brussels sprouts have caramelized a bit – about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and season again with salt and pepper.

Prep time: 7 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 side dishes

Mushroom and Sweet Potato Gratin
20130110-100724.jpg* If you’d like a creamy gratin, add 1/2 c. of coconut milk to the final step of the recipe, reducing chicken broth from 1 c. to 1/2 c. Additionally, topping each layer of the gratin with a layer of fontina cheese will add bite and crunch to the dish.

Ingredients:
2 tsp. olive oil
7 1/2 c. mushrooms – use a variety of cremini, shitake, and chanterelle if you can find them – sliced into 1/4″ slices

1/3 c. yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh chives, finely chopped
4 c. sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ slices
1 c. chicken broth (or 1/2 c. chicken broth with 1/2 c. coconut milk)
Optional: 1 c. shredded fontina cheese

Method:
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, yellow onion, garlic, and a dash of salt and pepper. Saute mushrooms (stirring frequently) for about 5 minutes, or until moisture evaporates and mushrooms are browned. Remove from heat and stir in 1 Tbsp. parsley and 1 Tbsp. chives.

3) Arrange half of potato slices in a single layer in a casserole dish (I used a 9 x 9″ dish) that has been coated with coconut spray. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper. Spoon in half of mushroom mixture over the potato slices and sprinkle with cheese (if using). Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients. When you’re done layering, add broth (and coconut milk, if using) to the dish. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and chives.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes
Servings: 8 side dishes

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One thought on “Recipe(s): Quick Winter Side Dishes

  1. Pingback: A Week in a Day: Paleo & Clean Eating Prep Made Easy « Recreation and Whimsy

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