Archive | Sides

Grilled Sardines with Fennel, Arugula and Blood Oranges

K.ClearyBy Chef Kevin Cleary

This is a great holiday dish that is a good reminder that summer is only about 6 months away in Vermont!!
Recipe tip: For a Vermont twist you can substitute local smelt for the sardines and either grill them or fry them.

Serves 4

8–16 fresh sardines (8 if large, 16 if small), heads and tails removed, gutted
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 bulbs fennel
2 cups baby arugula
4 blood oranges, peeled and segmented (can substitute navel oranges or clementines)

Remove the spines from the sardines. With the skin side down, flatten the sardine as best you can without tearing up the meat too much. Grab the spine where the head would have been and gently pull the spine away from the sardine. The bones should come right out with the spine. There will be some tiny bones left but will not be an issue.

Next, marinate the sardines. Mix together the garlic, thyme, pepper flakes with half the oil. Add the sardines and toss to coat. Let marinate about 30–45 minutes.

To prepare the salad, thinly slice the fennel on a mandolin (or with a sharp knife if you do not have a mandolin). Toss the fennel with the arugula, orange segments and the rest of the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute salad on 4 plates in the back center of the plate.

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Place the sardines, skin side down, on the grill. After 1 minute turn the sardines over and cook an additional 45–60 seconds (larger sardines will take a bit longer).

Remove from grill and place in front of the salad on the plates—2 per plate if they are big and 4 if they are small.

Serve immediately with crisp, dry white wine.

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From Cedar Circle Farm, Thetford, VT

Beautifully glazed carrots will add a beauty and sweetness to a meal. Use young, tender carrots for the best results. Serves 4.

From the farm: young carrots, honey, butter or sunflower oil

  • 2 cups young carrots, julienned
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2–4 tablespoons butter or sunflower oil
  • Nutmeg, freshly grated (optional)

Steam carrot strips until crisp but tender in a small amount of lightly salted water. Drain. Add lemon, butter or oil and honey. Toss to coat and heat until butter and honey are just melted. Sprinkle with pepper or nutmeg.

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From Cedar Circle Farm, Thetford, VT

This tasty side dish celebrates the roots and warms the belly while nourishing the body and mind. Note: If you use red beets, the whole dish will turn pink. To avoid this, cook the beets separately and toss in just before serving. You can also use golden beets.
From the farm: roots of choice—carrots, rutabaga, beets, parsnips

  • 3 cups roots of choice: carrots, rutabaga, beets and/or parsnips, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup water or stock
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cube bouillon
  1. Place the diced roots into a skillet with the water or stock and bouillon cube over medium heat. Simmer until the water has evaporated and the roots are tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the butter, let melt. Sprinkle on the sugar. Gently cook and stir the roots until the butter and sugar cook into a brown, sticky coating on to the roots, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.
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From Cedar Circle Farm, Thetford, VT

Fresh purple (red) cabbage works the best but you can also use green.

From the farm: olive oil, brown rice or apple vinegar, onion, purple cabbage

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice or apple vinegar
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  •  2 medium purple cabbage, quartered, cored and shredded (chiffonade)
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, quartered, cored and sliced thin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Toast the fennel seeds in a small pan over medium heat until fragrant, and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onion. Sauté until translucent and just golden around the edges, then add the cabbage, fennel seeds and about a teaspoon and a half of salt. Lower the heat and cover, cooking slowly and stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is very tender—about 1 hour. Mix in the sliced apples, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with brown rice vinegar.

For a nutty twist, try drizzling with Cedar Circle Farm’s sunflower oil and sprinkle a half cup of roasted walnuts.

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Serves 4

4 ears of fresh corn
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Cook corn in pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.

Whisk 5 tablespoons oil, cheese, garlic, lime juice, cumin, and pepper sauce in medium bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat grill to medium-high and brush grates with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Place corn on grill and cook until heated through, turning frequently, about 2 minutes. Brush corn with some of Parmesan mixture. Turn corn and brush with more cheese mixture.

Cook until coating begins to color, about 3 minutes. Transfer corn to platter. Mix cilantro into any remaining Parmesan mixture and brush over corn.

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