Archive | Sides

Grilled Okra

Grilled okra

Serves 4 | Thread okra on skewers to make it easier to flip on the grill. Use young, tender okra for best results.

1 pound young okra, trimmed

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Light grill. Brush okra with oil and season with salt. Grill, turning once or twice, until charred. Serve warm.

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Roasted Okra with Coconut Stuffing in Tomato Curry Leaf Sauce

Serves 4 as a side | Niven Patel, chef de cuisine at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, grows his own okra in his Homestead backyard garden. (Photo: Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink)

Roasted Okra with Coconut Stuffing

½ cup grated coconut, fresh or unsweetened and dried

1 tablespoon coriander powder

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon cumin powder

1 garlic clove, chopped

½ teaspoon cayenne

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound okra

Cilantro to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put coconut in a mixing bowl and toss with coriander, turmeric, cumin, garlic, cayenne, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Slit okra lengthwise and fill with coconut mixture. Spread okra out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast in oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Tomato and Curry Leaf Sauce

Makes 1 pint

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 white onion, diced

6 fresh curry leaves

1 clove garlic, chopped

½ pound ripe tomatoes, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Put a sauté pan over medium-high heat and coat with oil. When oil is hot, add the black mustard seeds. Once they start … Read More

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Farro “Risotto” with Acorn Squash, Peas and Ricotta Salata

By Maria Anselmo

Serves 4-6 | Farro – an ancient grain – has a nutty flavor and a chewier consistency than Arborio rice. This method creates a creaminess to the dish similar to classic risotto. Pearled or semi-pearled varieties do not need overnight soaking and cook more quickly.

2 cups acorn squash, cut into ½-inch cubes (from ½ medium squash, or 1 lb., trimmed)

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 large shallots, minced

½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1 cup farro, uncooked, rinsed

1 cup dry white wine

5 cups vegetable broth

⅔ cup peas, thawed (if frozen)

⅓ cup parmesan, grated

¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

½ cup shaved ricotta salata

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the squash with 1½ tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 25–30 minutes until cooked through and slightly browned. Set aside and keep warm. Meanwhile, heat the broth in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once heated, reduce to low heat to prevent from boiling, and cover.

In a large saucepan, heat remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add shallots and … Read More

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Roast Vegetables

Serves 4 | Use whatever you find at the farmers market and mix and match accordingly. Cooking time depends on the vegetable. The smaller you chop them, the faster they will cook. Whichever size you use, make sure all vegetables are about the same size so they cook evenly.

1- 1½ pounds fresh vegetables, scrubbed and prepared:

  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes: Peel or leave the peels on. Cut in same-sized chunks, slices or spears. Beets: Peeling will stain your hands, so use gloves. Or roast whole and peel when they’re cool enough to touch.
  • Carrots: Peel if the skin is tough. Cut off the tops and tips.
  • Summer squash and zucchini: Cut off stem ends and chop into slices or same-sized chunks.
  • Cauliflower: Cut out bottom and break into florets. Or roast the whole cauliflower.
  • Brussels sprouts: Remove any loose leaves and trim the bottoms. Keep whole or cut in half. Broccoli: Remove any leaves and trim bottom. Break into florets. Trim stem into even slices or chunks.
  • Onions: Trim off tip, not the root end. Peel off outer layer. Slice onion vertically (through the root end) and then in slices or chunks.

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil + 2 tablespoons … Read More

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Pattypan Squash

Resembling a colorful sunburst or a flying saucer, pattypan squash is just a summer squash in a whimsical shape. Like zucchini or yellow squash, pattypan squash – Curcubita pepo – don’t need to be peeled. Slice them vertically and sauté in olive oil with garlic until tender, then toss with fresh basil, Parmesan cheese as a side dish, or a pasta sauce. Cut the tops off, scoop out the seeds, and stuff with sautéed vegetables and fresh herbs, top with grated Parmesan cheese, and bake until cooked through. Cut thick horizontal slices, season with salt and pepper, dredge in flour and fry in vegetable oil. Top with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, basil and chopped fresh tomatoes.

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Each part of this frilly bagpipe plays a different tune. The fat bulb at the bottom adds crunchy, mild licorice notes used raw in salads or cooked as cutlets; the stalks contribute bravura to broth and make a cozy bed for roasting fish; and the chopped fronds sing as anise-flavored grace notes to a soup or salad. A member of the celery family, fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) makes good music together with many cuisines, including Indian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean, where its seeds, leaves and bulb are key components. Fennel is the harmonious accompaniment to seafood, especially soups and stews, like cioppino. Look for firm bulbs with no brown spots. Cut off the unwieldy stalks; wrap and store separately. Peel off stringy fibers from the bulb, then cut into wedges or slices to sauté, braise or roast. Toss thin slices in a salad to add crunch and flavor.

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This pale green globe looks like a root, but it actually grows just above ground. Also known as German turnip or cabbage turnip, kohlrabi – like cabbage, cauliflower and kale – comes from a common parent, wild cabbage, or Brassica oleracea. Crunchy and delicate in flavor, kohlrabi tastes like a mild turnip or a broccoli stem, perfect for crudités or added to a salad. Choose young, smaller kohlrabi to avoid woodiness or toughness. If there are greens attached, chop them and add to a salad.

To use, pull off the stems (also chop them into a salad), slice off the base and peel, unless you have a very young and tender kohlrabi, then slice, dice or julienne.

To cook:

  • Steam in lightly salted water.
  • Stir-fry in olive oil with garlic and other vegetables.
  • Toss in flour and fry in olive oil, then sprinkle with chili powder or smoked paprika and salt.
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Golden Rice with Butternut Squash Chickpeas and Dried Cherries

Golden Rice

Serves 4-6 | This “jeweled” rice is inspired by the classic Persian dish Javaher Polow. Recipe by Maria Anselmo.

1      cup basmati rice

2     tablespoons olive oil

½   cup sweet onion, chopped (about 1 small)

1      3-inch piece turmeric, grated

1      clove garlic, minced

1      pinch finely crumbled saffron threads

1      cup chickpeas, cooked

2      cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1      cup vegetable broth

1      cup water

½    teaspoon kosher salt

2      green onions, chopped (green parts only)

1/3   cup dried cherries

Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse rice once under cold water and set aside. Heat oil in a heavy large (5-qt) saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add turmeric, garlic and saffron and cook 1 minute, stirring mixture to prevent garlic from burning. Stir in chickpeas, squash and rice and continue sautéing mixture for another minute. Add broth, water and salt. Bring to boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid; reduce heat to low simmer, and cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in green onion and cherries. Cover; let stand until cherries soften, about 10 minutes. Season to … Read More

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Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Key Lime–Ginger Vinaigrette

Serves 4-6 | This versatile vinaigrette also goes well over grilled asparagus and makes a great salad dressing. Recipe from chef Maria Anselmo.

2      pounds sweet potatoes (approximately 2 large or 5 small), thoroughly scrubbed

1    tablespoon olive oil

Kosher salt

Key Lime Ginger Vinaigrette

¼   cup fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, minced

½     teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1    teaspoon freshly grated key lime peel

3    tablespoons fresh key lime juice

Pinch kosher salt

Pinch cayenne pepper

¼   cup extra-virgin olive oil

Make vinaigrette: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together herbs, ginger, zest, salt and cayenne pepper to taste and juice. Slowly whisk in oil. Set aside.

Preheat a gas grill on high for 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the potatoes lengthwise into ¼-inch slices, leaving the skins on. Brush sweet potato slices with olive oil on both sides and season with salt.

Reduce heat to medium and place the potato slices on the grill away from direct flame to avoid burning. Close lid and grill potatoes with a closed lid for three minutes per side. This time may vary slightly depending on how hot your grill is. Potato slices should be soft when pierced with a toothpick.… Read More

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Quinoa Tabbouleh

Serves 4  This is a great twist to a Mediterranean classic. Substituting quinoa for the traditional bulgur wheat makes this a gluten-free dish. From chef Maria Anselmo


1             cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed through a sieve (use fine mesh colander)

2             cup organic vegetable broth

1             cup tomatoes, seeded, medium dice

½             cup cucumber, seeded, medium dice

¾             cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

½             cup fresh mint, minced

½             cup green onion, green and white parts, minced

¼             cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 1½ lemons)

good-quality extra virgin olive oil

½             teaspoon kosher salt

1             teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Combine broth and quinoa in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool completely (You can also refrigerate to accelerate this process). Once quinoa is cooled stir in tomatoes, cucumber, herbs and onion and mix. Add lemon juice, oil salt and pepper and mix to incorporate. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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