Sunday, November 2, 2014

Autumn and Holiday Side Dishes

Its never too early to plan out your holiday recipes. These autumn sides are perfect for accompaniment to a turkey, ham, duck or pork dinner.
Wild Rice and Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing
from the Smitten with Squash Cookbook
serves 6
Cook's notes: This splendid autumn salad includes some of Minnesota’s very best natural ingredients. Butternut squash works well for this dish because it holds its shape beautifully after being roasted. The combination of nutty wild rice, a simple maple dressing, and fresh herbs are not only delicious together, but their vibrant colors combine to make one stunning dish. Time saver making the wild rice ahead.
Ingredients Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or Blood Orange Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or Cranberry Pear or Mango Balsamic 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
    Ingredients Salad:

    • 2- 1/2 cups peeled and finely chopped butternut squash
    • 1- 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or Blood Orange Olive Oil
    • 2 TB. balsamic vinegar
    • sea salt and black pepper
    • 2- 1/2 cups thinly sliced kale (lightly massaged) or torn baby spinach leaves
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks, both white and green parts or green onions
    • 1/2 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
    • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
    • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans or cashews
    • 3 cups cooked wild rice, warmed

    • Prepare dressing by pureeing all ingredients with an immersion blender or by vigorously whisking.
    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the squash. 
    • Roast squash for about 25 minutes or until fork tender, stirring once during the roasting time. 
    • In a large bowl, combine leeks or onions, cherries or cranberries and basil. Add spinach to warmed rice and squash so that spinach wilts slightly from the heat. Stir dressing into salad; taste and adjust salt level if needed. Top with pecans.
    • Serve dish at room temperature.

    Roasted Potatoes with a Bacon Parmesan Vinaigrette
    adapted from
    • 2 pounds baby red potatoes, quartered 
    • 2-3 TB. olive oil or Tuscan Herb Olive Oil 
    • Salt and pepper to taste 
    • 4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped 
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
    • 3 TB. cider vinegar 
    • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan 
    • 2 TB. parsley, chopped or 1 TB.dried parsley 
    • 1 tsp. dried rosemary 
    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray. 
    • Toss potatoes with olive oil, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. 
    • Pour potato mixture onto baking sheet, bake until golden brown, turning once or twice while baking. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and fork tender. 
    • Cook bacon, drain and chop into small pieces. Set aside. Reserve bacon drippings in pan.  Add in garlic, and saute for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Whisk in cider vinegar, and add bacon back into pan. 
    • Toss the potatoes with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately. 

    Roasted Green Beans and Beets with Pepitas 
    Cook's notes: Pepita is a Spanish culinary term for pumpkin seed. For this recipe I used salted pepitas. Since beets take longer to cook, add in green beans 10 minutes after the start of cooking time. 
    • 1 LB. each fresh green beans and beets
    • 1 cup red onion rings
    • 2-3 TB. olive oil
    • 2 TB. balsamic vinegar or Fig, Dark Chocolate or Pomegranate Balsamic
    • Salt and pepper 
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 cup dried cherries
    • 1/3 cup pepitas
    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a large rimmed cooking sheet with parchment paper.
    • Thinly slice beets and quarter each slice.
    • In a large bowl mix beets, garlic, cherries and red onion rings. Toss mixture with olive oil and place on baking pan. Salt and pepper.
    • Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. 
    • Add in green beans 10 minutes after start of cooking time. Roast for a total of 25-30 minutes or until beets are tender. Stir a couple of times during cooking time.
    • Sprinkle pepitas on top of the dish before serving. 

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