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Archive for the ‘Side dish’ Category

We love this fresh salad, the perfect side dish for so many summer dishes. You can crumble some feta over the top before serving if you like.

Fattoush – serves 4

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 2 flatbreads or pitta breads (about 120g in total)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 small Persian cucumbers or 1 small regular cucumber
  • 4 tomatoes (about 450g in total)
  • 75g Romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 10g mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 20g parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 75g feta cheese (optional)

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/Gas 6.

Toss the pitta breads in the olive oil, then bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes or until very crisp. Leave to cool then snap into chunky pieces.

Cut the cumcumbers in half and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon. Chop into 1-2cm pieces and put into a salad bowl.

Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds, chop the flesh into pieces the same size as the cucumber and add the bowl with the crispy pieces of bread. Add the lettuce and herbs.

Mix the dressing ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad, then use your hands to toss everything together. Adjust the seasoning to taste, then crumble over some feta if you like.

(Original recipe from Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2018.)

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This is just a simple green salad but the addition of chopped green olives and red onions takes it to the next level. It’s particularly good with tomato-based dishes, like lasagne or Parmigiana.

Green salad with olive dressing – serves 6

  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 50g green olives, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 6 big handfuls of mixed green salad leaves

Whisk the olive oil, vinegar and sugar together in a small bowl, then add the olives and red onion and season.

Tip the salad leaves into a bowl and drizzle over the dressing, then toss gently to coat.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This is an Indian side dish and a great salad that we plan to serve with many Indian meals. This time we had it with Murgh Seekh Kababs cooked on the barbecue. Asma prefers dried beans (and we’re sure she is right) but we cheated this time and used a tin of black-eyed beans instead.

Lobia – serves 4

  • 200g dried black-eyed beans (we used a 400g tin)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • ½ a small red onion, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 red tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

If using dried beans you need to soak them in cold water overnight.

The next day, drain the beans and put into a large pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for about an hour, or until soft. Drain and leave to cool.

If you are using a tin of beans, you can skip all of the above and just drain and rinse them in cold water.

Put the beans into a bowl, add the garlic, onion, chilli and tomato and mix together gently. Whisk the olive oil, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper together, pour into the bowl with the beans and mix together.

(Original recipe from Ammu by Asma Khan, Ebury Press, 2022).

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These are really good and the trick is to set them in the baking tray in rows with the skin-side down. You can use Cajun seasoning if you have it and if not make up the seasoning below – you’ll have more than you need for more wedges another time.

Crispy potato wedges – serves 4

FOR THE SEASONING:

  • 1½ tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tbsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 675g large potatoes (buy a variety that makes good chips)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 heaped tsp of the seasoning above

Preheat the oven to 200C fan.

Scrub the potatoes and cut in half, then cut each half into 6 wedges. Put the wedges into a pan of boiling salty water and cook for 2-3 minutes, then drain.

Put the olive oil into a large roasting tin with the seasoning. Add the wedges and toss to coat, then arrange in rows sitting upright on their skins. Bake for 35-40 minute, until soft and golden.

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We love romanesco and pick it up any time we see it. This simple cooking method shows this veg off at its best.

Romanesco – serves 4 as a side

  • a large head of Romanesco broccoli, snap off any big or bruised leaves, trim the end of the stem and cut a cross at the base
  • 6-8 tbsp best extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • a few shavings of Parmesan or Pecorino

Bring a pan of very salty water to the boil.

Put the whole head into the boiling water and simmer for about 12 minutes or until tender but not breaking up. Remove from the water and allow to steam dry for a few minutes, then put onto a plate and douse with the olive oil.

Season with pepper, scatter with parsley and cheese, and serve.

(Original recipe from Bocca Cookbook by Jacob Kennedy, Bloomsbury, 2011.)

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Sprouts are for winter, not just for Christmas. Here’s an idea to make them shine.

Brussels sprouts with hazelnuts – serves 4

  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 450g Brussels sprouts, halved lengthways if large
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ red onion, very finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking tray and roast for 8 minutes or until golden, then tip onto a clean tea-towel and rub to remove the skins. Roughly chop and set aside.

Put the sprouts in a bowl with 1 tbsp of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss well, then tip onto a baking tray and roast, shaking the tray from time to time, for 20-30 minutes or until tender and turning crispy.

Meanwhile, make a dressing by whisking the remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil with the lemon juice and mustard. Stir in the onion and season with salt and pepper.

When the sprouts are ready, transfer them to a bowl, add the hazelnuts and dressing and toss together.

(Original recipe from Everything I Love to Cook by Neil Perry, Murdoch Books, 2021.)

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Are you ready for something healthy yet? A delicious, quick and easy side dish. We served this with roast chicken, but we can see it happily going with lamb, sausages or a few other veggie dishes too.

Beetroot & lentil salad with mustard dressing – serves 5-6

  • 200g puy lentils
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 300g cooked beetroot (not in vinegar), sliced
  • a large handful of tarragon, roughly chopped

Put the lentils into a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, then drain and leave to cool.

Whisk the mustard, olive oil and seasoning together in a small bowl.

Put the lentils into a bow, mix in the dressing, then stir in the beetroot, tarragon and more seasoning.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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We know how to make parsley sauce but this version is definitely better. The milk is infused for an hour with grated carrot, onion, celery and bay – a game-changer!

Parsley Sauce

  • 1 carrot
  • ½ onion
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500ml full cream milk
  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • lots of parsley – about 100g of leaves when stripped from the stalks, chopped

Grate the vegetables and put into a saucepan with the bay leaf and milk. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for about an hour. Strain out the veg and bay leaf.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook gently for a couple of minutes, then gradually whisk in the milk until you have smooth sauce. Simmer very gently for about 5 minutes. If it gets too thick you can thin with a little more hot milk.

Stir the parsley in just before serving and season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Original recipe from The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Collins, 2001.)

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We loved this dish! Bursting with flavour and the perfect wintery side salad. The leftovers were also good the next day. You can use capers instead of anchovies if you prefer.

Wine suggestion: This dish works really well with a good, dry Chenin Blanc. Our current favourite is Bernard Fouquet’s Domaine Aubuissieres Vouvray Silex Sec. Dry and full of yellow apple fruits and layers of texture, while remaining discrete enough to allow the sprouts and parmesan to come through.

Brussels sprout and Parmesan salad with lemon dressing – serves 4

  • 700g small brussels sprouts, trimmed, leave 500g whole and thinly shave the rest
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 anchovies in oil, drained and roughly chopped
  • 60g Parmesan, 20g roughly grated and the rest cut into shards – a veg peeler will do this nicely
  • 120g kale leaves, discard the stems and thinly shred the leaves
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 20g basil leaves
  • 70g blanched hazelnuts, well toasted and roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 220C fan.

Line a tray with baking paper and add the whole sprouts, 2 tbsp of oil, ½ tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper, toss to combine. Roast for 18 minutes, stirring halfway, until well browned and cooked through, then leave to cool.

Meanwhile, put the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, anchovies, grated Parmesan, 3 tbsp of oil, ¼ tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper into the small bowl of a food processor and whizz until smooth.

Put the kale, the shaved sprouts, the dressing, ¼ tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper into a large bowl and toss with your hands, massaging the leaves gently. Leave to soften and wilt for about 10 minutes.

Add the onion, basil, chopped hazelnuts, Parmesan shards and roasted sprouts to the bowl and mix to combine. Turn out onto a platter to serve.

(Original recipe from OTK Shelf Love by Noor Murad & Yotam Ottolenghi, Ebury Press, 2021.)

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This is a great side dish for often uninspiring carrots. We served with chicken wings.

Cumin-roasted Carrots with Honey Lemon Dressing & St Tola – serves 4 to 6

  • 750g carrots, cut diagonally into 2½ cm slices
  • olive oil
  • 1½ heaped tbsp cumin seeds
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 100g St Tola, or other soft goats’ cheese
  • a bunch of dill, leaves roughly chopped
  • a good sprinkle of nigella seeds

Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Spread the carrots over the baking tray and drizzle with plenty of olive oil. Sprinkle over cumin seeds and season well with salt and peper. Toss to coat, then roast for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Mix the lemon juice and honey together until the honey dissolves. Drizzle this over the carrots and toss to coat, then roast for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly sticky.

Transfer the carrots to a serving plate, crumble over the cheese, then sprinkle with dill and nigella seeds.

(Original recipe from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2014.)

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This has a crunchy crust and makes a great wintery side dish for a roast dinner or sausages. For clarity, when we refer to turnips we mean the large yellow-fleshed things that some call swedes, not the little white ones.

Baked turnip mash with sage & Parmesan crumbs – serves 6

  • 1kg turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 50g butter
  • 150ml double cream
  • a pinch of cayenne
  • 200g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 75g Parmesan
  • 8 sage leaves

Boil the turnip and garlic in salty water for about 20 minutes or until soft. Drain well and allow to steam dry in the pot, then mash with half the butter and the cream, a pinch of cayenne and lots of salt and black pepper. Spoon into a baking dish.

Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan and some black pepper. Melt the rest of the butter and fry the sage leaves untli they crisp up, then crumble them into the breadcrumbs and cheese. Sprinkle the mix all over the turnip and spoon over any melted butter, then bake for 40 minutes or until crisp and golden.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes in Olive Magazine, November 2012)

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Well it’s a cauliflower cheese … but a supercharged one by Diana Henry which has crunch, texture, silkiness and salty nuggets of blue cheese. She suggests whizzing any leftovers with some chicken stock and milk to make a soup which we did the next day and it was amazing!

Cauliflower, bacon and cashel blue gratin – serves 4 as a side

  • 1 large cauliflower, in florets
  • 100g bacon lardons
  • 50g Cashel blue cheese, broken into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp coarse white breadcrumbs

FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE

  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 75g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 tsp English mustard
  • a squeeze of lemon juice

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Steam the cauliflower until just tender.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and add the flour. Stir over a low heat for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, then gradually add the milk, stirring continually until absorbed each time. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring, until thickened. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Stir in the Cheddar and mustard and stir until melted. Add a squeeze of lemon and taste for seasoning – remember the bacon and blue cheese are salty.

Fry the bacon in a dry pan until crispy. Put the cauliflower into a gratin dish, season and sprinkle with the bacon. Pour on the sauce, then dot with the blue cheese and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned and bubbling.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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We’ve seen these many times on social media and yesterday someone else’s pic inspired us to make them. Likewise we hope we inspire a few others to try Nigella’s salt and vinegar potatoes, they’re as good as they sound!

Salt and vinegar potatoes – serves 2

  • 500g baby new potatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ½ tsp raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, or to taste
  • sea salt flakes, to taste

Steam the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Then allow to dry in the steamer basket over the empty pan, uncovered.

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan.

Pour the oil into a small shallow roasting tin and heat for 5 minutes in the oven.

Tip the potatoes out onto a board and crush with a fork. They should be roughly broken in two but with plenty of crumbly bits.

Toss the potatoes gently in the hot oil, then cook for 20 minutes, give them a turn and return to the oven for 10 minutes more, or until browned and crunchy.

Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the salt and vinegar.

(Original recipe from At My Table by Nigella Lawson, Chatto & Windus, 2017.)

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We’re often cooking for two which means we often halves of things to use up, like half a butternut squash. This is our favourite way to cook it.

Roasted butternut squash – serves 4 as a side (easily halved!)

  • 1 large butternut squash (about 1kg), peeled, deseeded and cut into rough 3cm chunks
  • 10 small sprigs of thyme
  • 50ml olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Spread the squash out on a large baking tray, then add the thyme, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Give it a toss with your hands.

Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until tender and starting to caramelise.

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Coleslaw is a bit divisive, people tend to love it or hate it, and not helped by that gloopy stuff you buy in plastic tubs. This version is much superior!

Coleslaw – serves 4 or more

  • 50g crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 50g mayonnasie
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ small white cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • ½ white onion, very finely sliced
  • juice of ½ a lemon, or 1 tbsp cider or white wine vinegar

Mix the crème fraîche or sour cream with the mayonnaise and mustard, and season to taste.

Put everything else into a large bowl, then add the mayonnaise mixture and mix to combine. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

(Original recipe from Camper Van Cooking by Claire Thompson & Matt Williamson, Quadrille: Hardie Grant Publishing, 2021.)

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This is such a handy yoghurt number. Serve with barbecues, roasts, with flatbreads, as a side, for a starter – it’s an all rounder and it keeps for a couple of days in the fridge.

  • 250g full fat Greek-style yoghurt
  • 30g scallions, green parts only, finely chopped (keep the white parts for something else)
  • about 10g of dill, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and grated
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 200g cucumber, coarsely grated
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes, crumbled

Put the grated cucumber into a clean tea towel and squeeze tightly to get rid of the excess liquid.

Tip the cucumber into a bowl and mix with all of the other ingredients.

(Original recipe from Chasing Smoke: Cooking over Fire Around the Levant by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, Pavilion, 2021)

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We love this Turkish yoghurt dish with cucumber, yoghurt, garlic and dill. We served with barbecued lamb one night and salmon the next. It’s a good one.

Cacik – serves 4 as a side

  • 1 large cucumber, coarsely grated
  • 300ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1 fat clove of garlic, crushed
  • 20g dill, stalks and leaves finely chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Wrap the grated cucumber in a clean teatowel and squeeze out as much water as possible.

Put the cucumber into a large bowl and mix in the yoghurt.

Add the garlic and dill, mix and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Decant into a serving dish and drizzle with your best olive oil.

(Original recipe from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2014.)

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We know you don’t need to be told how to make a tomato salad, but this one was particularly nice so we thought we would share.

Tomato salad – serves 4 as a side

  • 700g mixed tomatoes, slice large ones into thick slices and halve tiny ones
  • a generous handful of basil leaves
  • a small handful of parsley leaves
  • 1 heaped tbsp chopped oregano
  • a handful of watercress
  • ½ a red onion, thinly sliced
  • balsamic vinegar
  • good olive oil
  • a ball of top quality buffalo mozzarella

Put the tomatoes into a large bowl with the herbs, watercress and onion. Drizzle over some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then season with salt and pepper. Toss well together, then transfer to a platter.

Top with torn mozzarella and drizzle with a little more oil.

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Who doesn’t love a dish of potato salad?

Potato salad with herbs – serves 6 as a side

  • 750g salad or new potatoes e.g. Charlotte
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 8 scallions, halved lenthways and sliced
  • 3 tbsp snipped chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon

Cut the potatoes into small chunks. Bring a large pan of salty water to the boil, add the poatoes, and simmer for 10 minutes or until just cooked. Drain well in a colander, then transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise, yoghurt, crème fraîche, mustard and milk together, then stir through the onions and most of the chives and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the dressing over the potatoes while still warm and toss gently to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl and scatter over the reminaing herbs. Serve at room temperature.

(Original recipe by Angela Nilsen in BBC Good Food Magazine, September 2012.)

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We’ve been serving this salad from Ottolenghi Flavour with just about everything this summer. We were surprised at the amount of lemon but it works perfectly and produces a really zingy and fresh salad.

Cucumber, za’atar and lemon salad – serves 4

  • 3 lemons
  • 4½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1¼ tsp dried mint
  • 1½ tsp za’atar
  • 1 banana shallot, halved lengthways and finely sliced
  • 1½ green chillies, finely sliced into strips
  • 1 large cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds scooped out, and cut at an angle into ½ cm thisk slices
  • 60g lamb’s lettuce
  • 10g dill, roughly chopped
  • 10g basil leaves
  • 5g mint leaves
  • salt

Squeeze 1-2 lemons to get 2½ tbsp of juice and put into a large salad bowl.

Cut 7 thin slices from another lemon. Discard the pips and pile the slices on top of each other. Remove and throw away half of the rind, then finely chop the slices inlcuding any remaining rind. Add this to the bowl along with the oil, dried mint, za’atar, shallots, green chillies, cucumber, and 1 tsp of salt.

Mix it all together really well, then add the lamb’s lettuce and all of the herbs, toss gently and serve.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi Flavour by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage, Ebury Press, 2020.)

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