A Quick, tasty and colourful side dish for your turkey dinner…

The countdown clock to Christmas day is certainly running down.  If you are looking for a fresh, great tasting side dish to complement your turkey, stuffing and gravy, I have a great suggestion.  A colleague brought this dish to a potluck a number of years ago and I begged for the recipe after tasting it. I always try to have a variety of veggies and serve them in a simple, tasty way that compliments the star of the meal…In this case, turkey!  Brussel sprouts with prosciutto and pine nuts is a fresh, tasty and colourful side dish that has become a hit with many people in my family. We serve it with our Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys, but you can certainly serve it as a side dish any time. You can make it hours before you serve dinner, or even the day before.  If you choose to cook it the day before, I would suggest undercooking the brussel sprouts so that when you reheat them, you can still retain that bright green colour.

When we started making this dish, we used 20 brussel sprouts and it was gobbled up in no time.  We’ve now increased to 40 brussel sprouts for the same size group and it still all gets eaten. I think no matter how much we make, it would still all be gone!

With only 5 ingredients, this is a healthy and clean tasting dish!  It’s also pretty quick to make. I love making and eating this dish because it’s another example of how to turn every day ingredients into what looks like a gourmet dish.  Give it a try and let me know how you liked it.

Brussel Sprouts with Prosciutto and Pine Nuts

  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Difficulty: very easy
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A colleague brought this dish to a potluck a number of years ago and I begged for the recipe.  This is a fresh, tasty and colourful side dish that has become a hit with many people in my family.  We serve it with our Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys, but you can certainly serve it as a side dish any time. No matter how much we make, it gets eaten up.  With only 5 ingredients, this is a healthy and clean tasting dish!

Ingredients

  • 40 medium to large brussel sprouts
  • 10 slices cured prosciutto, sliced paper thin
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • ⅛ tsp, or less, ground pepper

Directions

  1. Toast pine nuts in a non stick pan over medium heat until golden brown.  (You could also do it on a baking sheet in the oven). Remove from heat and set aside
  2. Wash and dry brussel sprouts.  Trim end and slice in half, lengthwise
  3. Heat olive oil in non stick pan.  Add brussel sprouts to pan. Stir to coat and cook until bright green and fork tender.  (If pan is drying out as brussel sprouts are cooking, add a splash of water rather than adding more olive oil).  Stir frequently
  4. Slice prosciutto into pieces and add to pan, along with pine nuts.  Stir to combine and heat through.

 

Tips:  1) Watch pine nuts closely if doing them on the stove…they can go from golden to burnt quickly!!  2) Cover brussel sprouts with a lid before adding prosciutto and nuts to speed up cooking time slightly

posted by: everydayhomegourmet.blog/  

 

Apples and Broccoli – a recipe that emerged from looking in the fridge

One of the things I like to do best is look in the fridge to see what’s available and try to combine ingredients in a way I haven’t done before.  About a year ago, I had a ton of broccoli on hand and we’d already eaten it a few different ways that week, so I was looking for some way to use up the broccoli and create something new for us.  That was the birth of the Broccoli Apple Salad with red onions and pine nuts.  I love the colours together and the flavours work well too.  Typically, I use red or white wine vinegar in my salad dressings, but I thought the slightly milder, sweet flavour of rice wine would work here and I really like how it comes out.  I’ve done this salad with broccoli that was already steamed and also with raw broccoli.  I prefer the raw version, but I know that some diners would prefer more tender broccoli…so, as always, choose what’s best for you!  I also like leaving the skin on the apple…it adds fibre and nutrients, it looks nice – and, it saves time!

*Drop me a note to let me know about dishes you created with ingredients on hand…I’m always looking for new ideas!  Happy Cooking, Friends!

Broccoli Apple Salad

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: very easy
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Broccoli, apple, red onion, pine nuts, rice vinegar (1)

I came up with this recipe when I had lots of broccoli and wanted to use it in a different way.  I checked the fridge to see what was there and this is what I created…try it with grilled or roasted meats of any kind, as well as burgers.  It could also be a great accompaniment to a traditional quiche or frittata.

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 apple, skin on, cut into about one-inch pieces
  • about ⅛ cup thinly sliced red onion (the thinner, the better!)
  • about ⅛ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

Dressing:

  • a little less than ¼ cup olive oil
  • about ½ cup rice vinegar
  • about ½ tsp salt
  • about ¼ tsp ground pepper

Directions

  1. Toast pine nuts until golden brown, about 4 minutes in pan on the stove on medium.  Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Set aside to cool
  2. Combine broccoli, apples, onions and nuts in a serving bowl
  3. Add oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and combine well
  4. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to allow dressing to absorb into broccoli, especially if using raw broccoli

Variations:  Use raw or lightly steamed broccoli.  Use walnuts or pecans instead of pine nuts, or make it nut-free.  Keeps nicely in the refrigerator for 4 or 5 days

recipe by: everydayhomegourmet.blog/  

Summer cook ahead #3 – Tri-colour Pasta Salad

When I was young, I was not a pasta fan, which is not typical for kids, and certainly not for kids of Italian backgrounds!  I think it was the soft texture that didn’t agree with me at that time. There were lots of soft foods I did not like. I loved all the sauces my Mom and grandmother made and would enjoy them with crusty bread and their wonderful salads.  When I started to do some of my own cooking in my late teens, I knew very well that most people loved pasta and I wanted to like it too, so I began adding lots of crunchy veggies to my dishes to help me overcome my texture issues. After all, pasta is available in many shapes and colours and is a versatile and affordable food, so I knew I needed to like it!  The pasta salad recipe I developed became a very popular dish at my parties, and a number of my family members now make that salad regularly too. My Mom and grandmother used to call it Macaroni Salad…in fact, I think we referred to most pasta as macaroni in those days. I remember my grandmother asking, “What kind of macaroni do you want?”.

I started making my pasta salad recipe for parties and get-togethers, but for many years now, I‘ve been including pasta salad in my rotation of summer cook ahead salads.  (Check out previous posts for other summer cook ahead dishes and tips).  This Tri-Colour Pasta Salad a great side dish with lots of crunchy vegetables in it and if you top it with grilled chicken or other grilled meat or fish, it can be a complete meal too. For vegetarians or vegans, you can use chickpeas or other beans and legumes as the protein.  I like to use 3 coloured fusilli for this dish, but you can use any pasta you like. For those who require gluten-free dishes, there are many good gluten-free pasta options available as well.

Pasta Salad (2)My dressing uses olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.  Cook the pasta according to directions for ‘al dente’. When the pasta is still quite hot add the dressing.  This will allow the pasta to fully absorb the dressing, increasing the flavour of the dish and you won’t have to adjust the seasonings before serving.  Thanks again to our local chef friend, Tim C. for that tip years ago! It has improved all my summer side salads immensely! I used to find it so frustrating to make the potato, rice or pasta salad that tasted great when I first made it, only to find when I went to serve it a few hours later, it tasted like it didn’t have enough dressing, so I’d add more.  Thanks to Tim’s direction, I never have to adjust the seasonings before serving. I love that!

As far as vegetables go, I steam broccoli for 2 minutes leaving it a bright green.  I used to include those miniature canned corn cobs too, which people liked, but I haven’t included those for a few years now, mostly because it’s something that I only used in this dish and I didn’t regularly stock it in my pantry.  (As time has passed, I prefer to keep my pantry stocked with a wide variety of ingredients that I use for multiple dishes. It makes things so much easier! Hmmm…sounds like an idea for another blog post!).  I also like to use green onions, red and green peppers, artichoke hearts, and sliced olives.  Of course, you can use whatever vegetables you like to make this your own. But finishing with fresh basil is a must! I hope you enjoy this versatile dish as much as my family and I do. Head on over to the recipe tab for full instructions. If you create another version, I’d love to hear about it! Happy cooking, friends!