Healthy, plant-based side dishes can lighten a meat-centered meal, or they can be a fantastic meal in and of themselves. TABLE’s Italian correspondent, Sara Ghedina, tucked into some cold-weather classics which blend the irreverence and freshness of California, where she once lived, with the culinary wisdom of Europe, where she was born and raised and currently resides. Buon appetito!
Brussels Sprouts with Orange Apricot Sauce
This quick and easy side dish uses only a few basic ingredients but turns out super delicious. Adding the fried onion is optional but gives the dish extra crunchiness.
For a non-vegetarian option, cook 3/4 pound diced bacon in a skillet until browned and then transfer it to a paper towel to drain. Cook Brussels sprouts in the bacon fat and follow the recipe. Add back the bacon towards the end and serve, omitting the onion.
2 lb Brussels sprouts, cut in half
6 tbsp apricot jam
6 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp chili oil
1 piece of fresh ginger, about 2 inches long, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup fried onion (optional)
- Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil and cook Brussels sprouts for 2 minutes or until almost tender. Drain and set aside.
- Mix apricot jam with orange juice and balsamic vinegar, place in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat chili oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat, add garlic and ginger, stir and cook for 1 minute until golden. Add Brussels sprouts, increase the heat to high and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add orange apricot sauce, lower the heat and cook stirring one more minute, until sauce thickens. Sprinkle with fried onion and serve.
3 1/2 lb (about 10) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and placed in cold water
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup clarified butter (for potatoes)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Shred potatoes on the large holes of a box grater. Wrap potatoes in a clean kitchen towel; squeeze out liquid. Place in a medium bowl; toss with salt and pepper.
- Heat half the butter in a 9- or 10-inch ovenproof nonstick sauté pan over medium-low heat. Spread the potatoes in pan evenly; press down with a spatula to flatten cake. Cook until the bottom is golden and turning crisp, about 18 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat. Invert cake onto a plate; slide back into pan. Return to heat, and spoon remaining butter around edges of pan. Cook until other side begins to get crisp, about 10 minutes, shaking pan several times to loosen.
- Transfer to oven until cooked through and tender in the center, about 12 minutes. Cut into wedges, and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, a spoonful of trout roe, and as much herbage as possible.
PHOTOGRAPHY, STYLING, AND RECIPE BY SARA GHEDINA