• Easy & Delicious Spring Side Dishes

    Easy & Delicious Spring Side Dishes

    It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when preparing dinner during the week. When you’re rushing to get something on the table, it’s all too tempting to fall back on the same recipes. However, spring is the perfect time to branch out and try some new recipes that make the most of the season’s fresh produce. Here are a few simple spring side dishes that will give your meals a seasonal makeover.

    Glazed Baby Carrots

    This recipe from the Food Network turns baby carrots into a satisfying side dish that’s deceptively simple to make. Pair it with pork chops or chicken for an elegant weeknight meal.

    glazed-baby-carrots-with-almonds-and-tarragon
    Photo Credit: FoodNetwork.com

    What You’ll Need

    1 pound baby carrots
    1 cup shallots
    4 tbsp butter
    ¼ cup water
    Pinch sugar and salt
    Optional: toasted almonds, chopped tarragon

    Directions

    1. Cook 1 cup small shallots with 2 tablespoons butter and a pinch each of sugar and salt in a skillet until light brown, about 4 minutes.

    2. Add 1 pound baby carrots, 2 more tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup water; simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.

    3. Top with toasted almonds and chopped tarragon if desired

    Asparagus, Green Bean and Wax Bean Salad

    Chowhound delivers this easy-to-prepare salad from that’s healthy springtime dish everyone will love. It’s also totally customizable, so feel free to mix in other toppings and veggies whenever inspiration strikes.

    green-bean-asparagus-salad
    Photo Credit: Chowhound.com

    What You’ll Need

    1 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut on the bias into 1-1/2-inch lengths
    1 pound yellow wax beans, ends trimmed and cut on the bias into 1-1/2-inch lengths
    1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut on the bias into 1-1/2-inch lengths
    1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives
    3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    2 teaspoons kosher salt

    1 teaspoon granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1/3 cup olive oil

    Directions

    1. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat.

    2. Add green beans to the pot and cook until just tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to the ice water bath and let cool, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove beans from the ice water bath and spread out on a clean kitchen towel or a paper towel to dry. Repeat with wax beans and asparagus, adding more ice to the ice water bath in between batches.

    3. While the beans are drying, combine chives, vinegar, salt, sugar, and pepper in a large, nonreactive bowl. Whisk the oil in a steady stream until completely incorporated.

    4 Add beans and asparagus to vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

    Cold Pasta Salad with Artichokes

    Putting together this pasta salad from Chowhound is as easy as can be – just boil the pasta and mix in whatever veggies and cheese you like! Plus, the flavors will meld together the longer it sits, so make extra to have leftovers.

    pasta-salad-with-artichokes
    Photo Credit: Chowhound.com

    What You’ll Need

    3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
    Kosher salt
    1 pound baby artichokes or 8 ounces frozen and thawed artichoke hearts
    2 cups yellow and red teardrop tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), halved
    1 cup thinly sliced basil
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves
    6 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 pound penne pasta
    1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled ricotta salata cheese

    Directions

    1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath and set aside. Drop artichokes into the boiling water, and cook until just tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the artichokes to the ice water bath. Drain again and pat dry between paper towels. Reserve the boiling water.

    2. Place lemon juice, the cooked or thawed artichokes, tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic, and olive oil in a large serving bowl, season generously with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Set aside.

    3. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Transfer the pasta to the bowl with the tomato mixture, add the ricotta salata, and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

    Snap Peas with Cucumber and Ginger

    Taken from RealSimple.com, this side dish is a perfect mix of taste, texture, and quick prep. Everything is mixed together at room temperature, so there’s no cooking time, and the crunchy peas and flavorful ginger will perk up any meal.

    snap-peas-with-ginger-and-cucumber
    Photo Credit: RealSimple.com

    What You’ll Need

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
    1 teaspoon sugar
    kosher salt and black pepper
    ½ pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
    ½ English cucumber, sliced
    1 shallot, thinly sliced

    Directions

    1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, ginger, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the snap peas, cucumber, and shallot and toss to combine.

    Topics: All, Food, Seasonal, Spring

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