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Recipe: Three Simple Sides

At feast times, side dishes can make a meal feel truly lavish, but it can be hard to do lots of fancy cooking. And I favor dishes – main or side – that are both super tasty and ridiculously simple. So simple it seems like a crime to even call them a recipe. The three sides I am about to share with you are that kind of thing. The added benefit is they are all really pretty, without trying, so grace a feast table really well. And then everyone thinks your feast is super amazing – even though the combined work total for all three dishes is less than an hour…

Pears, rosemary, butter. Three of my favorite things.

Rosemary Pears

Peel, core, and slice 10 Bosc Pears. Spread evenly on a baking tray and roast in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes They can be roasted up to 48 hours before you want to serve them; keep them in the fridge and bring them out the morning of the feast to come to room temperature.

Just before you serve your meal, melt a stick of butter and a 6-9 inch sprig of fresh rosemary in a heavy bottomed frying pan on medium heat. Once the butter starts to brown, toss in the pears and sauté them till they are warm through and begin to caramelize. Serve.


Roasted Roots in Honey-Thyme Glaze

Cube parsnips, rutabagas, carrots, and turnips (or some combination of those). Your cubes want to be about the size of a cranberry. Roast them at 400 degrees until they pierce easily with a fork. This works really nicely with the pears, because you can also save the cooked roots in the fridge for a couple of days before finishing them. Like the pears, bring them out of the fridge on the feast day to come to room temperature.

About 20-30 minute before you plan on serving your meal, toss the roots with a glaze that is equal parts honey and olive oil, a pinch of thyme, and some salt and pepper. Mix in a couple handfuls of fresh cranberries. Pop those in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Serve.


Blue Cheese Brussels Sprouts

Quarter 3-4 cups fresh brussel sprouts. Just before serving your meal, melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a heavy bottomed frying pan (we use the same pan we just caramelized the pears in…). Toss in the brussels and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add a cup of chopped hazelnuts and sauté for a few more minutes until the brussels are done. Remove from the heat. Add a little salt and pepper, them mix in about w cup of mild-medium blue cheese crumbles – this recipe works fine with a cheaper blue cheese, so save the splurge for the cheese plate. Serve.


That's it. All so easy. And all so tasty. Try one and let me know what you think.



4 responses »

  1. I usually splash maybe a tablespoon or two of white wine just before I add the hazelnuts, so the sprouts steam a little. It seems to cook them through more evenly without scorching the outsides.

  2. Those pears sounds amazing! My biggest compliments this Thanksgiving were for the cranberry relish – again, one of those things that doesn’t really seem like a recipe. Just pulse two bags of fresh cranberries and two sliced oranges (with the peels) in the food processor, then stir in a cup of sugar. Done and yum.

  3. Pingback: Thanksgiving Recipe Links | Another Day - Another Mom

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