Category Archives: Side Dishes

Passion Kale Salad with Grapes

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Let me introduce you to a new couple,  Passion fruit and Kale. They say opposites attract, right?

Kale being strong, textured, dark and rough, and Passion fruit being delicate, perfumed, sweet and juicy.

These two go together so well. I wanted to find something completely different from the most obvious choices to accompany the kale, giving it sweetness and something  very different.

The addition of Grapes I love because to me they are like little explosions of sweet juice.

The nuts have had a turn in the pan with a bit of honey and salt to give them crunch and flavour. So to make a long story short, I think you’re really gonna like this one and it’s so pretty too.

The essential trick is to massage the Kale long enough for the right texture, it’s also easier to digest this way and it becomes a little softer.

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Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients;

1  12 oz./350 gr. bag of (organic) washed and chopped Kale

juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 tsp Himalayan Salt

1 tbsp. Raw Honey

freshly Black Pepper

1/2 C. red grapes cut in half

1 passion fruit. (wrinkled fruit means sweeter)

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1/3 C. Walnuts roughly chopped

1 tbsp. Honey

a sprinkling of Himalayan Salt

Method;

Get out a tray and cover with parchment paper.

Put a frying pan on to medium heat. Toast the walnuts for  about three minutes until golden, add the salt and honey. Cook for an other minute or so until syrupy and sticky. Take off the heat and pour the nuts onto the tray with parchment paper. Let cool.

Put the Kale in a bowl. Add salt, lemon juice and olive oil. With very clean hands, start massaging and squeezing the kale, for about ten minutes. Until it turns darker and softer.

Spoon out half of the Passion fruit and add the tablespoon honey, incorporate in the kale salad and mix.

Place the Kale on a pretty serving dish or plate. Decorate with the grapes and nuts. Spoon the other half of the passion fruit pulp out on top of the kale salad.

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Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Harvest Pumpkin Salad, baked Halloumi & Chantherelles with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Jerusalem Artichoke au jus with Pancetta, Garlic and Thyme

Let’s talk about the Jerusalem Artichoke. This knobby little tuber with the resemblance of ginger is an (underestimated) root vegetable.

Jerusalem Artichokes are packed with inulin, a long chain of fructose molecules that us humans have a hard time breaking down.  So that makes it a fibre rather than a starch and has hardly any effect on blood sugar levels. Inulin is also a  prebiotic that stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract that in turn aids digestion and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.

There has been some controversy lately on the internet about this vegetable  whether it’s bad for the tummy, or if it may cause gas or some intolerance. I have to say that I have never had any trouble. Some peope say it’s because of the skin so just peel them to be save.

And although the side effects such as gas only occurs in a small percentage of people, it’s best to know whether you’re one of those people before serving them at your next dinner party. Just try a few and see. They are really worth it.

They are also very healthy, with high fibre, high potassium, good for lowering cholesterol and they boost the immune system. So let’s stay positive and give them a change. They have a delicious nutty flavour and also really do have an artichoke flavour. They are velvety soft on the inside, perfect for fall dishes.

       

Ingredients;

1 lb. Jerusalem Artichoke

1 lemon

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

2 tsp. very good quality Beef Broth Concentrate

1/4  C. hot water

2 oz. chopped Pancetta

1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped fine

a few sprigs of thyme

1 tsp. Thyme leafs for decorating

Method;

Halve the lemon, squeeze out the juice and put the juice  into a bowl with plenty of cold water. Peel the jerusalem artichokes, cut away the ends, then cut into two if very long. then drop them into the lemon water to stop them from discolouring.

Heat  the oil and half the butter in a large sauté pan or deep frying pan over a medium heat. Drain the jerusalem artichokes, dry them well, add to the pan. Fry them for 5 minutes until they get a bit golden brown. Add the stock concentrate, move the pan around very gently and add the water, not all at once, safe some for later. Tuck in the thyme sprigs. Partially cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook for  15 minutes until just tender. After ten minutes check and see if you need to add water. Move the jerusalem artichoke around gently so they all get covered in the jus. Be careful not to break the topinambur since they are quite fragile. By the end of cooking the liquid should have evaporated and you should be left with a sticky kind of coating on the chokes.

In an other large frying pan add the rest of the butter and cook the pancetta until just turning golden. Add the garlic and leave to cook for a few seconds. Add to the pan of Jeruslaem Artichokes  and gently toss everything together. Sprinkle over the remaining thyme leafs.

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Maple glazed Hazelnuts and Bacon

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Maple glazed Hazelnuts and Bacon

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This side dish is going to blow your mind! Wait… side dish?  What am I saying, it’s more than just a side dish, you don’t really need anything else, it’s that good.

I have to confess that I am a little bit obsessed with side dishes, I think they deserve more attention. It also has to do with the fact that I try not to eat carbs in the evening so I want to have something really spectacular to compensate for the lack of potatoes or rice. When I was eating these Brussels sprouts I almost forgot about the grilled chicken I had on the side and ate the entire dish of sprouts, oops.

Ok, I’ll admit that I was very full, but so satisfied.

Serves 4 (or 2 if you’re like me)

      

Ingredients;

1 lbs. Brussels sprouts, cleaned and shredded

1 small onion, peeled and diced as fine as you can

1 Garlic clove, peeled and grated or crushed

4 oz. smoked Bacon, cut in medium small dice  (* Omit or use vegetarian bacon for vegetarians)

1/3 C. Hazelnuts, skin removed

2 tbsp. Butter

2 tbsp. Maple Syrup

salt and pepper

2 – 3 tbsp. Water

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Method;

Over medium high heat fry the bacon for a few minutes in one tablespoon of butter. Once they start to get a little crispy and golden add the hazelnuts. Fry for about 4 minutes until the nuts become golden.  Now add the Maple syrup and continue to cook for an other  3 minutes until all is nice and sticky and golden.

Place the nuts and bacon in a bowl and set aside.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Once melted add the onions, the garlic and the Brussels sprouts after a minutes or so. Start sautéing, season with salt and black pepper. Add the two  tablespoons of water and put a lid on the pan, leaving a side open, or use a lid with holes in it like I do.

Cook for about seven minutes or until they are tender to your liking. Return the hazelnuts and bacon to the pan and sautee for another minute until heated thru. Serve immediately.

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"Gratin Dauphinois"

Gratin Dauphinois with Gruyere.

Alt="Gratin Dauphinois"

Ingredients;

2 lb /1 kg starchy potatoes

1 garlic clove peeled and sliced in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

grating of nutmeg

Freshly ground pepper

1 C. cream

1/2 C. chicken stock

1 C.  grated Gruyere cheese

Method;

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

Bring cream, chicken stock, nutmeg and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and let it steep while you make the rest of the gratin.

Rub a baking dish with the cut garlic, then spread with the  butter.

Peel the potatoes and slice them thin.

Place half of the potatoes in the dish, then scatter over cheese.

Repeat for the second layer, finishing with the cheese.

Pour over the cream.

Cover with lid or foil, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 until the top is bubbly and golden. Rest for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with some chives or parsley before serving.

Alt="Gratin Dauphinois"

Alt="Gratin Dauphinois"

Another great fast side dish would be Super quick pan roast Jacket Potatoes.

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