Side Dishes

Roasted Pecan Brussels Sprouts

DSC_0007Rosted Pecan Brussels sprouts

ROASTED PECAN BRUSSELS SPROUTS                         serves 6-8

2 lbs Brussels sprouts, yellowed leaves and stem end trimmed off

1/4 C pecans, chopped

1 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 Tbs butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Quarter Burssels sprouts and toss all ingredients, except butter, in a large bowl, then transfer to a rimmed cookie sheet, spreading out into a single layer. Bake 20-30 min, until tender and very lightly browned. Toss with butter and serve hot.

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

This is, hands down, our favorite way to eat broccoli. This recipe has turned one broccoli hater into a broccoli piggy. You can leave out the fresh basil if you don't have it, but don't leave out the lemon juice. It makes all the difference!


PARMESAN -ROASTED BROCCOLI                 6-8 servings

Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

4-5 lb broccoli (8 C florets)

4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

Olive oil

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp fresh lemon zest

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

3 tbs pine nuts, toasted

⅓ C freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbs julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached, discarding rest of stalks. Cut larger pieces through the base of head with small knife, pulling florets apart. You should have about 8 cups. Layer on a sheet pan. Toss garlic on broccoli and drizzle with 5 Tbs olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 20-25 minutes, until crip tender and some are browned. Remove from oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil, lemon zest, pine nuts. Parmesan and basil. Serve hot. 

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Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

I couldn't believe it when I heard my children clamoring for more cauliflower and accusing each other of taking more than their fair share. Then I took a bite and I could have eaten the whole two heads of cauliflower all by myself. Don't leave anything out. It is worth every bit of trouble, right down to the toasted pine nuts.  



serves 8

adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

2 whole heads of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled

2 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets

4 1/2 Tbs. olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 C. minced fresh parsley

3 Tbs. pine nuts, toasted

2 Tbs. Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add garlic cloves. Boil 15 seconds. Drain, peel and cut off any brown parts. Cut the largest cloves in half lengthwise. (Or peel, slice and toss them raw into the roasting pan with the cauliflower. That is what I do and it seems just fine.)

On a sheet pan, toss cauliflower and garlic, 3 Tbs. olive oil, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Spread in a single layer and roast 20-25 minutes, tossing twice, until the cauliflower is tender and the garlic is lightly browned. 

Scrape the cauliflower into a large bowl with the garlic and pan juices. Add remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil, parsley, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with another 1/2 tsp. salt, toss well and serve hot or warm. 

Fruity Sweet Potato Casserole

We can hardly get enough sweet potatoes, so when they go on sale I stock up and make all our favorites. This recipe is a nice change from the usual marshmallow crusted casserole, though we still have to have that one on Thanksgiving. 

FRUITY SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE                                          serves 8-10

2 1/2 lbs. cooked sweet potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced

8 oz. crushed pineapple

1/4 C. maple syrup

1/2 C. pecan halves

1/4 C. sliced dried apricots

1/4 C. brown sugar

1 Tbs. butter, melted

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. salt

Place sweet potatoes in ungreased 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over potatoes. Bake, uncovered at 350° for 45 min. or until heated through. 

Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Here is another lovely way to enjoy the bounty of fall and one of our favorite vegetables.

SWEET POTATOES AND APPLES                    serves 8-12

6 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

6 large apples, sliced   

1 C. brown sugar   

2/3 C. butter   

1/2 C. water

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. nutmeg

Cook potatoes until tender; drain and cool. Peel and slice ¼ inch thick. Layer  potatoes and apples in 11 x7 inch pan . combine remaining ingredients and pour over potatoes. Bake 20 min., baste, bake 10 more min. or until tender.

Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes

This has been our favorite way to serve sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving since David was a baby. Back then I liked it because it was easy and didn’t have David’s allergens in the ingredients. Now we love it because it is still easy and we can eat marshmallows at dinner. I always think of Linda, who gave me this recipe. If I could choose my relatives, I’d definitely have her in my family.


Cook and mash:

5-6 sweet potatoes


1/2 C.butter

2/3 C. brown sugar 

1/2 C. orange juice

1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix well and bake at 350° until heated through.

Top with miniature marshmallows and cook 5 more min.  

Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole

We like sweet potatoes so much, we eat them all year long. Usually we just bake them and serve with butter and salt, but this is a nice change of pace.


4 C. mashed sweet potatoes   

1/2 C. sugar   

2 eggs   

1 Tbs. vanilla   

1/2 C. butter, melted   


1/4 C. brown sugar

1/2 C. Pastry wheat flour

1/3 C. butter, softened

1 C. chopped nuts

Combine first 5 ingr. and mix well. Pour into buttered 1- 1/2 qt. casserole. Combine all topping ingr. and mix well with a fork. Sprinkle crumbs on top of casserole. Bake at 350° for 30 min.

Brandied Cranberries

In general I think cooking with alcohol ruins the food and makes your breath stink. However, this recipe proves there are a few exceptions. I have made this for Thanksgiving for over ten years, occasionally making a second cranberry relish, just to see how it compares, but we always love this one the most. 


3 (12-OUNCE) packages fresh cranberries

3 cups sugar

1/2 cup brandy

Place cranberries in a single layer in two lightly greased 15x10x1 inch jelly roll pans; pour sugar over cranberries. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees one hour. Spoon cranberries into a large bowl; gently stir in brandy. Cool. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.  Makes 5 cups. 

Potato Wedges

The boys cheer when I make these and I get extra hugs and pats on the back. They are so simple to make and help fill in the empty spaces in a hungry boy’s tummy.

POTATO WEDGES            

serves 8

6-8 med. russet potatoes, cut into wedges

2 Tbs. olive oil

freshly ground pepper

kosher salt

minced garlic or garlic powder


Place potatoes in lg. bowl; cover with cold water. Soak 15 min. Drain potatoes and spread on a double layer of paper towels. Cover with a second layer and press down to dry. Toss with oil, pepper and salt. Arrange in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 20 min.; turn and sprinkle with garlic; bake 20 min. longer, turning once. Serve with ketchup.

Shredded Potatoes Au Gratin

More comfort food for the hungry guys. When my boys find out we are having potatoes with dinner they always give me a squeeze and say, “Oh, Mommy! I just love you so much!” I laugh and think it really is true that the way to a young man’s heart is through his stomach. 


6 medium white potatoes   

2 C. shredded cheddar       

 6 Tbs. butter, divided       

 2 C. sour cream

1/3 C. chopped onion

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

Boil potatoes in skin. Chill, peel and shred with a food processor or hand held grater. Stir in cheese and 4 Tbs. melted butter. Fold in sour cream, onion, salt and pepper. Place in greased casserole and dot with remaining butter. Bake at 350° for 30 min.

© Being Fruitful, 2012