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In The Kitchen - Barbecue Sides

With the last few weeks of summer upon us, we couldn’t leave the season behind without a Summer Barbecue post! Cindy and her husband are masters of the grill (check out Cindy’s post here) – but I am the master of side dishes (thanks to my mom and Ina). I’ve hosted and attended quite a few family dinners and bbqs this summer so I put together a quick round up of some of my favorite side dishes.

For me, a good side dish is something not too fancy (i.e. my kids will actually eat it) or too complicated. I personally like dishes that travel easily and can be made ahead of time. All my favorites are served cold or room temperature – so I don’t have to do any additional prep once friends and family have arrived. Side note: I always use white serving dishes for all of the sides to give the table a 'clean' look.

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas is my number one. I make it often and everyone always loves it. Ina's recipe makes a huge batch, so it is an awesome ‘leftover’ dish – the pesto just melts into the pasta. And sometimes, to save time and money, I buy the pesto from Costco. It tastes remarkably similar to Ina's pesto. Love it!

My mom always makes Ina’s Orzo with Roasted Vegetables. It’s a good way to slide a few veggies into the mix. All of Ina’s recipes say to use a ‘good olive oil’ and in dishes with roasted veggies I think it makes a difference. I know that for all of her recipe testing Ina only uses the Olio Santo Olive Oil that we stock in our shop, so that’s what we use too. (I actually hand delivered a case to Ina and my mom when I visited East Hampton this summer.)

This Potato Salad recipe was featured on Ina’s 4th of July episode on The Food Network. It’s fairly straightforward, but I think the buttermilk adds to the richness. It really can’t be beat, so I follow this recipe to a tee.

Finally, Vegetable Coleslaw – the perfect tangy addition to every cookout menu. This one takes a little prep work with the food processor, but my kids love seeing everything get chopped up, so it adds a few minutes of entertainment to the cooking process. After all the veggies are chopped, it’s super simple to just mix in all the ingredients and serve. (UPDATE - Ina added kale to her recipe. The updated recipe is below.)

I’ve linked to all the recipes online and posted them below. I hope you are enjoying every last minute of summer. We have a lot of exciting things coming up this fall, so we hope you’ll continue to follow along with us!

Thanks and enjoy!

Cassandra--

 

Pasta, Pesto & Peas

Ingredients

3/4 pound Fusilli pasta
3/4 pound bow tie pasta
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups pesto (packaged or see recipe below)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto:

1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions - Pesto

Place the walnuts, pignoli, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.

To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignoli, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

Copyright 2001, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound orzo

For the dressing:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:
4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup pignolis, toasted
3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.

For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and basil. Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.

Copyright 2001, Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

 

Potato Salad

Ingredients

3 pounds small white potatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion

Directions

Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters or in half, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

2006, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

Vegetable Cole Slaw

Ingredients

1 pound white cabbage (1/2 small head)
3/4 pound red cabbage (1/2 small head)
5 carrots
2 cups good mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
UPDATE: 5 large kale leaves, ribs removed

Directions

Fit a food processor with the thickest slicing blade. Cut the cabbages into small wedges and place horizontally into the feed tube. Process in batches. Next, fit the food processor with the grating blade. Cut the carrots in half and place in the feed tube so they are lying on their sides. Process in batches and mix in a bowl with the grated cabbages. UPDATE: Pile the kale up on a cutting board, thinly slice the leaves crosswise, and add to the bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, celery salt, salt, and pepper. Pour enough of the dressing over the grated vegetables to moisten them. Serve cold or at room temperature.

1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved

 

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