If you’re like me, it’s important to serve fresh vegetables with every meal. But a plain ole salad gets a little boring after a while.  Jazz up your next meal with one of these amazing (and colorful) garden side dishes:

Roasted Radishes with Chive Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 ½ pounds radishes, trimmed, scrubbed, and halved
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
  • ½ tsp Dijon-style mustard
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl toss radishes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Put the radishes in a baking dish large enough to spread them out.  Roast, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring once.
  2. For the chive vinaigrette, whisk together  the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the white wine vinegar, chives, mustard, pepper, and salt.  Drizzle vinaigrette over radishes.  Toss to cover and serve as a side.

Spiced Honey Roasted Carrots

Ingredients:

Makes 6 servings.

  • 1 ½ pounds regular or rainbow carrots, scrubbed and peeled.
  • 1 ½ tsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 ½ tsp coriander seed
  • 1 ½ tsp sesame seed
  • ¾ tsp cumin seed
  • ¼  tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp honey

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Scrub carrots and peel, if desired.  Half large carrots lengthwise.
  3. Line a shallow roasting pan with foil.  Evenly spread carrots in pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast carrots, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, for the dukkah, heat a small skillet over medium-high.  Add hazelnuts; cook and stir for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add coriander, sesame and cumin seed to hot skillet.  Cook on medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant and toasted. Remove spices from heat and transfer to another bowl; cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Using a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle, grind or crush toasted spices till just coarsely ground or desired consistency. Add the hazelnuts, salt, and pepper, crushing nuts slightly. Remove carrots from the oven. Drizzle with honey; toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle carrots with dukkah.
  6. Return to the oven; roast 5 to 10 minutes more.

Okay, I have to say I cheated and just used spices from a jar and crushed them together without cooking them and it still tasted wonderful!

Butter Lettuce with Spring Peas and Mustard Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp snipped fresh dill weed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small heads endive
  • 1 large head butter lettuce
  • 3 tbsp chopped macadamia nuts, toasted (optional)

Directions:

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with water. Bring to boiling over high heat. Add peas; cook for 1 minute, stirring once. Immediately drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water. Drain peas again and set aside.
  2. For mustard vinaigrette, in a medium bowl combine dill weed, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly add the oil in a thin stream, whisking until fully blended. Add peas to vinaigrette; toss to coat.
  3. Slice endive in half lengthwise and remove core. Slice endive lengthwise into thin strips. Add endive to pea mixture; lightly toss to mix. 
  4. Arrange lettuce on a platter; top with pea mixture. Sprinkle with additional pepper. If desired, top with nuts and chive blossom florets.

Nothing goes better with a meal than a fresh side salad.