Side Dishes

Pickled Eggs & Beets

Rebecca loves pickles: pickled onions, pickled vegetables, Haitian style pickled cabbage, sauerkraut with juniper and caraway, red cabbage sauerkraut with apples and cloves, and of course dill pickles. Whether by nature or nurture, our 2-year old Madeline is developing the same taste. Our current strategy of getting her to eat veggies is to make them sour. This weekend, with piles of fresh beets and local eggs from the market, I was remembering an old fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch classic from my grandparents generation -- Pickled Eggs & Beets. I adapted this recipe from a few of our old Pennsylvania Dutch/Amish cookbooks (yes, we brought them with us to Haiti), reducing the sugar significantly and boosting the spices and vinegar. The resulting magenta pickles are sublime, and super easy to make. Our fridge version of Pickled Eggs & Beets will keep for at least two weeks, and works beautifully as a side, a quirky topping to salads, on toast, in a grain bowl, or as a toddler snack (well at least for our funny girl). Happy pink pickling!

Pickled Eggs & Beets

Hearty Buckwheat Salad with Creamy Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

We discovered three bags of buckwheat groats in one of our suitcases when we returned to Haiti a few months ago.... some toddler packing assistance, perhaps?! Buckwheat is one of our favorite salad grains that we make seasonal adaptations of throughout the year. I especially love the nutty flavors of buckwheat with a creamy sweet roasted garlic vinaigrette and toasted vegetables. Beets and carrots are all plentiful in our Port-au-Prince markets this time of year, and we love the slightly offbeat grassy flavor of local okra in the mix. 

For other grain based salads try our Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus and FetaHearty Quinoa & Chickpea Salad, Spring Buckwheat Grouts Salad, Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad with Mushrooms & Asparagus.

Hearty Buckwheat Salad with Creamy Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Crisp Thai Cucumber & Peanut Salad

A Caribbean flu hit our household in Haiti this week. First Paul, then me, now the kids. Sigh. During times of illness, my go-to comfort food is the reassuringly simple, cool, and refreshing cucumber. Cucumbers are my vegetable equivalent of chicken soup. As I gradually felt better throughout the week, my cucumber salads became more elaborate and flavorful. This Crisp Thai Cucumber & Peanut Salad, a Thai-inspired riff, is crunchy, sour,  and salty, with a hint of coconut sweetness.

Crisp Thai Cucumber & Peanut Salad

Marinated Tomato Mozzarella Salad

It has been a bit of a blur since Gideon's arrival, as we remember what it's like to go weeks without a full nights sleep. Little Gideon and Mom are both doing well, and so we are on track to returning to Haiti in early August. As we wrap up our last weeks here, stateside, we are relishing the tastes of North American summer: impossibly good sweet corn, tart local blueberries with a dash of cream, and fresh peak-of-summer tomatoes and herbs. This Marinated Tomato and Mozzarella Salad has been a frequent highlight on our table these last few weeks. It is ready in minutes, bursting with summer flavor, a balance of bright sweet tomatoes and creamy fresh mozzarella.

Marinated Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus & Feta

We love outdoor eating, and as temperatures rise in Northern Indiana, we've been honing our pasta salad line-up for the picnic season. Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Feta is an edgier alternative to the traditional picnic classic. In our pasta salad, we replaced the larger pasta with small rice shaped orzo, added crunchy asparagus, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes, and tossed it with an assertive garlicky lemon vinaigrette, herbs and feta. Enjoy this early picnic season with Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Feta.

For other grain based picnic ready salads try our Hearty Quinoa & Chickpea Salad, Spring Buckwheat Grouts Salad, Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad with Mushrooms & Asparagus.

Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus & Feta

Rosemary Lemon Roasted Potatoes

The smell of roasting potatoes makes my mouth water every time. These golden brown orbs of puffed potato deliciousness have been my dish of choice this past month. And I think the addition of rosemary and lemon makes the house smell like Sunday dinner. Happy roasting!

Rosemary Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Spiced Moroccan Carrot Salad

When the winter chills set in, this colorful tangerine hued salad, with its bright splashes of pomegranate, feta, and cilantro is a full flavored pick you up. This is a long-standing recipe in our repertoire, with a captivating citrus and spice vinaigrette. 

Spiced Moroccan Carrot Salad

Avocado Cucumber Salad With Yogurt Lime Sauce

On my way home from work yesterday, I passed a market woman, machann, with a pile of large green skinned avocados spread out in front of her. My bag of ripe avocados in hand, I mulled over dinner the rest of the way home. Later that night, Paul and I munched on a buttery and crisp Avocado Cucumber Salad with Yogurt Lime Sauce under our mango tree as we waited for cooler evening breezes to arrive. 

Avocado Cucumber Salad With Yogurt Lime Sauce

Potato Beet Salad

The days are hot, school is out, the grill is fired up, and it's potato salad season. We're adding some color to ours today with a Haitian variation of Potato Beet Salad. Potatoes and beets are a lovely earthy combination with some parsley, and pickled red onions, this is great mellow tasting accompaniment to your early summer grilling. Check out other non-traditional potato salad variations: moroccan roasted sweet potato saladgrilled potato salad with jalapeno, bacon & blue cheese & tuscan potato salad.

Potato Beet Salad

Marinated Herbed Zucchini

Craving something fresh, Paul picked up a basket of summer squash at the market on the way home from work yesterday. Marinated Herbed Zucchini is a beautiful and flavorful summer starter that transforms summer's bounteous zucchini and squash into something unexpected and delicious. Whether you're looking for a creative new salad...or just searching for something other than zucchini bread to make with the summer squashes piling up in your kitchen, this is a winner!

Marinated Herbed Zucchini