Braised Rainbow Swiss Chard with Garlic

A wonderful side dish to accompany your fall entrées.

1 large bunch rainbow Swiss chard, lower ends of stems removed, and then coarsely chopped
½ cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
Sea salt

1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook garlic and onions, stirring often, until fragrant and golden, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in Swiss chard and 1 teaspoon salt.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add water, and braise, covered, until greens are just tender and water evaporates, about 10 minutes. If greens are ready but there is still water in the pan, raise heat to medium-high, and cook, uncovered, until completely evaporated. Check seasoning, adding salt if necessary, and serve.

Cauliflower Purée

This creamy side dish from Martha Stewart is an excellent alternative to traditional mashed potatoes.

1 head cauliflower, stem and tough stalks trimmed, florets roughly chopped
1 cup water or chicken stock
2-3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Combine cauliflower and water or chicken stock in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until cauliflower is very tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, adding 1-2 tablespoons cooking liquid, 15-20 seconds. Add the mascarpone and butter, and process 5-10 seconds more. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Farro Orzo with Peppers

Tossed with a bevy of fresh herbs, garlic and cherry tomatoes, this is one satisfying side dish.

2 cups orzo, cooked
3 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon each chopped fresh tarragon, parsley and thyme
3-4 Bullhorn peppers, seeded and finely diced
2 red onions, trimmed of root end and finely diced
2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup Grana-style cheese, freshly grated
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Melt the butter over medium heat and add olive oil, garlic, herbs, onions and peppers. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes, until onions and peppers are softened and herbs are fragrant.

3. Add the orzo and mix to blend, heating thoroughly. Add the cherry tomatoes and Grana cheese and toss to blend. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Roasted Red Peppers, Potatoes & Onions with Rosemary

This easy roasted side dish is fragrant with fresh rosemary.

1-1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, washed and sliced into halves (if smaller) or quarters (if large)
2-3 Bullhorn peppers, seeded and cut into large chunks
½ red onion, sliced into rounds
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon sweet paprika (optional)
Freshly-chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Using a large bowl, toss vegetables in oil and spices to coat evenly. Place potatoes, peppers, onion, and rosemary in a baking dish large enough for vegetables to spread out into a single layer. (Don’t crowd, or the vegetables won’t have a chance to crisp and brown. If necessary, divide the vegetables onto two baking sheets.)

2. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once or two during roasting, until potatoes are pierced easily with a fork. Remove from the oven, drizzle with about a teaspoon of olive oil and garnish with the fresh parsley.

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