Monday, May 5, 2008

Super Supper Sides!

A few weeks ago Peter at Kalofagas-Greek Food And Beyond decided to do a few posts on side dishes since lately he seemed to be concentrating mostly on main dishes. Good idea Peter since BBQ and picnic season is upon us! Even Marie at Proud Italian Cook jumped on the bandwagon with her suggestions for a few sides. Hop on over and check on these super sides! Too yumptious guys!!!

As you can see, Mike fired up the smoker again this weekend and smoked a beef brisket that was tender and mouthwatering. He even threw a couple of our cayenne peppers on to smoke! So, I thought I would share with you the side dishes that worked well with our smoked beef brisket and would be great at any outdoor BBQ or picnic!

The first tasty side is Succotash Salad With A Creamy Basil Dressing

½ lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup of frozen baby lima beans
1 15 oz. can red kidney beans rinsed and drained
1 cup of frozen yellow corn thawed or you could use fresh corn, say about 2 large ears
½ cup chopped green onions
1 chopped seeded cayenne pepper
For the dressing:
¾ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
½ cup plain Greek nonfat yogurt
¼ cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Bring a large pan of water to a boil and add the lima beans. Cook them for about 2 minutes then add the green beans and cook about 4 minutes longer. Drain and rinse under cold water, drain well. Transfer these to a large bowl and add the corn, beans, onions and cayenne pepper.
Puree your basil, yogurt, mayo and vinegar in a blender. Add this dressing to your bean mixture and toss well. Salt and pepper to taste.
This is so easy and flavorful. I make mine a little ahead of time so the flavors can really get a hold of each other!

Next up is a Summer Black Bean Pasta Salad

¾ cup uncooked elbow pasta – cook this, drain and rinse under cold water, drain and set aside.
1-1/2 cups of halved grape tomatoes
1 cup peeled and diced avocado
1 cayenne pepper chopped
½ cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 heaping tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
1 15 oz. can of black beans rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons of lime zest
2-1/2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon of bottled minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl add your tomatoes, avocado, pepper, cucumber, onion, cilantro, beans and pasta, toss.
Combine your lime zest, juice, vinegar, garlic and oil in a bowl and mix well with a whisk. Add this dressing to your veggie bowl, toss well.
I let this one set also and WOW, those flavors are a real picnic in your mouth!

Last, but definitely not least, have on hand for a real treat, fresh cherry tomatoes from your own garden!!!! What a harvest those have been this year for me and, of course, they all come ripe at the same time! But, these little gems are just wonderful to snack on while you are firing up the grill!

Hope everyone is enjoying Spring !!!!


Peter M said...

Deb, thanks for the kind mention...I'm still endeavouring to show sides too!

Both sides sounds wonderful and I like that you served them in tubs. It's warm weather days, al fresco, picnics, eat outdoors time.

Dispense with the plating and offer some good, summertime food!

Unknown said...

Oh, I love smoked brisket... mmmm

Proud Italian Cook said...

Deb, That brisket looks so good, and I love your sides, especially the one with the creamy basil dressing, that could go with so many different things, and it's low fat!Those tomatoes you grew look picture perfect! Thanks too for the mention. :)

Silvia - Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

Good morning dear! What a beatiful dinner you had! And what a gorgeous salad and pasta!:-P
Thanks for sheaing these photos

Have a good day

Gloria Baker said...

Lovely pictures Debs.
Debs I have an cute Award to you, look in my Blog!!! xGloria

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Looks delicious!

I definitely don't focus enough attention on my side dishes. I'd like to say which item you've posted here is my favorite, but I'd be hard pressed to--I'll have to try both sides this summer...and have brisket ASAP (yum!)

Anonymous said...

Nice sides, Deb, I like the black bean/pasta one :)

Anonymous said...

It just always seems like summer where you are!

Those salads are beautiful Deb, and those tomatoes look divne.

winedeb said...

Yep Peter, you are absolutely correct. It is picnic time and those little tubs work perfect for transporting sides!

Me too Lannae!

Hey Marie, I recommend the basil dressing, very fresh!

Thank you Silvia, you would enjoy them also!

Gloria, you are too fun!

Hey Mike, the sides are tasty and best of all, easy!

Hi Maryann, loaded with flavor that one is!

It is Cathy! That is why I love it here!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I'd go for all of these sides Deb!!!!

LisaRene said...

The succotash salad jumps out at me, I've never had one with a creamy dressing. It's nice that you made one creamy salad and one with oil and vinegar. I find I'm much more satisfied if I eat a variety of tastes and textures.

Ah, Key West... I'm in the Pacific Northwest and won't be sitting outside enjoying salads until August!

Anonymous said...

We had a barbecue at the weekend and, weather permitting, we'll do it again next weekend. Think I'll be putting the black bean/pasta salad together next time - I've got a craving for lime/cilantro/fresh flavours and this looks like it will hit the spot.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Gorgeous Deb, I can taste them from here :)

eatme_delicious said...

Yum that pasta salad looks good! I absolutely love grape tomatoes. They're so much better than cherry tomatoes!

Anonymous said...

We would like to feature this salad recipe on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :)