Mozzarella just might be the season’s quintessential cheese. Prized for its creamy texture and mild flavor, it’s a neutral canvas for spring produce, complementing light and bright flavors without adding making things too heavy.
1. Caprese di Farro (pictured above)
Farro — the oldest cultivated grain — is a great base for sides. Dress it up for a spring gathering by tossing the hearty grain with sweet cherry tomatoes, briny Kalamata olives and chunks of mozzarella for a Mediterranean-style salad with enough heft to be a vegetarian main dish.
Continue Reading Spring Fest: 5 Mozzarella Appetizers, Sides and Salads
All winter long I fill my side dishes with cheesy, gooey goodness. From cheesy roasted vegetables to cheese-filled pastas and casseroles, it’s a go-to ingredient fit for comfort food-filled months. But with the warm weather approaching, I’m not giving up one of my favorite forms of dairy. These summery side dishes have enough cheese to satisfy my cravings without being too heavy.
1. Antipasto Salad
Giada’s summery pasta salad features two types of Italian cheese: Asiago and provolone. The salty, crumbly Asiago and the more mild, smooth provolone are tossed with fusilli pasta, salami, turkey, olives, red peppers and a homemade red wine vinaigrette.
Continue Reading Sensational Sides: Cheese-Filled Summer Side Dishes
Arugula is one of those greens that tastes amazing all on its own. It’s a little bit spicy so you don’t need much to make a complete salad burst with flavor. Complement the spice with a citrus or creamy dressing, add in nuts or crispy bacon for crunch and toss with vegetables or protein to turn arugula salad into a complete meal.
1. Artichoke Arugula Salad With Parmesan (pictured above)
Lighten up your weeknight salad with this recipe that features arugula topped with artichokes, an excellent source of fiber. By using frozen hearts instead of fresh, you save time fussing over trimming them just right — which means less time in the kitchen.
Continue Reading Sensational Sides: 5 Ways to Use Arugula
The whole family is sure to love a classic one dish pasta that’s filled with cheesy goodness: baked ziti. It’s easy to prepare on a weeknight and reheats deliciously the next day. Though the below version is a classic cheese creation, you can experiment by swapping in your favorite cheeses or adding in ground beef or roasted vegetables. Serve it on the side with homemade meatballs or as a main dish.
Combine 16oz ricotta cheese with one egg and a handful of chopped parsley.
Continue Reading Sensational Sides: Kid-Friendly Baked Ziti
While on vacation in the Dominican Republic a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have time for a leisurely breakfast each day featuring a Dominican classic: mangu. Mangu is mashed plantains with butter or olive oil and can be served plain or, as I often ate it, with fried cheese. Back at home and craving mangu once again, but with very little time to make breakfast in the morning, I decided to turn it into a side dish for dinner. In keeping with the flavors I missed from my trip, I made Camarones al Ajillo or Shrimp with Garlic to serve atop the mangu.
Continue Reading Sensational Sides: Mashed Plantains
Crunchy, healthful kale doesn’t need to be cooked in order to taste delicious. It’s a more nutrient-filled alternative to lettuce and its distinct crunch gives great texture to traditional salad recipes.
1. Massaged Kale Salad (pictured above)
In lieu of cooking the kale, Aarti massages the greens in lemon juice and olive oil until they start to soften and wilt in about 2 to 3 minutes. She pours a honey-sweetened dressing over the salad, and adds diced mango and pepitas before serving.
Continue Reading Sensational Sides: No-Cook Kale Salad Recipes