Simple, winning sides to serve up

Last week it was lip-smackin’ starchy sidesNigella’s Tuscan Fries, Jalapeno Cornbread and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

So this week, I thought we better add veggie to the sides to serve up at your next barbecue or meal.

If you’re enjoying our new found (somewhat) ‘covid-freedom’ and have dragged the barbecue out of the shed.

Then make sure you check out my BBQ legend post.

It will give you some tips on how to successfully pull off a barbecue.

Because, let’s be honest, we’ve all served up burnt, under-cooked/over-cooked food at some point to our friends.

Now, the sides. They can also make-or-break your barbecue status.

So, check out these three sensational green sides, below.

One will, literally, take you 5 mins and is a fave of mine.

The other two, max 30 mins prep/cook.

Oh, and don’t forget to look up the post for Mexican Street Style corn and grilled cos lettuce – both simple and taste great!

3 sensational veggie sides

Padron peppers

This will take 5 mins!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g padron peppers

Method

  1. Over a high heat, in a large frying pan, heat olive oil and fry the peppers, stirring frequently, for 5 mins until blistered and wilted (your peppers should be soft and slightly charred).
  2. Transfer them to a serving plate and season with some sea salt.

Barbecued carrot, ricotta and toasted pecans

These sweet charred carrots with creamy ricotta and crunchy pecans is a fantastic veggie side that your guest will fight over.

Total time to prep and cook, 30 mins but you also need a couple of hours for marinating.

This will serve around 4 – 6 people.

Ingredients

• 500 g carrots bunch, preferably with the tops on as it looks quite cool when served up.
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed in a pestle and mortar
• 1 tsp soft dark brown sugar
• 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 250 g ricotta
• ½ bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
• 50 g pecans, toasted and chopped
• small bunch coriander, chopped
• extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

Method

Prep carrots (includes 1-2 hours marinating)

  1. Trim the tops off the carrots, leaving a little green top and scrub them clean. Then, depending on their size, slices to approximately finger-thickness i.e. slice length-ways, or into quarters if they are larger or leave as is, if they are small thing carrots.

2. Fill a pan with boiling water and add a little salt, then over a high heat and bring up to the boil and blanch the carrots for approx 3 mins.

3. Drain, tip into a mixing bowl and and add the olive oil, cumin, brown sugar, chilli flakes and garlic and stir well to mix. Now, cover and leave to marinate for a couple of hours at room temperature.

Cooking the carrots

1. You need your barbecue ready for direct grilling i.e. a hot flame grill (or preheat a cast-iron griddle pan on the hob).

2. Lay the carrots out and grill/cook for 15–20 minutes, turning regularly, until they are caramelised. Baste the carrots with any excess marinade from the bowl as you turn them.

Serve

1. Once soft and caramelised, scatter them over a serving plate and dot generously with ricotta. Sprinkle chopped spring onions, chopped pecans and coriander, then drizzle a good glug of olive oil season with pepper.

Reference: Olive Magazine

Green beans with crispy chickpeas

This brings a bit of green to your table and has a lovely crunch to it.

It takes no more than 30 mins and serves around 4 – 6 people.

TOTAL TIME:hours 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 tsp. whole coriander
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 450 g green beans, trimmed
  • Grilled lemons, for serving

Method

  1. Mix your chickpeas, coriander, cumin and add 1 tbsp oil to a frying pan or cast-iron skillet and cook them on a medium heat (BBQ or stove top)
  2. Toss occasionally, until golden brown and coriander begins to pop, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Now, add green beans and remaining tablespoon olive oil to the frying pan/skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning once, until charred and barely tender, approx 3 to 4 minutes. Toss green beans with chickpea mixture and serve with grilled lemons alongside.

Reference: Country Living

Have any good veggie sides? Leave a comment…