Side Dish Showdown: June Round-up Part One

It’s time for the June Side Dish Showdown round-up! June was the most successful month so far with over 40 entries. For that reason I have broken up the round-up into two parts. Let’s get right down to business!

Joanne of Eats Well With Others made two side dishes. The first is a Sauteed Cauliflower with Feta and Mint. Joanne says “The sharp tangy feta with the sweet mint against the pretty neutral background of cauliflower. All tied together by the salty seasoned breadcrumbs. It was a dish that hit every part of my palate. And made it smile.”

Sauteed Cauliflower with Feta and Mint @ Eats Well With Others

Her second dish is a Pesto Rice Salad. “…as for that pesto? I showed it. I threw it into a rice salad along with some cherry tomatoes and locally grown asparagus. A dish that satisfied my every spring craving.”

Pesto Rice Salad @ Eats Well With Others

Saveur from The Taste Space – steam, bake, boil, shake! also sent two side dishes. The first is this Lentil and Rhubarb Stew with Indian Spices. Saveur says “It had many complex levels of flavour, with the ginger and garlic, then the cardamom and cloves and finally little pockets of poached rhubarb. It was different and I enjoyed it, which is most important. I served this with rice as a vegetarian entree, but it could also accompany an Indian-spiced meat dish.”

Lentil and Rhubarb Stew with Indian Spices @ The Taste Space

Saveur’s second entry are Asiago Crusted Baked Zucchini Sticks. “I liked the extra smokey flavour brought by the paprika into the crunchy coating. A bonus for this recipe is that the zucchini is baked, not fried. Perfect as a side, and if you make big pieces, great for dipping into a marinara or tzatziki sauce as a appetizer.”

Asiago Crusted Baked Zucchini Sticks @ The Taste Space

Kelly from The Pink Apron made a ‘tried-and-true favorite’ Almost My Father’s Pasta Salad. Kelly says “I prepared the bird using Ina Garten’s recipe for Perfect Roast Chicken Roasted chicken and tossed it with grapes, celery, scallions, cheddar cheese, cashews and pasta. I added my own spin with the dressing. It just so happens that as I was gathering ingredients for the salad Whole Foods was having a great sale on avocados (5 for $4) so I decided to add some to my dressing. Pureed with low fat mayo, nonfat greek yogurt, honey and lime juice, avocados make for a rich dressing that nicely balances sweet and sour. Delicious yet unfussy, this is a great salad to bring to a cookout or to add to your lunchbox.”

Almost My Fathers Pasta Salad @ The Pink Apron

Angie of Angie’s Recipes made a Tomato Cucumber Salad. “A really simple and refreshing tomato cucumber summer salad with and a light citrus dressing and fresh parsley.”

Tomato Cucumber Salad @ Angies Recipes

Joanne of The Winelady Cooks made Grilled Polenta Parmigiana. Joanne says “…it is very easy, fast, and delicious — and it’s also a great vegetarian side dish. I like grilled polenta which I sometimes make as appetizers. This week I made them parmigiana style to go with our grilled chicken breasts and grilled shrimp. These polenta parmigiana rounds were a perfect match.”

Grilled Polenta Parmigiana @ The Winelady Cooks

Lori of Fake Food Free made Patty Pan Squash stuffed with Basil Orzo. It was Lori’s first time cooking Patty Pan and she says “The yellow Patty Pan that I used had a sweet, fresh flavor. They seemed even sweeter to me than standard yellow straight or crooked-neck summer squash. The basil and cheese combination with its slight saltiness paired perfectly with the tender, sweet flesh of the squash.”

Patty Pan Squash stuffed with Basil Orzo @ Fake Food Free

Stacia of The Domestic Engineer made two dishes too! Her first being these Easy Caramelized Onions. Stacia says “This recipe is super duper easy with the ingredients being things that lots of people have on hand. They take a little bit of time- but it is well worth it! I do use beer to caramelize the onions. The beer cooks WAY down and the sugars in it get all yummy. But if you prefer not to use the stuff, you can probably sub in some chicken broth and about 1 tbl. or so of brown sugar.”

Easy Caramelized Onions @ The Domestic Engineer

Stacia’s second dish is this Cream of Broccoli Soup. “This broccoli soup was so much better than I had hoped for. It was VERY easy to put together and tastes great on it’s own, or with sour cream on top. I hear that the cheese was good on top too. Next time I might try some crumbled bacon on top! Yum!”

Cream of Broccoli Soup @ The Domestic Engineer

Faith of An Edible Mosaic made a Snow Pea & Sesame Saute Faith says “…sometimes I get to the market and all my good intentions fall to the wind because I see something (usually some form of fresh produce) that just calls to me. That’s exactly what happened when I saw these pretty snow peas. They cook up in a matter of minutes and form a fantastic summer meal paired with grilled teriyaki chicken and jasmine rice.”

Snow Pea and Sesame Saute @ An Edible Mosaic

Tigerfish of Teczcape – An Escape to Food made two dishes this time around. Her first is Spicy Cauliflower and Potatoes – an Aloo Gobi mistake. “I ran out of tomatoes one day. How can I? So in that incident, I made Aloo Gobi without them.Aloo Gobi is one of the most-often-cooked Indian vegetarian dishes in my home. So flavorsome. I love the blend of tomatoes and cauliflowers with some “starchy” potatoes – making it so stew-like; and the mix of spices NOT EXCLUDING coriander/cilantro leaves…bringing nuances of flavors.”

Spicy Cauiflowere and Potatoes @ Teczcape An Escape to Food

The second dish from Tigerfish is a Stir-fry Hairy Gourd with Black Fungus and Green Peas. “This furry hairy Little Winter Melon also known as Hairy Melon can be stir fried, not just in soup or steamed. I used to braise them with dried shrimps, shitake mushrooms and glass noodles into a deep flavorsome dish. Today, I am doing it milder with black fungus and green sweet peas. Black fungus gives this dish deep earthy flavors. Green peas are also naturally sweet. With that touch of salt and white pepper to taste, the dish finishes off with that drizzle of sesame oil for shine and aroma.”

Stir-fry Hairy Gourd with Black Fungus and Peas @ Teczcape An Escape to Food

Jaysus from Dinner and a Concert is back with his Red Lentil Curry and Onion Cakes. Jaysus says “Lentils are an amazing food nutritionally and are really dynamic as far as things you can do with them. They’re pretty good cold too for picnics and the like.”

Red Lentil Curry and Onion Cakes @ Dinner and a Concert

Allie from Eat at Allie’s made Italian Garlic Bread. Allie says “A lot of times the best dinners are the easy ones. Pasta, salad, bread, done. This Italian Garlic Bread is a great compliment to even the most basic dinners.”

Italian Garlic Bread @ Eat at Allie's

Susan from A Kenetic Energetic but not Genetic Diabetic is a newcomer to the Showdown who made two side dishes. Her first is Lime Roasted Carrots. Susan says these are “Easy, tasty and good for you.”

Lime Roasted Carrots @ A Kenetic Energetic but not Genetic Diabetic

Susan’s second dish is this Saffron Orzo with Spring Vegetables. “I love using up the bottoms of things. I had about 2″ of orzo in a jar, some fava beans I steamed, fresh spinach and a few saffron threads. I thought I would put them all together.”

Saffron Orzo with Spring Vegetables @ <a href=

Louanne of Louanne’s Kitchen made a Red Bean & Rice Salad. Louanne says “Do you ever just want to change things up and make something unexpected for a potluck or cookout? I mean, something other than potato salad or baked beans or coleslaw? Anyway, red bean and rice salad lends itself to culinary creativity, lime and cilantro, oregano and feta, and onward.”

Red Bean & Rice Salad @ Louanne's Kitchen

Sara of Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice (where the good go to be bad…) made Easy Tortellini Alfredo Rosa. Sara says “I love pasta. I love it because it can be elegant, rustic, sexy, and simple. I love it because, generally, it is easy to whip up. Yes, pasta is our friend…now my hips will strongly disagree…but my heart…it is in love. This recipe is a fabulous side dish, as well a as an entree. You can serve it with grilled chicken or on its own.”

Easy Tortellini Alfredo Rosa @ Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

Ana of Magic Flavors is back with her Sweet & Sour Aubergines. Ana says “This dish is based on the Sicilian classic Caponata. It can be made up to 2 days ahead and reheats very well. For a sensational side dish or toss through cooked pasta. Aubergines can be purchased all year round and come in different varieties of colour and shape. Put aubergines on your weekly shopping list and you will be amazed what creations you discover.”

Sweet and Sour Aubergines @ Magic Flavours

Tricia from This Happy Home made Oven Brown Rice. Tricia says “We are a white rice family. We’d love to be a brown rice family but when we eat dishes like Kung Pao chicken or bourbon chicken, brown rice just doesn’t do it for us. I found this recipe several months back, though, and it really changed our opinion on brown rice. We still don’t eat it for many dishes but we’re starting to use it more. Its an incredibly simple recipe with just the right amount of flavor. I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this dish.”

That wraps up Part One. If you don’t see your dish here look for it in Part Two tomorrow. And thank-you for sending me your dishes! Hope to see you all next month! xo

I’m taking your dishes for the July Showdown – add your links here and be sure to look over the guidelines I’ve made some small changes. And don’t forget to send me your favorite burger (beef, turkey, chicken, bean, veggie or fish) recipes for the Burger Free For All!

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