Side Dishes

Killer Sweet Potatoes

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Side Dishes | 3 comments

Move over beloved mashed potatoes; velvety Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes will be on your right this Thanksgiving.  Holiday side dishes become gemstones surrounding the essential turkey, dressing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. Most of us have a tried and true sweet potato or yam dish that dates back to Abigail Adams gracing our tables, but I wanted an easy tote-able one for a church dinner. Costco has 10-pound bags of Garnet Sweet Potatoes the size of small pets. My goal was not to peel and boil them; baking and scooping out the vivid potato starts a simpler show.








Wash the potatoes and poke them in a few spots with a sharp meat fork.








Place them on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake them for an hour or so until they weep.








Let the potatoes cool; then zip open the skin with a paring knife.  The printable recipe manages potatoes in two batches; firstly, because most of us do not own an industrial sized Hobart, secondly it allows for reducing the recipe by half.








Load the mixer bowl with potatoes, pure maple syrup, melted butter, salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg. 








Mash the potatoes on low at first creeping up to medium until they are smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings. 








Then with the mixer on low add the heavy cream and turn up the speed (I had to cover my mixer with a tea towel to keep potatoes from spackling the kitchen).








Spoon the potatoes into a buttered dish; cover and refrigerate for a day or so if necessary.  Bring to room temperature and bake covered until heated through. 









Luxurious, rich and sweet enough to spoil a baby forever--

Maple –Whipped Sweet Potatoes


  • 8 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prick each potato in several spots with a sharp meat fork. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until tender (up to an hour depending on the size).
  2. Remove from the oven and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel the potatoes and add half to a large mixing bowl. Mash the potatoes; adding half the butter, half the syrup, and half the seasonings. Mix until smooth. With the mixer at low speed, add half the heavy cream in a steady stream until completely combined; taste and adjust seasonings. Remove to a buttered baking dish. Repeat the procedure with the second half of potatoes and remaining ingredients. Place the second round of potatoes over the first and smooth the top with a spatula. May be covered at this point and refrigerated up to a day. Remove the sweet potatoes from the refrigerator and allow to get to room temperature before reheating at 350 degrees until heated through.
  3. Serves 16-20 as a side dish
  4. © Copyright 2014 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  5. All Rights Reserved


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Pickle Me

Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in Side Dishes | 2 comments

I was dragging my heels.  All summer MP wanted to make pickles.  A few hundred years ago, we laboriously boiled jars and “canned” bread and butter pickles imitating his mid-western memories. I could handle that mess a few hundred years ago.







While he was off chasing elk last week in Utah, I found Alton Brown’s recipe for Bread and Butter Pickles.  Then they appeared; 50-cent cucumbers.








Apple Cider vinegar, sugar, and a few spoons of seeds and spices create a hot brine to pour over








the onion slices











layered with thinly carved cucumber.











Snap the lids; stash in the refrigerator.








In one week, we will have these glorious easy peasy pickles.








P.S. I conquered my fear of the mandoline.  Cucumbers are a great gateway vegetable.











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Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Side Dishes | 0 comments

Drupes are fruits containing a hard stone or pit surrounded by flesh, including plums, apricots, nectarines, and peaches—even cherries.

White Peaches--blushing rose

Grilled Peach Salsa


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The Farmer’s Wife

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Side Dishes | 4 comments

Pickled Beets have their roots in the Midwest. (Get it)?  MP was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  As a 5 year old, he fondly remembers his mother’s cellar pantry stocked with jars of pickled beets and homemade applesauce.








MP bought these monster beets at the Farmers’ market for $1.00.  They were the size of a russet potato so slicing them to fit into the jars was my only option.  I looked to food guru, Alton Brown for this recipe.








Wrap the beets in a double layer of heavy-duty foil and








roast the pouch in the oven with shallots and rosemary until tender.








These emerged woodsy and fragrant enough to eat on the spot.








While they cool, boil the pickling ingredients.

























Peel and slice the beets and layer them alternately with French-cut red onion slices.  Pour the hot liquid over the beets and tightly cap the lids, cool and refrigerate for at least 3 days before serving.  This means you have to hide them…









These beets are not too vinegary or overly sweet—a true balance of both-- enhancing the earthiness beet aficionados adore. When they begin to get low, you can add more cooked beets or hard cooked eggs.  The eggs will turn pinkish purple all the way down to the yolk and are a stunning way to dress up a platter salad.

How many days can you wait?



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Pimentón Power

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in Side Dishes | 4 comments

Classic Romesco Sauce is Spanish—a combination of ripe tomatoes, roasted red peppers, raw almonds, bread, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil and smoked paprika (Pimentón de la Vera).  Its flavors famously enhance everything from vegetable crudities to grilled meats and pasta.  I have been making a light Romesco–style dip with roasted almonds as a vegetable dip for picnics and alfresco dining for several summers now.  Recently I wanted to step out with the smoky smooth orange sauce; and create a condiment that rides along everything from turkey burgers; Mediterranean grilled vegetable sandwiches, fish, to fries.









Toss the ingredients into the processor.








Give them a zziz and adjust the seasonings.








Wild Alaskan Salmon Sandwich on Homemade Toasted Bun with Romesco Aioli

My versatile Romesco Aïoli lends brilliant layers of flavor—fabuloso!





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A Marriage Made in Heaven

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Side Dishes | 0 comments

I am no stranger to the ageless marriage of meaty eggplant and sweet red peppers.  One Sunday afternoon, MP and I fired up four ovens, sliced, and diced our way through enough veggies to whirl up Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Spread for 150 guests at a Christian Seder meal.  Yesterday I revisited the smoky complex dish of garlicky-blistered vegetable “jam” to serve with my baked pita triangles.








Don’t panic--I tripled the recipe, hence the mound of vegetables.








You will need only one eggplant, red onion, two peppers (I mixed the colors) and fresh garlic.








Simply cube the vegetables into similar chunks and squares.  Place them in the bowl with garlic, salt, pepper and douse them with olive oil.  I used 2 tablespoons in the bowl and used the third to oil the foil-lined baking sheets. To make certain the vegetables roast and char and not steam--don't overcrowd the baking sheet.








After 20 minutes in the oven, turn the sheets and toss the vegetables before the second round in the oven.  Begin checking after 10-15 minutes.








At this point, these smoky gems may be served as a side dish or tossed with pasta.








Ina calls for a tablespoon of tomato paste; I substituted Tahini (sesame seed paste) to bump the eggplant umami.








To create the spread, load them in the food processor and pulse several times until sleek  and slightly chunky.








MP said, “pizza sauce”.

I quietly thought grilled cheese sandwich.

Make this and skip whatever you thought to serve with Easter dinner--It is that delectable!



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