Savory Sides

As the weather begins to cool, add a bit of the unexpected to your dinner table.

The season is typically marked by gatherings of friends and family. Whether you’re hosting overnight guests, drop-in visitors or an important seasonal meal, taking a fresh approach to the menu can make the get-together more special. Check out these sides and appetizers that will leave them asking for more. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes and Balsamic Glaze

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup red California grapes
  • 2 tablespoons ready-to-use balsamic glaze
  • pinch of salt 
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 450°F. › On baking sheet, toss sprouts with olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste, until sprouts are well-coated. › Roast until deep golden brown, about 17-20 minutes, turning sprouts halfway through roasting. › Stir in grapes, and roast 3-5 minutes. › Transfer to bowl, drizzle with glaze or drizzle platter with glaze and pile sprouts on top. 

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Tomato Soup with Homemade Olive Oil Croutons

Prep time: 10 minutes

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 3 grilled red bell peppers in oil
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 cup Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus additional for brushing on bread 
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 10 basil leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices crusty bread

Cut small cross in bottom of tomatoes, and submerge in boiling water 30 seconds. › Let tomatoes cool in ice water 30 seconds; then remove skins. › In blender, blend tomatoes, red bell peppers, shallot, extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper, to taste, until mixture is smooth. › Add mixture to large pot, and heat, stirring frequently. Cut bread slices, brush with olive oil and grill 2 minutes per side over medium-high heat until visible grill marks have formed.

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Mushroom Carpaccio and Creamed Spinach Au Gratin

Prep time: 15 minutes

Mushroom Carpaccio:

  • 2 1/4 cups cremini mushrooms
  • Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • salt, to taste

Creamed spinach:

  • 2 1/4 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese 
  • salt & pepper

To make mushroom Carpaccio: Heat oven to 400°F. › Clean mushrooms, and cut into thin slivers. › Season with olive oil and salt. Set aside. › To make creamed spinach: Boil spinach 2 minutes, strain and place it into saucepan, over cream. › Cook 5 minutes. › In blender, purée mixture, and pour over mushroom Carpaccio. › Grate Parmesan cheese over entire dish; bake 5 minutes.

Carrots & Fresh Herbs With Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette

Prep time: 10 minutes | Servings: 6

Champagne-Dijon vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon clover honey
  • 1/2 cup Carapelli Organic Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon basil, finely chopped
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and finely shredded
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced, plus more cut into 3/4-inch pieces, for garnish
  • 1/3 cup Champagne vinaigrette
  • fine sea salt, to taste 
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • chive sticks, for garnish

In medium mixing bowl, combine Champagne vinegar, Dijon and honey. › Whisk constantly until well combined. › While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil to emulsify. › Add garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and basil, and whisk to combine. In mixing bowl, toss carrots, parsley and chives; add dressing. › Season, to taste, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. › Garnish with chive sticks. › Notes: Vinaigrette can be stored in refrigerator up to five days. For zestier salad, add additional 2 tablespoons vinaigrette to carrots; serve with crusty bread.

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