I’m so bad at serving sides with dinner. For some reason it’s just not on my radar while I’m menu planning. Only once I’m finished making supper do I think, “huh, maybe I should have made something to serve along with this”. Oh well, the good thing is we don’t over eat very often. ;)
I have made this Parmesan Walnut Broccoli many times though. It’s so quick and easy that even if I think to make it last minute it doesn’t put off dinner. Besides my family loves broccoli so I know there’ll never be any complaints when I serve it. Especially when it’s tossed with toasted walnuts and parmesan. Mmm.
This year I even had some broccoli growing in my garden. Nothing’s more satisfying than going outside, cutting some broccoli and whipping up a quick and, virtually free, side dish. “It was me! I did that!”
(That was a Madagascar reference for those who can’t hear my bad imitation. I heart King Julien.)
Parmesan Walnut Broccoli
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 heads broccoli (or 1 large), cut into florets
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
Cook broccoli in oil over medium-high heat until it begins to soften, season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and walnuts; cook until broccoli is crisp tender and walnuts are toasted. Toss with lemon juice, red pepper flakes and parmesan to serve.
Adapted from Martha Stewart.
I’m not a great salad person. I love salads, don’t get me wrong, but I seem to enjoy them more as a main dish because you can add things like grilled chicken and black beans. Most of the time they fall flat as a side dish for me since I seem to have absolutely no creativity when it comes to vegetables. (Fruity salads on the other hand don’t seem to be a problem.) One of my goals is to try to find more side-salads to add to my repertoire. So, if you know any good ones feel free to shout them out!
We’ve been making this salad since last year. It started out as just a cucumber and tomato salad since the guys love cucumber. Then we made a few more additions and turned it into a favourite. So much so that it’s pretty much the only salad we eat. And so far we haven’t gotten tired of it (that’s saying a lot).
I wasn’t sure what to call this salad. It’s pretty reminiscent of a greek salad but it tastes nothing like it since it’s coated in ranch dressing rather than a greek vinaigrette. It goes great with pretty much any main dish or grilled meat and it takes advantage of those plentiful summer cucumbers and tomatoes.
One thing I have learned is that the key to a tasty salad is seasoning the vegetables with salt and pepper before dressing. This seriously makes all the difference and I strongly encourage you to try it in all your savoury salads.
What’s your go-to salad at dinnertime?
Chunky Cucumber Salad
Feel free to adjust the amounts to your taste. I always just toss things in until it looks good, so this is an estimation of the amounts you use. Do what’s best for you.
- 1 english cucumber, quartered and chopped
- 1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup (heaping) olives, sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 cup chopped feta
- 1 cup croutons
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
- Place cucumbers and tomatoes in a medium-sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add olives, feta, croutons and dressing. Toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Feeding a crowd? To make this salad stretch further add a head of chopped romaine lettuce.