Off to the Side

We have our favorite or traditional main dishes and we have our popular desserts but when it comes to side dishes we’re always looking for something a little different. Side dishes dress up your plate and round out the flavors of your meal.

You can, of course, go with kugels or knishes but there are so many delicious options that we would like to share with you!

No need to stand over the stove before the seudah. Prepare this dish Erev Yom Tov and refrigerate. Reheat, covered, over a low fire or in the oven.

Pasta with Peas

12 ounces small pasta-like bow-ties or shells

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

8 shallots, peeled and cut in quarters

2 cups sugar snap peas (about 8 ounces)

2 cups snow peas

1 cup frozen peas

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, checked and chopped

1/2 pound pastrami, sliced thin

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm, stirring often. Drain pasta but do not rinse. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid. Transfer pasta to large bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon oil.

In large skillet over medium high heat, sauté shallots about 5 minutes, pressing with spoon to separate layers. Add snap peas; stir until bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Add snow peas and frozen peas, stirring just until thawed, about 1 minute. Slice pastrami into thin ribbons.

Add pea mixture, pastrami and parsley to the pasta bowl. Add enough cooking liquid to moisten pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This dish is a family favorite!

Wild Rice Cranberry
Pecan Salad

1 cup brown rice-wild rice mix

2 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon canola oil

1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisins)

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/4 cup sliced scallions

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring rice, salt, canola oil and water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 50 minutes. Do not stir. Do not uncover. Remove from stove and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Then uncover, fluff with a fork, and let cool to almost room temperature.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the rice, cranberries, pecans, and scallions together.

In a separate bowl or jar, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, orange zest, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, mix dressing in with the rice mixture. Serve warm, chilled or room temperature.

This dish can be prepared a day or two in advance. Before serving, allow it to come to room temperature; then rewarm, uncovered, in a 350° oven for 20 minutes.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

8 sweet potatoes

1 cup craisins

4 tablespoons vegetable or cottonseed oil, divided

2 large ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and cored and cut in half-inch cubes

1 cup pecans, lightly chopped

4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

4 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350° F. Pierce each sweet potato in several places with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender, about 55–60 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, place the craisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Craisins will plump and soften. Let stand for 5 minutes and drain well.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick skillet. Add cubed pears and sauté until soft and golden, about 4 minutes. Add craisins, pecans, ginger and sugar. Sauté one minute longer. Add 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl to cool.

Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining oil over low heat. Whisk in the remaining vinegar and heat through. Set aside.

Cut off 1/4 of each sweet potato, lengthwise. Using a fork, gently mash some of the flesh in each potato. Drizzle approximately 1 teaspoon of the oil and vinegar mixture into each sweet potato and use the fork to combine slightly. Press the flesh down into each sweet potato and fill with the craisin-pear mixture, mounding it generously. Serve warm.