Category Archives: Sides

Grilled Eggplant

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Grilled Eggplant

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 4 - 6

Grilled Eggplant

Grilling season is well underway and we need side dishes!

Eggplant seems to get a bad rap and might not be on your short list of preferred sides. But give it another try. Grilled eggplant is fabulous, simple, and purple!


Eggplant soaks up a lot of oil. It may look as if it needs more, but 1/4 cup of oil is plenty for this recipe. Add too much and it will get soggy.

While we prefer to prepare this over a charcoal grill for its smoky flavor, a gas grill will also work. We've even prepared it in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat.

Want to add a little something different? Sprinkle both sides with Zatar before grilling!


  • Eggplant
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Grill 3 to 4 minutes each side until the eggplant is browned and charred in spots. The inside of the eggplant should be soft.

Nicoise Salad



She says: Nicoise (nee-swaz) salad is a great way to get your daily veggies. It also packs in some great protein and healthy fats. And it’s just so darn beautiful! My typically veggie-ambivalent crew doesn’t even complain about this salad.

He says: “Another amazing salad,” says the non-salad guy. I’m being forced to reevaluate my opinions on salad, and I don’t like changing my mind about things. #DYBL!! But seriously, look at that thing: it’s like eating a garden, but better. It’s like eating a garden that grows fish plants and egg stalks in addition to the usual green vegetable stuff. (Can beef sprouts and pork pods be far behind? Get on it, science!)

Nicoise Salad

Yield: 4 Servings

Nicoise Salad


While the tuna here was pan-seared, feel free to prepare it on the grill. Grilling will add a nice, light smokiness to the fish.

Preparation of the eggs, potatoes, and beans might be a bit more work than you want for a salad, but those can all be prepared even a couple days in advance.

Nicoise olives can be difficult to find. In fact, actual Nicoise olives are quite difficult to come by as they are grown in Cote d'Azur -- and in limited quantities. You are more likely to find Nicoise-style olives, which are still incredibly delicious. Feel free to substitute with any small black olive, such as kalamata or Moroccan dry-cured olives.


  • 1 pound tuna steaks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosker salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and blanched
  • 1 pound of new potatoes
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 4 eggs, medium-cooked and peeled
  • 1 cup nicoise olives
  • 8 cups of salad greens and herbs
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or grated
  • 2 teaspoons whole seed dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Using a medium pot, cover potatoes with salted water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Place eggs into a small pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover. Remove from heat and allow eggs to sit in the hot water for 6 minutes. Drain water. Run eggs under cold water to cool.
  3. When potatoes are finished cooking, drain and remove the potatoes to a bowl to cool. Fill the pot again with water and bring to a boil. .
  4. Fill a mixing bowl with ice water. This will be used to stop the cooking process for the beans.
  5. Add the green beans to the boiling water. cook for 3 minutes -- just until crisp-tender. Drain and immediately add green beans to the ice water to cool. Drain. Pat dry.
  6. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat oil. Season tuna with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, sear tuna for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes on each side until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees. Remove from heat and rest on a plate.
  7. Whisk together ingredients for the dressing until well-blended.
  8. Toss greens gently, but well (1-2 minutes), with half of the dressing.
  9. Line plates with salad greens. Top each plate with a tuna steak. Evenly distribute olives, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, and halved eggs among plates, arranging as desired.
  10. Drizzle each plate with remaining dressing.

Spinach Salad with Caramelized Orange and Shallot Dressing


While leafing through some accumulated notes, printouts, and clippings, I came across this incredible recipe and immediately imagined the photo.  It likely originated from America’s Test Kitchen.   The Spinach Salad recipe is a perfect accompaniment to the almond crusted chicken recipe found here.  Or, if you’d like, you can make this an entree salad by adding some leftover sliced chicken breast and toasted almonds! Continue reading Spinach Salad with Caramelized Orange and Shallot Dressing

Spinach Salad with Pecans, Goat Cheese, and Bacon Vinaigrette

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8 slices bacon
3 ounces pecans
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons bacon grease
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 10-ounce bag baby spinach
½ red bell pepper, cut into very thin strips

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil.  Place bacon on foil and bake for 10 minutes, or until bacon is crispy, turning once mid-way through baking time. Reserve 2 Tablespoons bacon grease.  Crumble bacon.
  2. In a dry nonstick skillet over medium low heat, toast pecans until fragrant. Rough chop the pecans.
  3. For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and canola oil until an emulsion begins to form. Add warm bacon grease and whisk again until combined.  Add salt and pepper as desired.
  4. Toss together spinach, red pepper, dressing until well-coated. Add half of the cheese, bacon, and pecans.  Toss again.
  5. Plate, sprinkling the remaining bacon, pecans, and cheese on top.