Side Dishes

Bob Barker's Summertime Pasta Salad

1 lb. tri-color fusilli pasta
3 bell peppers (yellow, red and green), cut into strips
6 oz. grape tomatoes, halved (1 cup)
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 (6.5 oz.) jar marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
1 red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and transfer to a baking sheet to cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss together the bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, artichokes, onion, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Add the pasta, basil and lemon juice and toss again. Season to taste with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

Brioche and Mushroom Stuffing

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
3 small shallots
2 celery stalks
1 1/2 lbs. mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. pernod
1 (15 oz.) brioche loaf, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Heat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and set aside. Melt 2 Tbsp. of the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Finely chop the shallots and celery and cook in the butter until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and salt and brown them, about 8 minutes. Add the Pernod and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with the remaining ingredients. Transfer to the prepared dish, dot with remaining butter, and bake until heated through and top is golden, 30 to 40 minutes.

TIP: Pernod gives this stuffing a subtle anise flavor. If you prefer, substitute either brandy or sherry.

Cherry Pepper Salad (Bobby Flay)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
8 oz. cherry peppers, unpeeled, or 1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together the vinegar and garlic in a medium bowl.
Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the peppers, tomatoes, and parsley and stir to combine.
Taste for salt and pepper and set aside at room temperature.
(The salad can be made a few hours in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Chinese Vermicelli (Pasta & Co.)

cup sesame oil
cup black soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. hot chili oil
2 Tbsp. black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 1/8 lbs. fresh vermicelli
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, for ganish

In a large bowl, whisk together sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, chili oil, and vinegar.
Cook vermicelli in boiling water until barely tender (probably less than a minute). Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. With your hands, immediately toss the pasta with the dressing, making sure pasta is completely and evenly coated. Add seeds and continue folding dressing through the pasta, literally "wiping" the bowl with the vermicelli. Remove to a shallow platter, top with green onions, and serve at room temperature.

Garlic Green Beans (

1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper

Place beans and enough water to cover in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Toss beans with garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil. Serve immediately.

Kale Salad

4 cups chopped kale
2 cups cooked wild rice, cooled
1 small bulb fennel, cored and shaved
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 thinly sliced red pepper
1 small thinly sliced red onion
1 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 1/2 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. chopped garlic
2 tsp. honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop washed kale and add remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Combinte dressing ingredients in screw-type jar; cover and shake well. Pour dressing over salad, toss to coat.

Potato & Corn Risotto

2 lbs. Idaho potatoes
2 cups (16 oz.) light cream or half-&-half
4 shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsps. butter
2 cans of corn
16 oz. chicken stock/vegetable stock/water
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. tarragon
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Skin potatoes and dice into small pieces. Soak in cream.
Sweat shallots and garlic in 2 Tbsps. of butter until translucent.
Add potatoes with cream and bring to simmer. Stir constantly. When cream has reduced add chicken stock, corn and season. Simmer for 5 minutes. (The mix should simmer a total of ~30 min., until potatoes are tender.)
Remove from heat, add tarragon and parmesan cheese and serve.

Saffron Rice

1 cups garlic and butter flavor quick-cooking rice
1 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp. butter
1/8 tsp. saffron threads

Place rice, broth, butter and saffron in medium saucepan. Stir, cover and bring to boil on high heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir and serve.

Spanish Rice

1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, with their juices
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies, drained
1 Tbsp. onion powder
tsp. ground cumin
tsp. sugar
tsp. garlic powder
tsp. dried oregano
tsp. salt
cup sliced black or green Spanish olives (optional)
1 cup medium- or long-grain white rice

In a large saucepan, combine the tomato sauce, tomatoes and their juices, chilies, onion powder, cumin, sugar, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and olives, if using. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir in the rice.
Cover the pan, turn the heat to low, and simmer the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to allow the rice to rest for 5 minutes. Serve at once with broiled fish or pan-fried pork chops.
Serves 4.

Spinach Salad with Shrimp and Feta (Rachel Ray)

1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. spicy mustard
1 Tbsp. honey
Salt and pepper
8 oz. spinach
1/2 cup feta cheese

In a medium skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until opaque, 2 to 3 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the shallot, vinegar, mustard and honey; season with salt and pepper. Pour in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until thick. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked shrimp to the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange the spinach on a platter or individual plates. Place the warm shrimp on top and drizzle with any remaining dressing. Scatter the feta on top.