Our Best Summer Sides

on July 19, 2011
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Cajun Corn and Kale Salad

Summer veggies unite in this bright corn, tomato, celery and kale salad. And once you add a little Cajun spice to the mix, you’ve got yourself a versatile summer side perfect for pairing with barbecue, burgers or folding into soft chicken tacos.

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Black Beans

Beans, beans, beans. We just can’t get enough of these little legumes! Black beans have got your back when it comes to Tex-Mex. So whether you want a soup or a side, our all-encompassing black bean recipe will provide. Pair it with Cuban-style mojo-marinated pork and fried plantains for a tropical twist.

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Sugar Snap Peas with Mint and Lemon

In the summer you don’t need a lot to make crunchy snap peas shine. With a wash of lemon juice and a touch of mint, you have a snappy side that can be paired with just about anything.

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Warm Kidney Bean Salad

Kidney beans are fiber and protein packed, making them a great side choice. This fresh and light salad will be a great alternative to traditional baked beans at your next summer grill-out.

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Orzo Veggies

From first glance, it is easy to assume orzo has a bit of an identity crisis. After all, it is pasta posing as rice and bearing a name that means barley in Italian. But we assure you, orzo is right where he belongs in this summery veggie salad.

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Spanish Rice

Did you know that Spanish rice isn’t really Spanish at all? In fact, it is a Mexican original and practically non-existent across the Atlantic. But thank your lucky stars this dish of browned rice, tomatoes, onions and garlic is stateside because it will make your summer dishes sizzle.

Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe? Say what? This green and non-heading variety of broccoli is little known and often forgotten about. But our guide to understanding rabe will open you up to a simple sautéed side that will bring bite and all-important nutrients to mealtimes.

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Classic Caesar Salad

The classic Caesar salad was created in 1924 when chef Caesar Cardini was low on supplies. He was forced to use the random ingredients he had in his kitchen to make salads to serve his patrons. Almost a century later, it's still a go-to staple in the summertime. It pairs well with almost anything; add a piece of grilled chicken or fish and you have a perfect summer dinner.

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Blueberry Farro Salad

Blueberries in a farro salad? You bet. Fresh and peak-of-the-season berries give this flavorful dish an extra little burst of sweetness to balance its cumin and coriander-spiced base.

Peach and Prosciutto Salad

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Tabbouleh with Green Beans and Feta

Tabbouleh is one of the most popular salads in the Middle East, and after trying this Americanized side dish of crunchy green beans and crumbly feta, you will know why.

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Sautéed Radishes

Yes, it may sound a little odd, but we want to see radishes get off of the garnish train! A side of this simple radish sauté will give broiled white fish or roasted chicken dish the crunch it needs.

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Herbed Tomato Salad

Your local farmers' market or produce stand is no doubt overflowing with ripe and juicy tomatoes right about now. And you're going to need some to make this herbed tomato salad. And go outside your comfort zone! For a new taste, try a deep purple Cherokee heirloom or other variety instead of the basic on the vine.

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Cucumbers with Oregano, Feta and Pine Nuts

Cucumbers don’t need a whole lot of dressing up in the summertime. Simply highlight their naturally cool and crispy crunch with some oregano, feta and pine nuts. Pair the fresh salad with hot-off-the -grill chicken or salmon.

Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Mixed Greens with Garlic

Get your chef hat on because we expect you to be versatile and experimental with your greens. Whip up this healthy side using chard, kale, escarole, turnip greens, curly endive or beet greens. Just go with what looks fresh at the farmers’ market and toss it in the salad bowl!

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