Thursday, September 29, 2011

Saute of Garden Vegetables

Does anyone else occasionally have trouble coming up with a side dish for whichever epic main dish you're having for dinner? I know I do. I'm always looking for certain criteria in a good side dish, and rarely does everything line up. A) It has to taste good (obviously). B) I'd like if were healthy. Mostly vegetables is a good way to go. It's easy to come up with a starch, like potatoes or pasta or rice, but somehow I don't think it's a good idea to eat starch and only starch as my side. and C) Preferably, it should be simple, or at very least, easy to throw together. Lord knows my main is usually enough work all by itself.

Enter: the answer to your side dish prayers.

You've got fresh, hardly fussed-with, garden flavors. You've got three different kinds of veggies (four, if you want to count the onion), sauced with just a touch of olive oil and butter, most of which you'll most likely already have on hand. And it's easy - blanch, saute, serve. It's not terribly impressive... but it is pretty darn good. And heck, it's even pretty. :)

Saute of Garden Vegetables
from Williams-Sonoma Cooking at Home
yields 6 servings

4 carrots, peeled
4 celery stalks
3/4 lb slender green beans
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley

1. Keeping them separate, cut the carrots and celery stalks into strips 2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick and wide. If the beans are more than 2 inches long, cut them to match the carrots and celery.
2. Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the carrots and boil for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the carrots, drain and set aside. Add the celery to the boiling water and boil for 30 seconds, then scoop them out, drain, and set aside. Add the green beans and boil for 2 minutes, then drain and set aside.
3. In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the onion and saute, stirring, until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and green beans and continue to saute until the vegetables are tender but not too soft, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the parsley and mix well. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve right away.


  1. Oh what a delicious healthy dish, looks great!! :)

  2. Now that I'm faced with the same side-dish selection dilemmas myself, I marvel at my mom's cooking when I was a kid. She always managed to cook a main course and two or three side dishes plus a salad while working 40+ hours a week at the hospital. How the hell do moms do that sort of thing?

  3. Yes, I struggle with side dishes all the time. Especially because my husband hates vegetables. If I want them, I have to make a small serving for myself, which is fine because I know I need my veggies, but I usually just end up steaming something and calling it a day. These veggies look tasty and I like the variety!


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