Veggie Sides

Do you ever make a meal out of sides? Whether at home or at a restaurant, I tend to like side dishes and appetizers way more than committing to a full meal. I often make meals out of side dishes and little bits of this and that; I find it satisfying, a good way to sneak in a variety of nutrients, and also a good way to use up leftovers and to avoid waste. I have been loving a few simple sides lately and thought that since they all utilize delicious summery ingredients, I would share them.

I borrowed the first concept from a recent amazing dinner at Myers + Chang. Jazz up your corn on the cob with sriracha butter. Simple cook your corn however you normally do, boiled, grilled, whatever method you like best. Once nice and hot, add the corn to a baking dish with a few pats of butter and a couple of teaspoons of sriracha. It is such a simple idea but it is oh-so-good.

corn with sriracha butter

Summer also means tomato season, and I love to dress flavorful tomatoes with a simple drizzle of a really good olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, and a grind of black pepper. The flavors all work well together and really bring out the best in each other. It is a perfect option for someone like me who often arrives home STARVING and needs to eat something right away. Better a bowl of tomatoes than a bag of chips, no?

heirloom tomatoes

A couple of weeks ago in my first Wines from Where post, I mentioned that in addition to some great Assyrtiko wine, I also received some other Greek treats. They included a jar of Santorini capers and a crown made of vines. Because of the winds and loose soil on Santorini, the vines are trained to grow in a crown shape. The extras were a nice touch, and since I love cooking with capers (see Mezzetta caper recipe here), I put on my chef’s hat and got to work with one of my farmer’s market finds.

patty pan squash, capers

Thinly chopped pattypan squash, olive oil, garlic, and capers, all sautéed together until the squash was soft. Then I topped it with a little bit of feta, and voila, another side that actually is pretty filling as its own little meal.


I love how brightly colored summer foods are!

Boy, being back in the office after a long weekend is tough. It makes me even happier that we are leaving for Napa and Sonoma later this week for a long weekend!

How do you ease into the work week again after some time off?


I try to schedule fun things and a couple of relaxing evenings that week. I find that packing really delicious lunches or making a lunch date with a friend also gives me little things to look forward to if I HAVE to go to work ;)

Technorati Tags: , , , ,


Tags: Food, recipe, summer, vegetables, Vegetarian

  1. Alison’s avatar

    Love Myers + Chang!


  2. Abby’s avatar

    These all look sooo good! I’m so hungry right now as it is, and this are making it worse. Especially the tomatoes. I LOVE tomatoes! I can almost taste them! :)


  3. Danica’s avatar

    HOLY YUM! I DO need to try that combo on my corn. I LOVE Sriracha and butter :D Thanks for letting me know about it!

    I <3 tomatoes too – everything you made looks delicious!


  4. Baking Serendipity’s avatar

    Meals made of just side dishes seem so simple to me, and delicious. I can’t wait to give your corn recipe a shot :) I ease into work every day by checking out It’s a guilty addiction :)


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      I love that you start your day with! I usually read a little US Weekly plus some blogs. It’s a nice way to ease into less fun things :)


    2. Steve’s avatar

      I’m not a vegetarian but when I really think about it if I had to give up veggies or meat I’d drop the meat in a heartbeat. I’d miss all those great diverse flavors. It’s so easy to make a satisfying meal from just sides in my opinion.


    3. Simply Life’s avatar

      I’m all about the sides! Great idea for the corn!


    4. Daisy’s avatar

      what a fun new twist for the corn! the tomatos are also a great snacking idea. ive never been to myers and chang. why oh why haven’t I?!


    5. Elina’s avatar

      I love all of these ideas. Utilizing summer produce (while letting the flavors still shine) is my favorite summer “challenge.” :)
      I can’t remember – are you coming tomorrow?


    6. Liz Marr, MS, RD’s avatar

      Great, simple suggestions and photos – way to make veggies look mouth watering!


    7. Maytina’s avatar

      Everything you made look wonderful and I loooove all things Greek, that feta looks perfectly crumbly. I sometimes go for just sides – especially if I’m feeling snacky!


    8. Elizabeth’s avatar

      Yum! Summer veggies are wonderful and don’t last long. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate simple flavors. I love your idea for the corn, I’d bet it would be good with some cayanne or chipotle, too!


    9. Cooking with Coley’s avatar

      Sriracha butter… brillant! I love sriracha and am always looking for new ways to utilize it in my cooking. Thanks for highlighting this in your post!


    10. Jason Phelps’s avatar

      We actaully brought all fruit and vegtable dishes to weekend BBQs last weekend, two were grilled. It was a lot of fun to lay off the carbs and meat.

      Vegtables offer so many pairing options as well. I love having lots of different white wines around for summer veggies dishes.



    11. Raija’s avatar

      I heard about that corn on the cob from a friend at work too! Great idea!


    12. Clarice’s avatar

      Sriracha is too spicy for me, but I do love putting Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning on corn.


    13. Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards)’s avatar

      Siracha makes EVERYTHING better… and this looks awesome! Great idea.


    14. The Manly Housewife’s avatar

      Nice never thought about making a complete meal out of side.


    15. Magic of Spice’s avatar

      Looks wonderful…great finds and dishes:)


    16. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

      Your summer foods look so pretty!

      I love eating many side dishes as a main course, it’s so cool to have many small dishes to eat :)


    17. Lori Lynn’s avatar

      Really like the pairing of squash with capers.
      Happy summer!


    18. Cristina’s avatar

      Like the idea of the Sriracha butter on the corn. Where do you find those beautiful tomatoes …haven’t seen anything like that in our markets.

      Like you, I would opt for sides and appetizers vs a full on meal.


      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        I got the heirloom tomatoes at Trader Joe’s. They are definitely NOT local! I can’t wait until the end of August when local heirlooms become plentiful. Yum!


new restaurant
WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera