Category Archives: Sides

Sorghum Salad with Dandelion Greens & Peaches

Happy August and hi from Queens! We’ve been here in our new apartment for about two and a half months now. It’s been fun decorating a new space and exploring a new neighborhood, and we love our new second floor sunset views. Being in a well kept building with a nice landlady is pretty sweet, too. And yes, we still have a few boxes scattered about and most of our art isn’t hung up and our windows are still draped with tablecloths instead of proper shades; it’s taken us some time to recover from the exhaustion and trauma of moving and fully settle in. Still, sure enough, our home is coming together. This week we finally bought paint (Benjamin Moore Pure White, a pretty pale gray) (because I am not a cream person) (at all) and last night we finally picked up our ladder from the old place. I’d like to get as much done as possible before I go back to work at the end of the month. Nevertheless, if there’s anything I’ve learned from both Apartment Therapy and by living in my last apartment, it’s that it’s okay to not do everything at once. That holding out for things I truly love can be a good thing.

In the meantime it’s the peak of summer which means that this girl is stuffing her face with allll the fruits and vegetables from the farmers market. Especially peaches. Maybe it’s because last year we had a peach shortage, but this year’s bounty tastes particularly delicious. Here I’ve combined them with dandelion greens, garlic scapes, sorghum, pecans, and balsamic vinegar to make a sweet and savory, fruity grain salad. It’s the kind of dish that would mix beautifully with a larger, barbecue style spread, yet is hearty enough on its own to enjoy as a light dinner.


*After you wash the dandelion greens, don’t dry– the moisture will help cook them.
*To toast the pecans, heat in a pan over medium heat for about 3 minutes, watching closely and stirring frequently.
*Because this recipe calls for fresh peaches, for most aesthetically pleasing results I recommend eating this dish right away.
*If you can’t find garlic scapes, feel free to use 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or sliced, instead. The cloves will cook more quickly than the scapes, so take care not to burn. I think a a bit of red onion would also be good.

¾ cup sorghum, rinsed
2¾ cups water or vegetable stock (I used water + ½ bouillon cube)
olive oil
5-7 garlic scapes, ends trimmed, chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bunch of dandelion greens, ends trimmed, chopped
1 tsp balsamic vinegar, divided, plus more for serving
¼ tsp agave
1-2 peaches, sliced
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
sea salt and black pepper

  • Place sorghum, water/stock, and a drop of olive oil in a saucepan and cook over high heat until boiling. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for about 50-60 minutes or until tender but still a little chewy. Drain and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil into a large pan and cook garlic scapes and red pepper flakes over medium low heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring now and then, until fragrant and a bit golden. I highly recommend using a splatter guard here, especially if cooking in cast iron. A lid, propped open a bit so steam can escape, will also work.
  • Add the dandelion greens and a couple splashes of water to the pan. Cover, turn the heat up to medium, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring and adding more water as needed. Turn off the heat and season with half the balsamic vinegar, the agave, and salt and pepper. Let cool.
  • Add the peaches and remaining ½ tsp of balsamic vinegar to the pan. Stir in the cooled sorghum and top with chopped toasted pecans. Wait a few minutes to let the flavors mingle, then taste for seasonings and serve drizzled with a bit more olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Yield: About 4 servings


Grilled Zucchini with Chickpeas & Dill

grilled zucchini with chickpeas and dill

From bread to butter to fritters (um heck yes), zoodles, and more, zucchini is pretty much everywhere these days.  Right now, however, my favorite way to enjoy this ubiquitous summer squash is grilled.  Tossed with olive oil, lemon, chickpeas, fresh dill, and toasted pine nuts, it makes for an easy and refreshing, thoroughly summery dish.  Enjoy as a side, or make it a full meal by adding some grains and/or crusty bread.  We had it over sorghum, topped with tomatoes, Cholula, and more extra-virgin olive oil– a combination I highly recommend!
*If grilling on a regular grill, simply toss the zucchini slices with a little high heat friendly oil instead of spraying on the grill itself.
*To toast the pine nuts, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes, watching closely, just until lightly browned and fragrant.

grilled zucchini with chickpeas and dillzucchini

1½ cups cooked /15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb zucchini, ends trimmed, halved if long, cut into thin strips (~1/8-1/4” thick)
cooking spray
½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (from ~½ lemon)
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup dill, chopped, plus a few bigger pieces for garnish
sea salt and black pepper

  • In a bowl, toss chickpeas with the red wine vinegar, minced garlic, and some salt and pepper.  Set aside to marinate.
  • Heat a grill pan over medium heat. When hot, spray with some cooking spray.  Cook zucchini slices , about 3-4 minutes per side, adding more cooking spray as necessary.
  • Toss grilled zucchini with chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, chopped dill, and toasted pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with extra dill fronds.

Yield: About 4 servings

grilled zucchini, chickpeas, dill, tomatoes

Snap Peas with Garlic Scapes & Radishes

snap peas with garlic scapes and radishes

I know, I know… another recipe with snap peas and garlic scapes.  In my defense, though, these ingredients rock– and I encourage you to savor them while you can.  I love garlic scapes because they lack the pungency of cloves, which can be overpowering in large amounts, yet still have plenty of savory flavor.  They very much hold their own with a certain verdant brightness and sweetness from sautéing that pairs deliciously with tender-crisp snap peas, radish, and basil.

2 cups snap peas, trimmed and de-stringed
extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic scapes, trimmed of stringy and dried ends, chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
handful of small radishes, sliced thin
juice from ¼ lemon, or to taste
sea salt and black pepper
handful of fresh basil, chopped

  • Heat a pot of salted water over high heat.  Prepare a bath of ice water.  When water reaches a boil, add snap peas and cook for about 4 minutes.  Drain and immediately transfer to ice bath to cool, then drain thoroughly.
  • Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a pan.  Cook garlic scapes and red pepper flakes over medium low heat, stirring now and then, until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Toss cooled snap peas with garlic scape-oil mixture, radish slices, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper; and garnish with basil.

Yield: About 4 servings


Sorghum with Snap Peas, Garlic Scapes, & Dill

sorghum, snap peas, garlic scapes

There’s a comfort in ritual.  For me, Sunday means farmers’ market.  While I’m fortunate enough to have access to multiple greenmarkets throughout the week (hello, Union Square), it’s the smaller, slightly quirky one that I can breezily walk to without making a day of it that is dearest to me and the one I get most excited about.  Phil teases me for this (and we laugh about this Superbad scene often), but even he has to admit that the fresh, local produce this time of year is pretty wonderful.  He also loved this dish– which is pretty damn seasonal.
*If you can’t find garlic scapes just use 2-3 regular garlic cloves, thinly sliced, and watch very closely while cooking.
*You can also substitute farro, wheat berries, or pearl couscous for the sorghum (though note that the recipe will no longer be gluten-free).

1 cup sorghum, rinsed and drained
3 cups water or vegetable stock (I used water + ½ bouillon cube)
extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
10-12 garlic scapes, trimmed of stringy and dried ends, chopped
2 cups snap peas, trimmed and de-stringed
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used heirloom grape)
generous handful of dill, chopped
sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Place sorghum, water/stock, and a drop of olive oil in a saucepan and cook over high heat until boiling.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for about 50-60 minutes (mine took 60) or until tender but still a little chewy.  Drain.
  • Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil into a large pan and cook garlic scapes and red pepper flakes over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring now and then.
  • Add snap peas, turn up heat a bit, and cook, stirring as needed, for 3-5 minute, or until snap peas are just cooked through.
  • Add snap peas and scapes to sorghum, and toss in the tomatoes and dill. Season with salt and pepper.  Serve warm or cool.

Yield: About 4-5 servings

sizzling garlic scapes

Roasted Romanesco with Creamy Horseradish Cashew Sauce

romanesco with horseradish cashew sauce

Oh horseradish, where have you been all my life?  Technically horseradish isn’t completely new to me, but it wasn’t until very recently that I experienced it fresh.  And now I’m hooked.


This crazy root vegetable satisfies my cravings for tang and heat, with a painful in a good way blast through the sinuses burn.  Here I’ve combined it with creamed cashews, lemon, and a little garlic– ingredients which temper its heat somewhat but keep its essence intact.  So far I’ve enjoyed this sauce on a tempeh sandwich, with beets, and dolloped on top of another freak vegetable (and fellow member of the brassicaceae family), romanesco, roasted in olive oil and garlic.  Most assuredly, if there’s a silver lining to the dropping temperatures and increasing dreariness, it’s the ability to use the oven without cooking myself into a sweaty mess.  In fact, a little oven warmth is now welcome.  Isn’t the pursuit of coziness kind of what fall is all about?  And while bathing myself in hot buttered pumpkin spice isn’t really my jam (but if it’s yours, rock on! no judgement here), enjoying roasted vegetables on the regular?  That I can get down with.
*This recipe makes more sauce than you will use on the romanesco. Try it on a sandwich, on a baked sweet potato (or regular potato), on roasted beets, and so on. I originally tried to make it with half the amount of all the ingredients, but had trouble processing such a small volume as smoothly as I wanted in my blender. But if you have a mini-processor or blender and want to try halving the recipe you might have more success.
*I pulsed in the horseradish for some texture, but if you’d prefer a smoother (and probably slightly spicier) sauce, you can add it at the same time as the other sauce ingredients.

roasted romanesco

1 head of romanesco, trimmed of outer stems and stalk, cut into chunks
2-3 garlic cloves, lightly smashed with the side of a chef’s knife handle
2-3 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
horseradish cashew sauce (recipe follows)
handful of fresh parsley, chopped, optional

  • Preheat oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Toss romanesco with olive oil, smashed garlic, salt, and pepper, and spread out on prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 30-35 minutes, stirring once half-way through, until nicely browned. Serve topped with a few dollops of horseradish cashew sauce and sprinkled with parsley (if using) and black pepper.

Yield: About 4 servings

Horseradish Cashew Sauce
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours, drained
1 garlic clove
¼ + 1 tbsp water
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt, to taste
4 tbsp grated fresh horseradish

  • Combine everything but the horseradish in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, stopping the machine to scrape sides as necessary. Add grated horseradish and pulse to combine. Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.

Yield: About 1 cup

romanesco with horseradish cashew sauce