These Quick Side Dishes Are Full of Fall Flavors
Turn any meal into a fall feast by pairing your main course with a quick, simple seasonal side dish that's bursting with autumnal flavor. With the cooler weather comes a bounty of vegetables, including hearty greens, winter squashes, roots, and more. Whether you want to to turn on your oven and serve a warm, roasted dish or highlight the freshness of in-season produce with a cool, crisp side, these recipes will help you eat the best of the season and enjoy meeting your vegetable quota; perhaps best of all, each recipe of the seasonal recipes ahead comes together quickly, meaning dinner can be on the table before you know it.
Broccoli, Herb, and Pistachio "Grain" Salad
Go grainless when you make our Broccoli, Herb, and Pistachio "Grain" Salad, pictured above—it's actually made from broccoli rice (think cauliflower rice but with broccoli). To make it, boil broccoli florets in salted water until they are bright green and crisp tender, drain, and then chop chop chop into tiny bits with a knife or pulse a few times in the food processor. Toss with the crunchy goodness of tart fall apples and/or pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and a nice herbal note from cilantro and parsley. The result is one of our most colorful fall meal accompaniments.
Roasted Squash with Sesame Seeds and Cumin
Roasting slices is a speedier way to enjoy acorn squash as a side; preparing this vegetable whole or halved takes much longer. For our Roasted Squash with Sesame Seeds and Cumin, each slice is crusted in sesame seeds and cumin giving the squash a flavorful coating. Another reason we love this recipe: no peeling is needed. With all the grooves and curve of an acorn squash, peeling one can be tricky. And yes, you can eat the skins, but you don't have to.
Julienned-Carrot and Kale Salad
Just because it's cooler weather doesn't mean you have to turn the stove or oven on for a side dish. Slicing heartier fall vegetables into thin matchsticks helps them absorb the lemon-Dijon dressing for this Julienned-Carrot and Kale Salad. That tenderizes them a bit, although they still retain an addictive crunch. For easy carrot slicing, use a mandoline or food processor with the julienne attachment rather than by hand. A sprinkle of hemp seeds makes a healthy finish, but any seed or nut would be just as delicious and add a nutty complement to the fall flavor notes of this dish.
Smashed Salt-and-Vinegar Sweet Potatoes
Sure, you love roasted sweet potatoes, but did you know they are even better with this (quick) twice-cooked technique? Our Smashed Salt-and-Vinegar Sweet Potatoes have a crisp outside and creamy mashed potato-like center. The key to this dueling texture is steaming potato slices first, then smashing and roasting them. The mouthwatering salt-and-vinegar finish outs them over the edge. Delicate Champagne vinegar ensures the right amount of tang but rice vinegar or malt vinegar (think British chips!) are wonderful substitutes.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes with Walnuts
Does your fall farmers' market haul always include grapes and Brussels sprouts? Try pairing these seemingly unlikely partners in this decadent, yet easy side: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes with Walnuts marries perfectly oven-roasted sprouts with a caramelized sweet burst from roasted grapes. It's so simple to make: Just toss both with oil right on a baking sheet add fresh thyme and roast. Then finish with a touch of vinegar and some walnuts right out of the oven.
- Catbird Cottage's Melina Hammer Stays Cool with Her Summer Weeknight Dinner Prep, Here's How She Does It
- 3 Strategies for Making Quick Dinners That Maximize Fresh Summer Produce, According to a Chef
- Ali Slagle, Author of the Book "I Dream of Dinner (So You Don't Have To)," Shares Her Weeknight Meal Secrets
- Grilled Eggplant Parm Is the Weeknight Dinner We'll Be Making on Repeat All Summer