The weather has been just beautiful in the Northeast – it feels like exactly what I think of when I think of Spring – sunshine, happiness and energy and life everywhere you look. Whether it’s runners and bikers working up a sweat, the smokey smell of a grill or the crowded streets in our Fenway neighborhood this week, Spring has taken over Boston and I LOVE it.
In the spirit of Spring, I made a delicious and healthy veggie side dish for Easter dinner. When flipping through this month’s Every Day with Rachel Ray magazine, this beautiful presentation of vivid colors caught my eye, and I knew I had to make it on Easter. I modified the recipe a bit, and when I make it next time there are some things I still plan to do differently, but I’ll take you through it and let you decide what sounds the most yummy to you!
What you’ll need:
- 1 bunch of asparagus; trimmed and cut into angled 1″ pieces
- 1 head of endive ( Note: this is very bitter; I will leave it out next time around, but some of you may be endive fans)
- 1 head of radicchio, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pine nuts – toasted
- 3 tbsps pepperoncini (the recipe called for one, but I like to add a little more kick)
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- 4 tbsps balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- First heat 1 1/2 teaspoons EVOO, add pine nuts and cook stirring regularly until golden brown – note they can burn fast, so keep a close eye on them. It will take about 5 minutes; remove pine nuts when finished
- Heat another 1 1/2 teaspoons EVOO and then add cut asparagus, cook for 3-4 minutes until bright green but still crisp; season with salt and pepper in pan; remove when finished and add to a bowl with pepperoncini, radicchio and endive (again, endive is optional!)
- Heat another 3 tbsps EVOO; add garlic and stir in vinegar; cook until slightly reduced and add over mixed veggies in bowl; toss and add more salt and pepper to taste
- Pour veggies on the platter/serving dish and sprinkle pine nuts on top
It’s really quote easy folks and I highly recommend giving it a try!
Anyways, back to endive… I think it might be an acquired taste. Do you like it? If so, what dishes do you like to include it in? Feel free to sell me on it because I swear I’ve enjoyed it in the past, but this weekend it was a bit too bitter for me.