August 12, 2015 | Home & Happiness Team | Comments Off on Summer Side Dishes at Home and On-the-go!
One of our favorite things to do during the warmer months is enjoy the bounty of local produce.
Indeed, summer calls us to enjoy al fresco lunches, grilled dinners, and brunch on the patio… and no meal is complete without some delectable side dishes. Whether you’re staying at home on the deck or traveling to a get-together with loved ones, these recipes for summer side dishes, developed by Executive Chef Brian Alberg of the historic Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Mass., are good to go.
To bring along…
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
2 lbs mushrooms, sliced – recommended mushrooms include Shiitake, Oyster and Maitake (also known as Hen-of-the-Woods.) If using Portobello, remove the gills by de-stemming and scooping out
1 sprig of rosemary
3 sprigs of thyme
4 T sherry vinegar
3 ears sweet corn on the cob, blanched and de-kerneled
Kosher salt, to taste
1 1/2 cups olive oil for topping off the jars
Place a large skillet on medium heat. Add ¼ cup of olive oil to the pan and heat until simmering. Add garlic and shallots and cook for about 3 minutes until translucent. Add mushrooms, rosemary and thyme and simmer for 20 minutes. Deglaze the pan with sherry vinegar and simmer another 10 minutes. Add in blanched sweet corn, season with salt to taste and remove from heat. Lay out cooked mushroom mixture on a sheet pan to cool. After about a half hour (once the mixture has reached room temperature,) place in sealed quart containers. Top each container with the remaining olive oil so the mixture is completely covered and refrigerate.
For catered events at the inn, Chef Alberg says the Red Lion uses pint-sized mason jars to store the conserva. When serving, it’s brought up to room temperature and served directly out of the jar at the table. The conserva will last about two weeks in the refrigerator because the mixture is slightly pickled and preserved in olive oil. The recipe makes about 6 ½ cup portions, and pairs well with grilled flank steak, chicken breasts, and tried-and-true burgers.
To serve at home…
Asparagus Salad with Shaved Fennel and Manchego
2 oz. Bibb Lettuce, washed & torn
1 oz. 1 in. Asparagus, blanched
½ oz. Fennel, shaved
3 Red Grape tomatoes, cut in half
3 Yellow Pear tomatoes, cut in half
1½ fl. oz. Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
¼ oz. Manchego Cheese, shaved
1 pinch Ground Black Pepper
In the center of a salad plate, place the torn Bibb lettuce. In a stainless steel mixing bowl, combine the asparagus, fennel, yellow pear tomatoes, red grape tomatoes and lemon basil vinaigrette. Toss gently. Place over lettuce. Garnish the top of the salad with shaved Manchego cheese and ground pepper.
This dish pairs well with grilled salmon, lamb, and chicken, and also has a lot of color – if doubling or tripling the recipe to serve a larger group, it looks great when served on a flat platter.
If you try your hand at either of these summer side dishes, please share a photo with us! We’ll be looking at other great recipes and outdoor entertaining ideas this week on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, too.
Chef Brian Alberg is a staunch supporter of the local food movement in the Berkshires. He is a co-founder of Berkshire Farm & Table, an organization with the mission is of cultivating regional economic development through the advancement of food culture in the Berkshires, and is a member of the James Beard Foundation.