Easter Side Dishes: Balsamic Ginger Glazed Carrots and Cucumber Fennel Tzatziki Salad

Balsamic Ginger Glazed Carrots

Balsamic Ginger Glazed Carrots

Cucumber Fennel Tzatziki Salad

Cucumber Fennel Tzatziki Salad

If you’re looking for some new and out-of-the-shell recipes for Easter side dishes, you have come to the right place!

I made both of these last Easter and plan an encore this Sunday – they are that good.

A carrot side dish is a MUST for Easter – Hey! If you don’t make one, what will you serve when the Easter bunny shows up???  I like glazed carrots, but if done badly, they can be overly sweet and mushy. I started adding Balsamic vinegar a few years ago and love this addition – adds a rich tanginess.

A light refreshing raw salad is also on my menu. Cucumber salad is kicked up a notch or two by adding thinly sliced fennel, and then the Tzatziki sauce – man o’ man – this puts pedestrian cucumbers into the simply sublime category! I love, love, love this combination of flavors!

Happy Easter Everyone!!!

BALSAMIC GLAZED CARROTS

Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish – Prep and cook time 30 minutes

2 pounds peeled baby carrots (or julienned regular carrots)
3 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
A few dashes Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a large skillet and bring to a boil. Partially cover skillet and then reduce to a slow simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes, until carrots are just short of the fork-tender stage. Uncover and simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce is reduced to a thick syrup and carrots are fork tender. Serve immediately.

CUCUMBER FENNEL TZATZIKI SALAD

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish – Prep and chill time 2 hours or so

1 large English cucumber
1 medium fennel bulb, with a few fronds, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup diced walnuts

Slice 1/2 of cucumber in half lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch half-moon shapes and place in a serving bowl. Peel and dice remaining half of cucumber and set aside.

Place all remaining ingredients in the serving bowl with cucumber slices.

Place diced cucumber pieces in food processor. Add in the following:

1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 garlic cloves, pressed

Process in food processor until smooth. Stir sauce into mixutre in bowl. Chill at least 2 hours.

Other Unique Easter sides:
Smoked Salmon Easter Salad, Christine’s Recipes
Roman Easter Soup, Serious Eats
Roasted Balsamic Asparagus, Two Peas and Their Pod
Festive Easter Recipes, Diet Dessert and Dogs
Shrimp and Wasabi Eggs, Kalyn’s Kitchen
Easter ideas 2010, Coffee and Vanilla
Easter Breakfast Idea, Lovin’ from the Oven

— posted by Donna

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