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Easy Summer Sides that Sizzle

Summer dining is a wonderful time of year with fresh ingredients easily available. For me, it's a time to combine ingredients that just work when they're together. I often give more thought to my side dishes than I do the main course. Here are three favs that are easy and delicious.

BLT Potato Salad

2 lbs small baby potatoes, sliced in half

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

5-6 slices cooked bacon, chopped

1 handful arugula

1 head romaine, chopped


1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 bunch scallions, sliced thin

salt and pepper to taste


  • Place the potatoes in a pot of water. Add about 1 tablespoon of salt and bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender: about 13-14 minutes. Drain the potatoes and rinse with cold water to cool.

  • For the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, and sugar.

  • In a large bowl combine the potatoes, tomatoes, bacon, arugula and romaine. Drizzle on the dressing and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with sliced scallions on to garnish. Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Chill until ready to serve.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

4 cups corn

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 bunch fresh cilantro, minced

1 jalapeno, diced (remove the seeds if you don't want the heat)

1/2 large red onion, diced

3/4 cup cotija cheese, crumbled

Tajine seasoning to taste


3 tablespoons sour cream

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, about 2 limes

Tajine (shake on as much or as little as you like)


  • Heat a dry saute pan on medium high heat. Add the oil until glistening. Add the corn and cook until slightly charred. Allow to cool.

  • Add pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, and onion to large bowl and add the charred corn. Toss.

  • In a small bowl, combine the dress ingredients and mix until smooth.

  • Pour the dressing over the corn mixture and stir. Coat with your desired amount of Tajine!

  • Toss in the cheese and cilantro and serve.

Turkish Couscous with Apricot and Pine Nuts

2 tablespoon oil

1 onion, chopped

1 cup pine nuts

2 cups dry couscous

2 1/4 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 cup dried apricots, diced

1 bunch parsley, chopped


  • In a saucepan, heat oil on medium heat. Add onions and cook until golden.

  • Add the pine nuts and stir until fragrant, a minute or two.

  • Add the couscous and toast for a few more minutes.

  • Add the broth and lemon zest to the mixture. Stir briefly and cover the pan..

  • Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

  • Remove lid and fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the apricots and parsley and mix. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

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