Side-Dish Sophisticates

Side dishes this elegant deserve center stage.

To share the 325 degree F oven, choose a pork boneless top loin roast or a beef rib eye roast.

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut up
  • 2 small parsnips, peeled and cut up
  • 12-oz. can evaporated milk (1-1/2 cups)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 3/4 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 1 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp. dried
  • Dash salt
  • Fresh rosemary (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a saucepan cook carrots and parsnips, covered, in a small amount of boiling water for 25 to 30 minutes or utill very tender; drain.

2. In a blender container or food processor bowl combine cooked carrots and parsnips, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, eggs, orange peel, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, and red pepper. Cover and blend or process till smooth.

3. Place 6 greased 6-ounce custard cups in a 13x7-1/2x2-inch baking dish. Divide the blended carrot mixture among the cups. Place the baking dish on the oven rack. Pour boiling water into the dish around the cups toa depth of 1 inch. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or till a knife inserted near the centers comes out clean.

4. Meanwhile, for Green Sauce, in a blender container or food processor bowl combine remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk, spinach, green onion, parsley, fresh snipped or dried rosemary, and the dash salt. Cover and blend or process utill smooth. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan; heat and stir for 3 to 5 minutes or till of desired consistency. Keep warm over low heat till serving time.

5. To serve, use a knife or a spatula to loosen edges of custards, slipping the point down the sides to let the air in. Invert cups onto warm dinner plates. Spoon the rosemary sauce over each vegetable carefully.

Look in on these vegetables just twice while they roast before dinner.

  • 1 lb. tiny new potatoes, halved
  • 3 medium red, green, or yellow sweet peppers, cut up
  • 2 medium chayote, pattypan or sunburst squash, or kohlrabi, peeled (if desired) and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 fennel bulbs or 6 stalks celery (see note) sliced 1/2 inch thick (3 cups)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/3 cup sliced pitted ripe olives

1. Preheat oven to 450 degree F. In a greased 15x10x2-inch roasting pan combine potatoes; sweet peppers; chayote, squash, or kohlrabi; onion; fennel or celery; and garlic. Combine lemon peel, juice, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper; drizzle over vegetables.

2. Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes or till vegetables are tender, stirring twice. Turn into a warm serving bowl; top with olives. Makes 8 to 10 side-dish servings.

Note: If using celery, stir 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seed into lemon mixture.

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