Easter Side Dishes | The Daily Dish

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Easter Side Dishes

Quick Pickled Cucumbers

No Comments | Written on September 30, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

Looking for an effortless side dish with crunch and zing?   These “Quick Pickled Cucumbers” are right up your alley.   

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Mediterranean Rice Pilaf

No Comments | Written on September 5, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

The other night I was preparing fish for dinner and wanted to find just the right side dish to complement the delicate main dish without overpowering.  This “Mediterranean Rice Pilaf” was exactly what I was looking for!

It starts with basmati rice, toasted with turmeric to give the dish that alluring golden hue.  Dried currants are included for a subtle sweetness and slivered almonds finish off the dish for crunch.

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Roasted Asparagus with Pancetta and Shallot Vinaigrette

No Comments | Written on June 4, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

Asparagus is in season and is featured in grocery stores and farmers markets right now.  This vegetable is so easy to prepare and makes an elegant accompaniment to any spring or summertime meal.

This recipe features roasted asparagus with an indulgent vinaigrette of pancetta, shallots, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and red pepper flakes.  A bit of fresh basil from the garden finishes off the side dish with a flourish.

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Sicilian Cauliflower Antipasti

No Comments | Written on January 1, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

Let’s kick off 2014 on the right foot!

This easy (and healthy!) recipe is a wonderful side dish when served warm, and also is a fantastic addition to an antipasti spread when served at room temperature.

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How to Make Potatoes Anna

1 Comment | Written on December 29, 2013 at 5:00 am , by

This classic French dish sounds and looks fancy, but it is incredibly easy to make!

Truthfully, you almost don’t need a recipe to create this potato side dish.  I love to serve this version with my “Perfect Beef Tenderloin.

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Spicy Spring Lamb

2 Comments | Written on April 22, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

If there is ever a time to indulge in a gorgeous rack of lamb, this is it.  For Easter dinner, spice things up a bit with this recipe for “Spicy Spring Lamb” from user “njcook3257025.”  The rack is decadent and impressive, yet the recipe is so easy to prepare.  The lamb is seared and then coated with a spice rub.  It is finished off in the oven and served with a traditional mint jelly.  Simple sides of roasted asparagus and new potatoes make the meal complete.  I wish all of you a happy and delicious holiday weekend!

SPICY SPRING LAMB (click here to view and print recipe)


  • 2-4 bone racks of lamb, Frenched
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Mint jelly, to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush lamb with olive oil. In an oven safe frying pan, brown racks for 3-4 minutes, turning often. Combine all spices and rub on lamb. Place in oven and cook for 7 minutes. Rest 5-10 minutes and slice into individual chops. Place 2 ribs on each plate and top with mint jelly.

Number of Servings: 4

Notes: Serve with roasted asparagus and roasted new potatoes.   (Oven cooking time may vary according to the size of your rack of lamb.  The recipe calls for 7 minutes, but this particular rack was larger and took longer.  If you are using a meat thermometer, look for an internal temperature of 145 degrees.)

For the asparagus and potatoes, I simply tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  At 350 the asparagus took about 15 minutes and the potatoes about 30 minutes.  For Easter dinner you could prepare these before the rack of lamb and re-warm in the oven while the meat is resting.

Week 12 “Asparagus” Winner

No Comments | Written on April 19, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

I can see why the judges selected this recipe as the winner of our asparagus contest.  After one taste you will be begging to eat your veggies!  This dish is all about the details.  The asparagus is roasted not only with olive oil, but with garlic-infused olive oil.  It is a small twist, but one that imparts a fantastic aroma and flavor.  The lemon-dill aioli is so outstanding you might be tempted to make a double batch.  In fact, Jamie Miller, our winner this week, said that she originally created this aioli to serve with fish.  Finally, the dish is topped off with toasted capers.  I have often toasted spices before adding them to a dish, but this is the first time a recipe called for toasting capers.  Brilliant!


Garlic-Roasted Asparagus with Lemon-Dill Aioli


  • 2 lbs medium asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 2 tbsp garlic- or roasted garlic-flavored olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated fresh lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill weed
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp country-style Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained and patted dry


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss asparagus spears with garlic oil and arrange, in a single layer, on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast in the center of the oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring once, until lightly browned and tender-crisp. Meanwhile, in a blender, or mini food processor, combine the mayonnaise, shallot, lemon juice, lemon zest, dill, garlic and mustard, then puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a small nonstick skillet, heat 1 TBSP olive oil over medium high heat. Add capers and saute for 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer asparagus to a serving platter, drizzle with aioli, and sprinkle with toasted capers.

Number of Servings: 6

Notes: Any leftover aioli can be refrigerated for 2 days, and would be great with salmon, potatoes, carrots or green beans.

Congratulations Jamie!  Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic recipe with us.  What made you decide to enter the Better Recipes weekly contest?

“I entered the contest because I enjoy the variety of themes each week.  And because of the MONEY of course!!”

Cooking for cash isn’t too shabby is it!  Tell us, how did you come up with your winning dish?

“I originally made the aioli to serve on salmon.  I tried it on asparagus and thought it was a great match.  The garlic oil added an extra layer of flavor and the toasted capers were a fun addition…because when I think of dill, I often think of capers!”

Do you prepare asparagus often?   Any cooking tips or advice for our readers when they prepare asparagus at home?

“I make asparagus at least once a week.  Usually I roast it, as in this recipe; or grill it in the warm weather months.  I’m not a fan of boiling or steaming (boring!)  My advice is to roast it at high heat and take it out a minute before you think it’s done.  It quickly goes from crisp-tender to mushy!  I also love making crunchy panko-and-sesame seed crusted asparagus.”

Sounds fantastic!  I might have to give that a try sometime soon.  Thanks Jamie!

2010 Annual Contest Winners

6 Comments | Written on January 25, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

In 2010 we not only hosted several monthly and weekly contests, but there was also the on-going “Annual Recipe Contest.”  There wasn’t a specific theme or qualifications, we simply asked you to submit your best recipes!  After a year of outstanding submissions, we have narrowed it down to these lucky winners.  We have a $1000 Grand Prize winning dish and 5 Runner-Up recipes, each winning $400.

Without further ado, let’s meet our Grand Prize Winner.  A huge congratulations to Allison Luxenberg for her Butternut Squash Potatoes Au Gratin!

Let’s hear from Allison!

“I am a 30 year old woman living in Austin, TX with my two Rottweilers, Atticus and Violet. If asked, one of the first things all my friends would say about me is that I love to cook and they love to eat my cooking.If my dogs could talk they would say the same thing because I cook for them as well. I have loved being in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. When I went off to college my mother equipped me with a food processor, stand mixer, and hand me down Le Creuset and All Clad cookware. At one point I considered Culinary School but decided I wanted to reserve cooking and recipie creating as my hobby.”

How did you come up with your recipe?

“I have been making this recipe at Christmas for years! I was never a fan of potatoes au gratin growing up. I thought the flavor was bland and boring and often times the dish was overcooked and it became dense and dry. About 6 years ago I was invited to a holiday pot luck and was assigned a potato dish. I decided to try rotating sweet potatoes and russet potatoes and sure enough, I was now a HUGE fan of potatoes au gratin. By adding sweet potatoes made the dish more flavorful than the traditional recipe. Then I tried another variation on the classic by adding butternut squash soup. The butternut squash soup really adds to the moisture and flavor explosion to it as well. My friends raved about my invention and asked me to make it again, and again, and again. It is now my signature dish at Christmas!”

What made you decide to enter the Better Recipes annual recipe contest?

“I wanted to win the money and see my recipe in a magazine. Of all the dishes I make, this one is always the most requested and there are never leftovers so I thought I had a good chance at winning.

Do you enter recipe contests often?

“Yes I do. My mother got me hooked around 2004. I was a grad student until a few years ago so I wasn’t able to enter as many as I do now. My friends love when I test out my creations before I submit them. I think it is important to have others try your recipe before you submit it so you can get feedback and make any necessary tweaks.”

Why do you think this recipe stood out to the judges?

“I knew this was the type of dish that Better Recipes would like because it is a fun twist on a traditional classic.”

What advice would you have for others who enter Better Recipes contests?

“Pick a classic and make it unique. I felt that the audience reading Better Recipes were probably more inclined to stick to home style cooking that was easy to prepare in large quantities for families and holidays than an intricate and complicated recipe.”

Thanks Allison!  Now, let’s take a look at this winning dish!

potatoes winner



  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup purchased or prepared butternut squash soup
  • 10 russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking dish or pan. In a large skillet, melt butter. Whisk in flour until blended. Add milk, broth, and soup; bring to slow rolling boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add sliced potatoes and onions, stirring until all are coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Combine the cheeses in a bowl. Using a large spoon, layer potatoes into the baking dish. Spoon some of the sauce over the potatoes, then sprinkle with cheeses. Repeat until all the potatoes and cheese are used. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Number of Servings: 6-8

Over the next few weeks I will be featuring each of the First Place Winners as well.  Here is a sneak peek, but stay tuned for a full report on each dish and the creative cook behind the magic!

$400 First Place Winners:

Scrumptious Chicken Club Bread Bowl Dip
by Dawn Moore

Jalapeno-Apricot Pork Loin
by Dale Greenland

Creamy Stuffed Sole
by Kimberly Guidea

Pepperoni Soup
by Caren Eri

Pecan-Chocolate Mousse
by Melanie Hein