Side Dishes

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Rustic Bread Stuffing with Swiss Chard and Chestnuts

Swiss chard lends a pleasant earthiness to this hearty stuffing; meaty chestnuts add texture and richness. Choose high-quality crusty bread for this recipe to ensure a fluffy texture and crisp top.

Using the Right Potato Is the Secret to a Great Potato Salad

It doesn't matter what you stir into the salad if the potatoes won't even hold together.

Crispy Potatoes with Avocado Salsa

Papas are traditionally deep-fried, but roasting smashed potatoes at a high temperature (with plenty of olive oil) yields a similar result with a fraction of the mess. Make the avocado salsa while the potatoes are roasting; it’s the perfect creamy, cooling complement to the salty, crispy potatoes and bright, spicy jalapeños.

Easy Polenta

Most polenta recipes require nearly an hour of patient stirring; this streamlined version comes together off the heat, with a final whisk just before serving. The result is an almost effortless, exquisitely creamy polenta that’s the perfect base for slow-roasted pork and vegetables.

Salmon Ochazuke

Japanese ochazuke—rice served in green tea, water, or broth—is the epitome of simple. The soothing toasty-sweet flavor of Japanese green tea provides a brothy, effective base for leftover rice and other accompaniments like hot-smoked salmon and scallion. Don’t have all the listed garnishes on hand? Don’t fret, any combination will work just fine.

Smashed Potato and Shallot Gratin

Good, easy potato dishes are something I always like to have in my back pocket, especially in the winter when something cozy and belly-warming is in order. I haven’t yet tired of smashing potatoes, and I’m not sure I ever will.The idea for this dish came to me in a dream: What if I just smashed whole roasted potatoes, right in the baking dish, and then poured roasted garlic–laced cream over them, and then baked them with a scattering of Parmesan until they were crispy and golden and delicious? The use of cream here is judicious, and most of it is absorbed by the potatoes, resulting in an unctuous but not overly rich gratin. The shallots end up caramelized and sticky, and you’ll find yourself digging for them.I like to use an enameled cast-iron baking dish for a million different things, from fruit crisps to roasting a chicken to baking a bread pudding, and it’s the perfect vessel to use here. Failing that, a ceramic baking dish works, too, as would a large cast-iron skillet. All the potatoes should fit easily in one layer (leaving a little room for the shallots). Try out different baking dishes before you oil the potatoes (just tumble them in and see if they fit in a single layer) to find the right one. After roasting until just tender, use a potato masher (or the bottom of a sturdy mug) to flatten each one.Sometimes, I like to prep, or mise, all of my ingredients before I start cooking, but that’s not always the most efficient way. Here, each step is quick to prepare and can be done as you proceed with the recipe. There is a little in and out of the oven with this recipe, but it’s seamless and simple and will have your tablemates swooning over the divine combination of basic ingredients that come together in a way that is much, much more than the sum of its parts.If you want to make this a few hours ahead of time, go as far as smashing the potatoes (leave at room temperature) and making the cream mixture. About a half hour before you want to serve, pour the cream over and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Go with something simple like a roast or steaks and a crisp green salad with this luxurious side dish.

More Side Dishes

Our Stuffings, Our Selves

A person's preference for a particular stuffing, dressing, or filling might tell you something about where they've been.

Roasted Citrus with Crunchy Three-Seed Brittle

The star of this effortless side is the sweet and savory brittle spiked with chile oil and studded with sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds, it’s the perfect crunchy counterpoint to quick-roasted winter citrus. This salad is equally delicious served warm or at room temperature.

Speck-Wrapped Haricots Verts with Date Molasses

Wrapped in salty speck and glazed with date molasses, these bundles of crisp, tender haricots verts are the perfect pairing for beef or duck. Date molasses is thinner than standard molasses, so it needs to be cooked down to reach a glaze consistency; if it sets up too much, gently reheat it.