Ginger-Lime Baby Carrots
"I just think carrots, particularly their tops and roots, are an artistic wonder," Richard Blais says. "The color, the abstract shape—they're gorgeous." He cooks them in a tangy ginger sauce and then sprinkles them with the flavorful, seaweed-and-sesame-seed-based Japanese seasoning called furikake.
Broccoli Rabe with Sausage
Chef Gabe Thompson turns an Italian sandwich filling into a delicious side.
Green Beans Two Ways
Instead of just steaming or boiling green beans, Katie Workman first sautés them in butter and garlic, then simmers them in chicken broth. For adults, she adds fresh herbs and citrus—both zest and juice—giving the beans a fresh, vibrant flavor
Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Mint
The key to this dish by chef David Chang is to almost burn the brussels sprouts; the charred flavor is irresistible
Leek Salad with Walnuts and Tomme de Brebis
Leeks turn sweet and luscious simmered in salted water and dressed with a simple red wine vinaigrette. Chef Armand Arnal heightens the flavor with fresh toasted walnuts and shavings of the firm farmstead sheep's-milk cheese Tomme de Brebis.
Green Bean–and–Blood Orange Salad
"Blood oranges are part of my Sicily fascination," Renato Poliafito says. He uses the segments to add color and tang to green beans and reduces the juice with balsamic vinegar to make the dressing.
Juicy Grilled Tomatoes
The only way to grill tomatoes without losing their delicious juices is in a foil packet. Flavor the tomatoes with any fresh herbs or aromatics, then use them in a briny summer clam chowder or crostini.
Hot, Buttered Cauliflower Puree
Three-year-old Drew Besh loves his father chef John Besh's decadent cauliflower puree, which is silky and luscious because it's made with both cream and butter. Adjust the level of cayenne pepper to make the cauliflower puree more or less spicy.
Panko gives these mushrooms an irresistible crunch.
Jicama, Citrus and Watercress Salad
"I like big flavors through small bites," says Steve Sicinski. His salad combines plenty of vibrant-tasting ingredients, like pomegranate, watercress and orange, so a little goes a long way.
Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Chef Jose Garces normally starts this salad's dressing by letting shallots soak up the flavors of mustard, thyme and vinegar. In this version, starting it in a skillet speeds up the process considerably.
Sweet-and-Sour Green Beans
These simple steamed green beans get a tangy kick from a quick cider vinegar sauce.
Indian-Spiced Chickpea Salad with Yogurt and Herbs
Chef Jerry Traunfeld, who traveled through India last year, flavors this creamy chickpea salad with aromatic herbs and Indian spices, among them mustard, cumin and fennel seeds.
Broccoli with Hot Sauce
Hot sauce gives a flavor and a kick of spice of spice to broccoli in this quick and easy side dish
Pickled Beet Salad
Pickled beets are perfect in a salad with parsley and fennel fronds.
Spicy Fried Okra with Crispy Shallots
Okra is a common ingredient in Singaporean cooking; Chris Yeo was thrilled at how easy it is to find in Atlanta. He sautés the okra pods in hot oil until they’re browned and crisp, then stir-fries them with chile sauce and pungent dried shrimp (widely available in Asian markets).
Watermelon Salad with Mint and Lime
Matt Neal calls this supremely simple fruit salad the ultimate refresher on a hot day. For a grown-up version, he adds splashes of rum. "It's even more satisfying, then," he jokes.