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Ten On Tuesday

Both Easter and Passover are this coming weekend and I know for many of us that means planning and preparing a big family dinner. While the main course is usually some sort of roast (in my case it will be a baked ham and an oven roasted turkey breast) the side dishes can be a challenge. And that’s what prompted this week’s Ten on Tuesday topic: 10 Favorite Side Dishes to Serve at a Family Dinner. As I said in my email to the Ten on Tuesday bunch, what do you serve with your main course that everyone loves?

  1.  Parmesan Mashed Potatoes. I think I only make these on Easter because they are not suited to be served with gravy and there’s no gravy at my house on Easter. It’s almost like a mashed potato casserole and it includes eggs and Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley and they can be made ahead of time. I think that’s the best part of all.
  2. Carrots and Parsnips. I steam them and mash then together with butter, salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Delicious and pretty, too.
  3. Martha Stewart’s Green Bean Casserole. I’m making my sister-in-law, Mary, make this for Easter. I absolutely love it and it’s so much better than the one made with cream of mushroom soup!
  4. Macaroni and Cheese. It goes great with ham.
  5. Au Gratin Potatoes. I’m actually torn between these and the Parmesan Mashed Potatoes. Hmmmm.
  6. Peas and Onions. They are bright and colorful. My only issue is they get cold so quickly.
  7. Glazed Carrots. This sounds like a big deal but it’s just steamed carrots that are tossed with butter and a bit of brown sugar. If I’m feeling extra festive I throw in a handful of raisins, too.
  8. Asparagus. This can be tricky if you have a lot of people coming – it has to be cooked at the last minute and, like those peas, it gets cold very quickly. For a small gathering, though, I think it’s a must, especially for Easter.
  9. Corn Muffins. Mary makes these for me, too, and everyone gobbles them up.
  10. Jello Salad. Okay, I don’t actually make this anymore but my mom always made this green one for Easter and I loved it. She made individual molds of it and served each one on a little plate with a lettuce leaf and a dollop of sour cream. It was so good!
I’m excited to see what you all serve and I’m hoping I get some new ideas for my dinner.

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. oh, jello!!! hello memories of holidays from long ago! sounds like your easter dinner is going to be delicious!!

  2. We definitely think alike when it comes to sides! (And, you’re right . . . Martha Stewart has the best Green Bean Casserole recipe.) I like to roast veggies for my sides . . . they can be done at the very last moment, and they taste just fine on the cool side. (Doesn’t work for peas, though…)

  3. I’ll eat potatoes in any form. Love them! We roast asparagus with garlic and they taste great cold, especially on a tossed green salad. Enjoy the weekend with your family!

  4. My mother used to make a jello salad. As I recall, among other things it had chunks of pineapple in it and it was served with mayonnaise. I enjoyed it, but since my husband, who likes a lot of things, didn’t, it has disappeared from the table. Like many of the things my mother cooked, I have no idea where she got the recipe.

    Everybody loves roasted vegetables. I like to have salad. Recently I served caesar from scratch, which was even eaten by everyone including someone who I thought didn’t eat salad.

    Now that they’re back in season again, I often make a Mexican dish of mango chunks sprinkled with lime juice, coarse salt and either ancho or Aleppo pepper.

  5. Suzy brought a jello salad over Friday night. Oh, and a bottle of JD. It’s been YEARS since I’d had a jello salad.
    I never met a veggie I didn’t like!

  6. Thanks for the inspiration, I struggle with the sides everytime we have a family gathering. I made a jello salad 2 years ago for Easter, the one with shredded carrots, pineapple…my kids and their kids thought I was crazy. I guess the days of jello on the table for every holiday has passed. I may try to revive it! My sister used to always bring plain jello and it would never come nicely out of the mold and would sit on the platter all broken, maybe that’s why my kids wouldn’t eat jello.

  7. Another timely Ten on Tuesday! Just 15 minutes ago in the shower I was thinking about what side dish to bring to a family gathering this weekend. I’m torn between mac and cheese (my old standby), potatoes au gratin, or maybe – because of all this hot weather – a nice cold three-bean salad.

  8. I make fireman some jello mold for the holidays……just a tradition…..
    Love your theme.

    We like baked beans with our ham!!

  9. Two big holidays for us this weekend, two days in the kitchen cooking. Friday our contributions will be chicken soup with matzoh balls (my husband makes THE BEST chicken soup in the whole world) and Israeli salad which is lots of cucumber, tomatoes, green olives, onion, and radish with lemon juice on top; it travels well, doesn’t wilt, and is delicious the next morning with boiled egg. For Easter? Ham of course. My daughter’s college friend visited one Easter and missed her mom’s yams/marshmallow thing so we made it for her, and now we make it every year. One of my daughters hates everything on the Easter menu; there’s been a TV ad showing baked potato with lobster on top – maybe I’ll make that for her. And candied carrots, too, yum, yum.

  10. So glad for your post! I was trying to come up with sides for Easter. Some great ideas.

  11. We just decided yesterday that dinner will be at my house on Easter. We are a very small family so it’s pretty easy. Hubby will make a ham and some potatoes and I will make onion shortbread. Not sure what we are doing for dessert yet.

  12. It all sounds so yummy! Love the Martha Stewart casserole! Much better than the soup recipe 🙂

  13. Love the potato casseroles. I make one with cream cheese, eggs and lots of herbs, and I’m definitely going to try your parm potatoes. As several commenters have already noted, cold asparagus is really good. It can be served with a fluffy mustard sauce or spicy Italian marinade. Knowing you, whatever you make will be delicious and beautiful!

  14. Funeral potatoes used to be a regular side. Scalloped potatoes were for later in the week to use up some of the leftover ham. And while YMMV, I think if you roast asparagus instead of steam it, it tastes just as delish at room temperature.

    Not sure what we are having. As a family of 2, and one doesn’t care for ham, well…. maybe we’ll have shrimp.

  15. Brussels sprouts. First cook up some bacon while you are quartering the brussels sprouts. Take the bacon out of the pan and saute the sprouts in the bacon fat. After a few minutes, slowly add about a 1/4 cup of HOT water to the pan and slap a lid on it to steam the sprouts the rest of the way. Chop up the bacon and sprinkle it on the sprouts. That’s our Standard Holiday Side Dish. Except for Passover, but we don’t do a whole Passover dinner, just charoset (I like it) and matzo brei (Phil likes it).

    I like your mashed carrots and parsnips idea. I bet mashed potatoes and parsnips would be good, too. I just like parsnips, can you tell?

  16. A big fresh green salad (undressed) is a welcome sight on Easter because the other food is so rich. I try to fill up on the healthy stuff and go lighter on the other stuff. Asparagus is a fave, especially cold — flash blanched followed by an ice bath is best. Beautiful, colorful, deconstructed salad platters are great: big pile of spring greens in the middle, and asparagus, lemon wedges, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, and whatever else you like, all around — with dressings in separate pass around bowls. That way you can serve asparagus cold “legally” and you can do the blanching ahead of time — plus, the bright green is way prettier than the cooked color!
    My favorite Easter dessert is lemon chiffon cake!

  17. p.s. I’m a big pea fan too, but yes, sadly they do cool too quickly. But if you do the salad platter, you could also flash blanch snap peas for the platter. They cook in about 15-30 seconds and are incredible in salads.

  18. Yum! I must find that green bean casserole recipe and…I hope you’ll post the parmesan mashed potatoes sometime! Great subject this week Carole!

  19. Yum! Easter is usually brunch rather than dinner in our family. Asparagus is a must because it’s spring; one of my favorite ways is to wrap a few spears with a slice of bacon and grill.

  20. I’m not hosting dinner this year, which is unusual! So I get to just make a dessert 🙂 I’m intrigued by the Parmesan mashed potatoes and the Martha Stewart green bean casserole. My family loves mashed taters and GB casserole 🙂

  21. My Mom says to me ” so I bought potatoes for roasting are you going to make mashed potatoes?” We love our taters!! 🙂 We are up in the air with our other sides but definitely know we are having potatoes with the ham.

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