I spend a lot of time writing about complex techniques, but in truth, most of the stuff I like to cook for myself at home is pretty simple. This is one of those nice and easy summer dishes that relies only on great produce—zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes—and simple technique, but comes with a little bit of a rough twist at the end.
'@vegetarian-side' on Serious Eats
Deeply fragrant with smoky charred edges, cabbage takes on a nutty, sweet flavor when grilled over blazing hot coals, and a great texture that's simultaneously tender and crisp. Its layered structure also makes it the ideal vessel for picking up both smoke flavor from the grill and whatever sauce you choose to serve it with. In this case, we're going with a rich blue cheese dressing, tomatoes, and—if you want them—bacon bits.
Deeply fragrant with smoky charred edges, cabbage takes on a nutty, sweet flavor when grilled over blazing hot coals with a great texture that's simultaneously tender and crisp. Its layered structure also makes it the ideal vessel for picking up both smoke flavor from the grill and whatever sauce you choose to serve it with. In this case, we're going with a light and creamy yogurt dressing with plenty of lemon and olive oil.
This is one of my favorite salads of all time and an absolute classic: corn grilled until it's smoky and sweet, then tossed with ripe end-of-season tomatoes in a light lemon and olive oil dressing. Salty chunks of feta and a ton of fresh herbs finish it off. As simple and delicious as recipes come.
A bowl of black beans with some rice, bread, or greens is a meal in itself, but it's also a side dish to round out about any meal. The trick, if you could call it that, is to stick to dried beans that can slowly release their starch into the cooking liquid, and use a balance of aromatics to enhance their flavor.
The key to the deeply-seasoned potatoes in this tangy and creamy salad is to cook them in water seasoned with salt and vinegar. A dressing flavored with olive oil, sour cream, and dill binds it together.
Radicchio, a hearty bitter lettuce, becomes remarkably sweet and succulent when charred over a live fire. Served with a drizzle of good olive oil and saba—a sweet wine-based condiment—along with a sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese, it's the best vegetable you've never grilled.
Crunchy and tender baby bok choy goes for a spin with a punchy sauce made with lots of garlic and fermented black beans. It's a flavor-packed stir-fry with minimal prep and all the flavor, minus the gloppy sauce.
Tender baby spinach and red shen choy are briefly simmered just until wilted, then served very simply in a broth flavored with lightly browned garlic. I can't think of an easier way to put a delicious side dish on the table.
Stir-frying in a light sauce flavored with a little soy sauce and a lot of garlic is my go-to method for cooking Asian greens. Quick, simple, and flavorful, it's really hard to go wrong, no matter which greens you decide to cook.
Simply simmered Chinese broccoli has a hearty flavor that pairs well with oyster sauce in this classic Cantonese preparation. Our version adds some fried garlic to the mix, using the flavorful garlic oil to amp up flavor.
This salad of crisp cabbage, carrots, and coconut is one of those Indian dishes that takes minimal effort, doesn't involve a whole range of spices, and is ready in minutes. Dressed in an infused oil, it's the perfect side dish for a meal of rice and chicken.
New potatoes steamed on top of the grill in foil packets are quicker and easier than any other grilled potato recipe I can think of, and best of all, by mixing up the additions to the packet you've got near endless flavor possibilities, making them the perfect side dish for whatever you want to throw on next to'em.
A hearty salad of chickpeas roasted with cumin and paprika until dense and nutty, combined with kale, fresh herbs, pine nuts, and sun-dried tomatoes. This is a salad that gets even better on the second day.
Sweet, smoky, and crisp mushroom bits that can be used anywhere that you'd use bacon bits.
Richly sweet and creamy innards matched with a slightly crisp exterior make these some incredible grilled sweet potatoes.
A hearty baked potato topped with broccoli florets and gooey, 100% vegan nacho sauce made from standard supermarket ingredients.
A thick, creamy, tangy, gooey vegan nacho sauce made with supermarket staples. Perfect for dipping or topping nachos, baked potatoes, veggie burgers, or macaroni and cheese.
Roasted green beans are swathed in balsamic vinaigrette and stippled with hazelnuts and crumbled blue cheese.
Caramelized oven-charred carrots are finished with tangy feta for a refreshing change of pace.