Five great vegetable side dishes

Health conscious vegetable side dishes to delight your taste buds and your New Year diet plans.
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We all know that getting our five a day is important, but vegetables don’t need to be boring! If you’re stuck in a rut of sliced carrots and frozen peas, here are five ideas to make your mealtimes more memorable…

Baked spinach with cream and parmesan

For a different way with spinach, try baking it in a gratin dish with cream and Parmesan. It may not be the healthiest way of serving spinach, but it tastes great!

Wilt 200g of spinach in a pan with a small amount of butter for 4-5 minutes. Mix with 1 beaten egg, 200ml double cream and a tablespoon of grated Parmesan and season to taste. Bake at 150 degrees C in a gratin dish for 25 minutes, when the egg will have just set.

Garlic roasted cauliflower

Rather than simply boiling your cauliflower or using it to make cauliflower cheese, why not try roasting it with a pinch of garlic? This dish gives a lovely charred flavour on the outside, with the inside still lovely and tender.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Trim a medium sized cauliflower and cut into florets. Crush two cloves of garlic into a large bowl with two tablespoons of olive oil, add the cauliflower and mix well.

Arrange on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and bake for 25-35 minutes. The cauliflower should be slightly charred, and tender on the inside.


This French vegetable dish can be served either as a side dish, or as a main with rice, bread or pasta. The dish almost always includes tomatoes, onions, garlic, aubergines and courgettes, although cooking methods vary from recipe to recipe. Some suggest cooking the vegetables individually to better retain the separate flavours, others bung everything in a pan and cook all of the ingredients together.

We love this recipe from Schwartz which includes red peppers and basil.

Braised celery

This dish may sound strange, but works very well with roasted meats! Chop a bunch of celery into 10cm pieces, and arrange in the bottom of a large frying pan. Season well with salt and pepper and dot with butter before pouring over 225ml of chicken stock. Cover the pan and bring to the boil. When boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer, still covered, for half an hour.

Spanish green beans

This traditional Spanish side dish really jazzes up the humble green bean. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, and when hot, add 2 crushed cloves of garlic. After 2 minutes, add a kilo of green beans, cut into lengths of 2.5cm. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes, until almost tender.

Add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of pine nuts, along with a bay leaf, and add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil while stirring, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

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Last modified: June 10, 2021

Written by 3:30 pm Food & Drink