Recipes: 3 Tasty Side Dishes You Can Eat as Your Main Entrée

By: Mike Dunn | Kristina Guerrero Posted: 10:00 AM, Jul 18, 2018 Updated: 10:03 AM, Jul 18, 2018

Plant-based diets are all the rage. And as a result, fruits and veggies are taking their new place as the main course. So don’t banish your side dishes to second class status! We met with Chef Jon-Paul Hutchins who showed us three recipes to crank up the flavors and put them at the center of the plate.


1. Grilled Potato Salad

First up is a recipe for Grilled Potato Salad. This twist on the traditional potato salad uses grilled potatoes and peaches, and adds a chimichurri sauce for spice and acidity. For folks who don’t know, chimichurri is a traditional Argentinian steak sauce. It’s made of olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, parsley, oregano, orange zest, and a seasoning called Aleppo pepper. Serve this dish by placing your potatoes and peaches on a bed of lettuce of your choice, and drizzle the chimichurri on top.


Potato Salad Ingredients


1 lb. baby Yukon potatoes   

2 chicory (Belgian endive) 

2 peaches (unripe and seeded) 

¼ cup parsley leaves 

¼ cup orange chimichurri   

2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds 

2 tbsp. olive oil 

1 tbsp. Aleppo pepper   

Sea salt, to taste 


Potato Salad Directions


Blanch potatoes in salt water until tender (don’t overcook!), and shock in ice water to stop the cooking process.


Remove potatoes, dry, and lightly smash with the back of your hand to create a flat surface to grill on.


Toss potatoes with salt and 2 tbsp. chimichurri.


Cut endive and peach in half, and toss with 2 tbsp. of chimichurri.


On a high heat, grill potatoes, peaches, and endive until caramelized.


Remove from grill and toss all ingredients with ½ cup more of chimichurri.


Add parsley leaves, Aleppo pepper, and mix together.


Top with pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of your favorite olive oil, and sea salt.


Orange Chimichurri Ingredients


1 cup parsley

½ cup oregano

¾ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup blanched garlic

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup salt water

½ tbsp. chili flakes

½ tbsp. orange zest 


Orange Chimichurri Directions


Sprinkle salt in water.


Use ¼ cup kosher salt to 1 cup water.


Bring to a boil to dissolve and cool and reserve.


Mix all ingredients and adjust seasoning to your preference.


2. Parm-Crusted Roasted Summer Veggies

The next dish on our list is Parm-Crusted Roasted Summer Veggies – which utilizes zucchini, yellow squash, egg plants, onions, and anything that’s soft and cooks quickly. These veggies are combined with big, bold flavors that come from garlic, oregano, olive oil, and teardrop tomatoes. Tomato adds acidity to this dish, but you can also use vinegar, sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar instead. The acid is needed to cut through the big, rich, heaping pile of parmesan cheese you layer on top.


2 zucchinis

2 yellow squash

1 pint assorted teardrop tomatoes

1 eggplant

1 red onion

1 clove garlic minced

1 tbsp. dried oregano

2 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 cup freshly-grated good quality parmesan

1 bunch fresh parsley

1 bunch fresh basil




Combine vegetables with vinegar, oil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.


Place in an oven-safe dish, top with parm, and roast at 400 degrees until veggies are bubbling, and the cheese has begun to brown.


Cool 10 minutes top with shredded parsley and basil.


3. Greek Grain Bowl

Finally, try this recipe for the perfect Greek Grain Bowl. This meal uses tomatoes, onions, olives, cucumbers, fresh herbs, and feta cheese topped off with a vinaigrette. The grain and the feta cheese provide the protein, chewy texture, and rich flavors for this meal.




½ lb. rye berries

½ lb. wheat berries

1 lb. barley

1 cup Kalamata olives cut in half

1 cup feta cheese

1 cup diced cucumber

1 cup diced tomato

½ cup diced red onion

½ cup chopped parsley

½ cup chopped dill




Cook the rye and wheat together in simmering water like pasta until tender for 30-40 minutes.


Drain, cool, and combine with the remaining ingredients and toss with the dressing.


Dressing Ingredients


4 cloves minced garlic

¾ cup olive oil

¼ cup cider vinegar

Salt and pepper

¼ cup minced dill


Forget what you know about your basic meat and potatoes meals! Now you’ve got three ways to make your side dishes take center stage.


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