Purple and green make an elegant side with this combination of warm purple potatoes,
celery and scallions, all made sweet with balsamic syrup and garnished with potato lace.
Beach, Fla., obliges with her side of
Carolina white rice cooked with chorizo.
As the sausage cooks in the pan with
olive oil, it releases a fluorescent orange
color, which turns the rice a soft, vibrant
orange. She finishes with a bit of green
onion, which pops against the orange, she
says, adding that it’s very tasty.
Kristine Subido, executive chef at WAVE,
W Chicago—Lakeshore, likes to flavor and
color risotto sides. Green onion and ginger
pesto risotto is one of her favorites, inspired
by a Chinese restaurant’s barbecue sauce
for chicken. For her bright-green pesto, she
purées green onions, fresh ginger, garlic
and sea salt in warm oil. She adds the pesto
to the cooked risotto and finishes with
Parmesan cheese and a hit of butter.
He thought to make couscous more
colorful and flavorful by adding chopped
tomatoes. Later, he thought further and
decided that rather than preparing the
couscous with water or chicken stock, he
might use regular store-bought tomato
juice, cooking three parts juice to one
part water. “It’s the most amazing color to
put with white fish, and has great flavor.
You can add chopped black olives for a
red and black side dish,” he says.
Lobster macaroni and cheese is wildly
popular at Kane Steakhouse, partly because
Ganem doesn’t skimp on the vibrant lobster
meat, which also infuses the sauce with red.
(It doesn’t hurt that he uses a combination
of blue cheese, Gruyere and—for memory’s
sake—American cheese for the sauce.)
using whole sugar snap peas, artichoke
hearts, tomatoes and capers. He pours a
white wine/butter sauce over the chicken
breast, adds the colorful ragoût and tops
with thin fried prosciutto crumbled like
Charred corn and a fresh cilantro chiffonade
make Kane Steakhouse’s Jalapeño Corn
Pudding so appetizing.
Brodie notices that vegetable ragoûts are
popular on menus right now using all kinds
of flavorful vegetables, such as fiddlehead
fern, fresh peas, small onions, shaved corn
and roasted or shaved garlic, as well as all
colors of root vegetables.
Color may very well be at the center of side
dishes that last through time, Prosperi says.
“We eat with our eyes. Our eyes give us that
Prosperi with Métro Bis finds his red wine
and mushroom risotto mimics the bright,
earthy colors of fall. He roasts together
tan/brown hen of the woods mushrooms
and bright orange/yellow chicken of the
woods mushrooms, and tops his deep, rich
burgundy-red wine risotto with them.
RAGOÛT TO RAVE ABOUT
Though it can be considered a sauce,
a hearty ragoût also makes a fun side.
McDaniel makes a colorful edamame/
roasted corn/diced tomato ragoût to go
with Copper River salmon. He makes
another ragoût to go with chicken piccata,
Jody Shee, an Olathe, Kan.-based freelance
writer and editor, previously was editor of a
foodservice magazine. She has 20 years of
food-writing experience and writes the blog