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3 Delicious Side Dishes, Tried and True

December 26, 2011 by Joan Nova in Holidays, Side Dishes, Vegetables | 16 Comments

With the exception of New Year’s Day lunch which I’m hosting, I was a guest most of the holidays. The proverbial blogger/cook’s day off. But I did carry out 6 side dishes: the first 3 for holiday parties I attended and the last 3 for Christmas Day dinner.

Wanna see?

First, the party carry-outs.

I like this photo which I took in optimum conditions before I left the house. I do not like a couple of the photos that follow which I took onsite when I was excited (means: had a few drinks, rushed to get a shot so people could eat, bad light, poor position, etc...).

I apologize for that because I strongly believe the visual is as important as the recipe. As Rick Perry said, oops!


While this is not the traditional Pascualina found all over Buenos Aires (many are spinach-based and include whole cooked eggs), it’s pretty close.  I used a frozen ready-made pie crust imported from Argentina which I found in a Latin supermarket. You can make your own if you’re so inclined, but the Argentine pastry is really  delicious…I suspect because it’s made with lard and other things I don’t want to know about.

2 lbs broccoli rabe chopped, cooked, drained very well and brought to room temperature
3 ozs pancetta shredded
3 beaten eggs
garlic, nutmeg, black pepper
15 ozs whole ricotta
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella shredded
1/3 cup grated parmesan
egg wash

• Cook the broccoli rabe and drain very well, set aside (can be done day before).
• Mix cheeses, spices and pancetta and add broccoli rabe (chop first).
• Layer spring form with bottom layer of pastry, spread filling, add top layer of pastry and crimp.
• Egg wash top, prick a few holes and bake at high temp till top is brown and glazed.
[My spring pan was a little deep and I had to dig down to crimp the top pastry to the bottom layer, but I like the rustic look.]

Cazuela de Garbanzos y Chorizos

1 bag garbanzos cooked and drained (reserve about a cup of the liquid)
3 fresh chorizo baked and chopped (dried works too)
2 tablespoons (est) fat rendering from chorizo
1/2 small onion minced
1 large clove garlic minced
1 fresh tomato chopped small
Liquids: white wine, chicken broth and/or liquid from beans (I use all 3)

• Bake chorizos whole. Reserve rendered fat and juice.
• Saute onion and garlic in large skillet with the rendered fat.
• Add chopped tomato.
• Add chorizo broken up, garbanzos, and a little cooking liquid.
• Add generous amount of oregano (it’s the only spice).
• Cook together on low heat at least one hour; it only gets better.
• Keep adding liquids as needed so that it doesn’t dry out. That’s where the wine and chicken broth come in.


I make caponata really often. I vary finishing touches and occasional inclusions, like celery or a drizzle of balsamic syrup both of which I did here. It depends on what I have on hand — but it’s basically always this (with the exclusion of the boccocini and pasta).

Tip: Caponata is delicious but it’s not too pretty being all dark and mushy. What I did for this party was to add a topping of grated cheese, fresh parsley, chopped toasted hazelnuts and orange zest just before serving. Looked pretty and tasted even better!

Later this week: 3 More Delicious Side Dishes and what happens when I follow a recipe.
NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. The three look terrific, but my favorite is the lovely Pasqualina.
    Platanos, Mangoes & Me! recently posted..IF IT’S BROKEN THEN FIX ITMy Profile

  2. Liz says:

    3 great dishes. Will have to keep Argentine pastry in mind.

  3. Ivy says:

    Hope your Christmas was fabulous! Everything looks delicious.

  4. Pascualina is to die for. I must make this before I start my big New Year’s diet. Has all my favorite things inside it, but I’ll make my own pastry. You are lucky you got to be be a guest. They are lucky you arrived.
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Red Velvet Cake Says Merry Christmas and Happy BirthdayMy Profile

  5. Arlene says:

    I’m on board for the pascualina. I adore broccoli rabe and pastry and put the two together…. Lovely.
    Arlene recently posted..Rainbow CookiesMy Profile

  6. bellini says:

    Looks like your holidays were filled with good food, friends and family!

  7. sippitysup says:

    Caponata is New Years food at my house. This is a perfect rendition. Thanks for being a part of my 2011, here’s to a happy 2012 for us all. XOGREG
    sippitysup recently posted..Simple Lessons in Roast Tomato Soup with Mussels & FennelMy Profile

  8. zenchef says:

    Pastry made with lard? I say: Yes, Please!
    The Pascualina looks amazing and so does everything else. I am inviting myself over next year. :)
    zenchef recently posted..Maple-Soy Cured Salmon BellyMy Profile

  9. Rosa says:

    Gorgeopus side dishes! Everything looks so mouthwatering.

    Best wishes for 2012!



  10. They all look wonderful Joan. You would be welcome at my table anytime with any of those.

    We went to our BIL’s houses for Christmas and were only asked to bring an appetizer, even though I offered. So, it was definitely a great day-off for me.
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..There’s no place like home for the holidaysMy Profile

  11. giz says:

    The Pascualina is so interesting – kind of like spanikopita with a pastry rather than filo. I can never get enough of new sides and you’re always so creative with yours
    giz recently posted..Holiday MemoriesMy Profile

  12. Heidi Leon says:

    hmm the three of them sound fantastic, not just for the holiday season but from any casual year round party.

    best wishes for 2012.

  13. That pasqualina left me yearning for a slice, although it will have to be without the dough from Argentina, I’m afraid.
    ciaochowlinda recently posted..Bruschette/Crostini IdeasMy Profile

  14. I would love all three of these dishes and they have inspired me to try my own versions soon! Happy New Year !
    tasteofbeirut recently posted..Chocolate buttonsMy Profile

  15. Katie says:

    Your tarta pascualina looks delicious, and I like the idea of making it with broccoli rabe instead of spinach.
    Katie recently posted..Top Baby Names in Buenos Aires for 2011My Profile

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  1. […] I didn’t take note of how I made it because I do it often. It would be pretty much be like this or […]

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