Every great steak needs awesome sidekicks.
As we find ourselves in the midst of spring where steak cookouts and barbeques are multiplying like baby rabbits, this is the perfect time of year to use fresh produce to whip up sides to complement those steaks that you’ve poured your heart and soul into.
Here’s some easy recipes that are amazing with steaks.
Try this simple recipe from Simply Recipes for the perfect roasted asparagus. Keep in mind that to avoid tough and stringy asparagus when roasting it, use fat and not skinny spears, because the heat of the oven will dry out the skinny ones too quickly.
- 1 pound asparagus spears (thick spears are best for roasting)
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Rinse the asparagus and break off the ends of the asparagus (if the ends are tough).
- Line a roasting pan with foil, arrange the spears in a single layer on the pan, and drizzle them with olive oil.
- Then, sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and minced garlic, and rub it over the spears to evenly distribute it.
- Roast them in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until they are lightly browned (the time could vary depending on your oven and the thickness of the spears).
- Drizzle fresh lemon juice or balsamic over them, add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!
Try this caramelized broccoli from Food & Wine that will win over the hearts of the broccoli haters. For the best results, pick out broccoli that’s bright green (avoid yellowing florets) and with strong stalks.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 heads of broccoli (1 1/4 pounds total), stems peeled and heads halved lengthwise
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add the broccoli (cut side down) and cover and cook it over moderate heat until it’s browned on the bottom (about 8 minutes).
- Add water, cover again, and cook it until the broccoli is tender and the water has evaporated (about 7 minutes).
- Add more olive oil with the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook it uncovered until garlic is golden brown (about 3 minutes).
- Season the broccoli with salt and pepper, drizzle it with fresh lemon juice, and enjoy!
Roasted Brussel Sprouts:
Brussel sprouts don’t have to be a scary memory from your childhood, and we found a superb recipe from Food Network for cooking them. If you love crispy and delicious sides, these are for you.
- 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut the brown ends off and pull any yellow outer leaves off of the brussel sprouts.
- In a bowl, mix them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Place them on a sheet pan and roast them for 35-40 minutes, until they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Be sure to shake the pan periodically so that they brown evenly.
- Sprinkle them with kosher salt and enjoy!
For anyone who loves garlic and butter and generally anything covered in those that melts in your mouth, these mushrooms from Cafe Delites will be the belle of the ball.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 an onion chopped (optional)
- 1 pound (500 g) Cremini or button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine* (optional)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pan or skillet, heat butter and oil over medium high heat.
- Sauté the onion until it’s softened (about 3 minutes).
- Then, add the mushrooms and cook them for about 4-5 minutes. The edges should be golden and crispy.
- Add the wine and cook (for about 2 minutes).
- Stir in thyme, parsley, and garlic, and continue to cook ( for about 30 seconds, until fragrant).
- Season these lovelies with salt and pepper, sprinkle them with parsley, and enjoy!
From Dinner At The Zoo, here is another wonderful side that’s brimming with garlic and also extremely easy to make. For the best results when grilling zucchini, cut it into quarters. Larger pieces help to prevent it from getting mushy while cooking on the grill. You can also slice it, but make sure that the pieces are at least 1/2 inch thick.
- 1 pound small zucchini (ends trimmed off, then cut into quarters lengthwise)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (try our Table 40 blend!)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- Lemon wedges for serving optional
- In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and minced garlic.
- Add the zucchini and toss it to coat it.
- Cover it and refrigerate it for 20 minutes - 2 hours.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat, and add the zucchini to the grill in a single layer.
- Cook it for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until it’s tender and browned, and if desired season with additional salt while grilling.
- Plate it, sprinkle it with parsley, pretty it up with lemon wedges if you desire, and enjoy!
Nothing is better than a mouthful of juicy, tender steak and creamy, rich mashed potatoes. The perfect partner for your steak; whip together these potatoes from Gimme Some Oven for an epic meal.
- 5 pounds potatoes (half Yukon Gold, half Russet potatoes)
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- Fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- Toppings: chopped fresh chives or green onions, freshly-cracked black pepper
- Feel free to peel your potatoes or leave the skin on. Either way, cut them into even chunks (about 1 inch thick). When doing so, put them in a large stockpot full of cold water, until they are all cut and ready to cook (they can stay in cold water for up to 4 hours, but make sure the water stays cold).
- One they are all cut, double check that the cold water in the pot sits about 1 inch above the potatoes, add garlic and salt, and turn the heat on high until the water is boiling.
- Boil them for about 10-12 minutes, and then drain the water out. (You know they’re done when a knife can be inserted into the middle of a potato with very little to no resistance.)
- Prepare the melty butter goodness for it while the potatoes are boiling by heating butter, milk, and sea salt together in a saucepan, and then set it aside (or microwave until the butter is just melted - don’t boil the milk).
- After draining the water from the potatoes, put them back in the hot stockpot, put the stockpot back on the hot burner, and put the heat on low. Cook off some of the remaining water that’s still in the potatoes by shaking the pot gently over the burner while using two oven mitts for about 1 minute. Afterwards, remove it entirely from the heat.
- Mash the potatoes with your preferred method.
- Pour half of your melty butter mixture over the potatoes, folding it with a wooden spoon or spatula until the liquid is soaked up by the potatoes, and then do it again with the other half of the butter. Repeat this method with the cream cheese. Don’t overmix - do it until it’s just combined!
- Taste your potatoes and add salt and pepper as desired. Add your desired toppings (cheese and bacon anyone?) and enjoy!
Parsnips are an underrated food, and this recipe from Food Network shows us why. While it’s not a common menu item, parsnips, with a little bit of magic, can be turned into a creamy wonder.
- 1 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and gently smashed
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Parsley for garnish
- Place your parsnips in a pot; add salt, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme, and cover them with milk and cream.
- Simmer them over medium heat until they are tender, about 12-15 minutes (the tip of a paring knife should slice through them with no resistance).
- Put them in a food processor with butter and pour in the milk mixture. (Enough of the mixture should be poured in so that the parsnips have the texture of whipped cream.)
- Season your parsnip puree with salt and pepper, top it with parsley, and enjoy!
For spice lovers, here is the perfect super simple recipe to complement any meal from Rachael Ray.
- 1 lb Carrots, thin
- 1 Cilantro, Fresh leaves
- 1 Lemon, wedges
- 2 tbsp Harissa
- 1 tsp Maple syrup
- 4 tbsp Butter
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
- Add the carrots, and cover and cook them until tender (for about 10 minutes). Be sure to stir them occasionally.
- Stir in the Harissa and maple syrup.
- Season your carrots as desired, top them with fresh cilantro, squeeze them with lemon, and enjoy!
Caramelized Butternut Squash:
Butternut squash can be an amazing comfort food side. With maple syrup, cinnamon, and rosemary, this butternut squash is a sweet and nutty delight from Well Plated.
- 1 large butternut squash about 3 pounds, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt (if using table salt, or reduce the amount and add a bit at the end as needed to avoid over-saltiness)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 400°F, positioning the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Coat two baking sheets with nonstick spray.
- Cube your squash (see recipe for how-to cube tips).
- In a large bowl, add and toss together the squash cubes, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, cinnamon, and pepper.
- Divide them onto the two baking sheets, spreading them into single layers (make sure they don’t overlap), and be sure to discard excess liquid from the bowl.
- Place the sheets on the oven racks you positioned and bake them for 15 minutes.
- Remove them from the oven, turn all of the cubes with a spatula, and then place back in the oven, switching the pans’ positions on the upper and lower racks. Cook until the squash is tender (about 10-15 minutes).
- Sprinkle rosemary on top of these sweet things and enjoy!
Grilled Corn on the Cob:
Adding a little smoke and a little char to this corn on the cob is a super simple way to create a side that leaves you with a taste of summer in every bite, so try this easy recipe from Spend With Pennies.
- 4 ears of corn
- 1 tablespoon olive oil if direct grilling
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt & pepper to taste
To Grill with the Husks on:
- Without detaching the husks from the bottom of the cob, peel them back, remove the silk, and fold the husks back into place, covering the corn.
- In a sink or large bowl, soak the corn for 15 minutes - overnight.
- Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
- Take the corn out of the water, shake off the excess, and cook them on the grill for 15-20 minutes. Be sure to turn them occasionally.
- Peel off the husks.
To Grill with the Husks off:
- Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
- Take the husks and silk off of the corn and brush the corn with olive oil.
- Cook them on the grill for 10-15 minutes, and turn them occasionally.
Whichever way you choose, be sure to season the corn with butter, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!
Keep these recipes in your back pocket for the next time you’re cooking steaks. Not only are they simple, but they’re also a fantastic way to put to use any goodies from your garden.
Photo credit: Robert Krcmar