Side Plates Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Percolate Kitchen

Broccoli Pesto with Cavatappi Pasta

If you're looking for a simple way to add more vegetables into your (or your kids'!) diet, broccoli pesto makes it easy! Simple swap out the traditional basil with 'riced' broccoli. It's easy and delicious!

Broccoli pesto is a simple way to add more vegetables into your (or your kids') diet! Simply swap out traditional basil with 'riced' broccoli. Here's how.
Broccoli Pesto with Cavatappi Pasta
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
  • 1 small head of broccoli stem removed and chopped into florets
  • 1/3 cup raw pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup ground parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 3/4 cup olive oil plus more
  • 2-3 cups cooked cavatappi pasta
  1. Add the broccoli florets to a large food processor (6-8 quart) fitted with an "S" blade. Pulse 5-6 times, scraping the sides of the bowl down as necessary. Turn the food processor to high and blend the broccoli. the broccoli will be ready when there are no more lumps and it has a sandy, "rice"-like appearance.
  2. Add the pine nuts, parmesan cheese, salt, garlic, and 1/2 cup olive oil to the food processor.
  3. Pulse again, 3-4 times, and the scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue pulsing 3-4 times, then scraping, until the pesto has come together to form a rough paste.
  4. Turn the food processor to high and pour in the remaining oil through the feeder tube. Pause to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  5. If the pesto is still 'dry' looking and not a smooth, oiled paste, add another 1/4 cup of olive oil and blend again, pausing to scrape the sides after a minute or so. Continue adding oil 1/4 cup at a time and blending until the pesto is a cohesive, smooth paste.
  6. Fold 1 cup of pesto into the cooked pasta and serve. Freeze any remaining pesto (see notes)
Recipe Notes

This pesto makes about 2 cups, which is more than you'll usually need as a simple side. I recommend using 1 cup to fold into 2-3 cups cooked pasta, and freezing the rest. It will last in the freezer for up to 6 months if stored in a tightly covered container or freezer safe ziplock bag, or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Feel free to swap out the cavatappi for any other type of pasta! We like this pesto on penne as well.

Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing

This Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing is packed full of nutty, tart, umami flavor! the best part? It comes together in just 15 minutes.

This Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing is packed full of nutty, tart, umami-full flavor! Bonus? It comes together in under 15 minutes!

I initially made roasted eggplant with creamy tahini-miso dressing and it was perfection (cue angels singing, it is that delicious). But then I introduced some leftover dressing to a bowl of uninspiring brussels sprouts in the fridge and suddenly, true love was born. Call it a meet-cute of vegetables and umami. 

Roasting eggplant on its own turns it from a slightly bitter, tough veggies into something that is velvety and sweet. But, when paired with this creamy tahini-miso dressing, roasted eggplant really sings. 

The creamy dressing is a blend of salty umami flavors from the miso, nuttiness from the tahini paste, a touch of tart from a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and just enough light, sugary sweetness.

This Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing is packed full of nutty, tart, umami flavor! the best part? It comes together in just 15 minutes.


Roasted eggplant the right way, in two parts

To really get a good depth of flavor into the roasted eggplant before it’s brushed with that utterly creamy tahini-miso dressing, it’s most important to make the roasted eggplant in two parts; first, just a sprinkle of salt and a light addition of the dressing, which will help bring out the creamy texture of roasted eggplant while leaving the flavor of the dressing light. Then, brush on the rest of the tahini-miso dressing and roast the eggplant little more, which deepens the flavor of each and brings the whole dish together. If you wished, you could also double the creamy tahini-miso dressing, and then drizzle it cold on the hot eggplant after the dish is out of the oven, or just, you know, drink it straight with a straw, but that’s entirely up to you.

When shopping for eggplant, look for the small ones. Not only will a smaller eggplant cook faster than a large one, but the sweet, roasted flavor is easier to come by than the big ones, which sometimes take a while longer in the oven to lose the bitterness.

The final result? Roasted eggplant with creamy tahini-miso dressing that’s smooth, velvety, sweet and tart. It’s practically perfect in every way.


This Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing is packed full of nutty, tart, umami flavor! the best part? It comes together in just 15 minutes.
Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Tahini-Miso Dressing
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
  1. Preheat the oven to 425*F/218*C.
  2. While the oven is heating, cut the top off the eggplant, then slice into pieces about 1/2"/1.27cm thick. You can cut the eggplant into thick strips, or you can slice it into steaks- just make sure the thickest part of the eggplant is no more than 1/2"/1.27cm thick. Lat the eggplant pieces on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  3. Lightly sprinkle the eggplant with salt, then set aside while you make the dressing.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the miso paste, tahini paste, sugar and lime. Use a fork or a small whisk to mix well; there likely will be lumps. Add the hot water a little at a time, whisking in between each addition, until the dressing is smooth. You may not need to use all the water.
  5. Brush the tops of the eggplant lightly with the dressing, reserving the rest. Place the eggplant in the oven and roast for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the eggplant from the oven and brush with the remaining dressing. Place back in the oven and roast a further 5-8 minutes, until the eggplant is completely soft all the way through.
  7. Remove and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve warm.

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Extra-Crispy, Melty Cheesy Chorizo Potato Skins

Extra-crispy with melty cheese on top! Um, yes please. I love this potato skin recipe with chorizo sausage, totally making this for tailgating and football parties this winter!

Make these super easy chorizo potato skins for your next gameday or Superbowl party!

Hellllllo, 1980’s calling! Is that you? Yes, it’s me- bringing back a variation on the bestest “fast casual” bar recipe of the 1980s with extra crispy, melty-cheesy chorizo potato skins; just in time for tailgating and football parties.

When you think of loaded potato skins, don’t you just feel like you’re hanging out at a TGI Friday’s, in all its red and white striped glory, with 13 extra loud televisions playing around you? Admit it. You have a hair crimper stashed under your sink. Or at least you miss the days when you did. You know crimped hair is back in style, right?

Know what never actually went out of style?

A crispy baked potato skin that splits with a crunch when you bite into it.

Melty, sharp cheddar cheese that smothers spicy chorizo sausage.

Creamy, tangy sour cream and all the bite of diced green onions.

Basically, we’re gonna crisp the hell out of the outside of the potato, add the spicy chorizo sausage filling, and then cover the whole motherlover in melted cheese and a dollop of cold sour cream. It’s a surefire party starter, I assure you.

These extra-crispy, melty-cheesy chorizo potato skins are super simple to make and the PERFECT gameday snack! BONUS! Click through to download your totally handy copy of the "Superbowl Party Planner", complete with app recipes, grocery lists, a timetable scheduler and checklists.
Chorizo Potato Skins
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
  • 2 lbs russet potatoes , scrubbed clean
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 lb Mexican chorizo sausage , casings removed if necessary
  • 1 cup shredded pepperjack or sharp cheddar cheese
To garnish:
  • 4-5 green onions , white part removed, diced
  • Sour cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 400*. Rub the potatoes all over with the vegetable oil, then bake for one hour or until cooked through. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let cool until cool enough to handle.
  2. While the potatoes are baking, cook the chorizo sausage. In a medium pan over medium-high heat, add the chorizo and cook, stirring often, until completely cooked through. Break the chorizo apart as it cooks using a wooden spoon. Drain of any excess grease and set aside.
  3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice each potato in half. Using a spoon, carefully remove the cooked insides, leaving a “rim” of about ½” around the outer edge of each potato. You can discard the insides or save for use later. Place the emptied potato halves back on the sheet pan, skin side down, and brush all over with melted butter.
  4. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of chorizo into each potato half. Top each half with shredded cheese.
  5. Place back in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove potatoes from oven and add a dollop of sour cream to each half. Sprinkle the potatoes with green onions and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Rubbing the potatoes with vegetable oil first, then brushing with melted butter later gives you perfectly crisp, crackling skin. You can purchase chorizo in links or patties; if you buy in links form, just make sure to remove the casing before cooking