Easter Side Dishes

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Updated: 4/15/2014 9:34 am
Oven Roasted Green Beans with Brown Sugar and Peppered Bacon
Serves 8

2 pounds fresh green beans
1 Tbsp (or as needed) Olive Oil
4 Strips of thick sliced bacon  (diced)
½ tsp freshly ground black peppercorn
¼ tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Pat green beans dry with paper towel after washing, spread onto pan, drizzle with olive oil
Sprinkle on spices, sugar, & bacon
Roast in oven until beans have brown spots, 20-25 minutes

Black and Blue Spring Salad (courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats)
Serves 4 as a side salad or add chicken, shrimp or steak to make it a main dish for 2

5 oz spring mix lettuce
12 oz fresh blackberries (or blueberries)
3 oz blue cheese, crumbled (could use chevre or feta cheese)
One small handful of honey-roasted pecans, purchase pre-made or make from scratch (recipe below)

For the Berry-Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon honeysalt and pepper

For the Berry-Balsamic Vinaigrette: Add blackberries and sugar to a food processor or blender then process or blend until berries are crushed. Let sit for a minute then add remaining ingredients and process or blend until smooth. Set aside (can be made ahead of time.)
Divide lettuce between plates then top with blackberries, blue cheese crumbles, and honey-roasted pecans. Dress with berry-balsamic vinaigrette then serve

Honey-roasted pecans

1/2 cup pecans
1/2 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon honey

For the Honey-Roasted Pecans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a bowl then add honey and pecans. Toss to coat then spread out on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant (watch carefully so they don’t burn.) Sprinkle lightly with salt then set aside and let cool completely (can be made ahead of time.)
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