Side Dishes

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri  |  Lemon & Mocha

These are the grilled asparagus from the Grilled Steak with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce dish, but they have been kicked up a notch. The chimichurri sauce is olive oil, parsley, garlic, lime juice, oregano, salt and pepper pureed together in a blender. Super simple and nicely concentrated with fresh flavors.

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s also delicious over grilled steaks and breakfast tacos, but today we are drizzling it over grilled asparagus. Maybe even doing a little dunking and swiping action, too, because it’s so good you will want every last drop.

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I love asparagus so I’m always brainstorming for ideas to jazz it up while still keeping it healthy and quick to make.

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri  |  Lemon & Mocha

I highly recommend making all three dishes from this week together – the Hawaiian BBQ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, the Asian Pineapple Slaw, and this Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri. When the Hawaiian sauce mixes with the slaw and the chimichurri it is the definition of complete magic! Enjoy and happy Friday!

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri  |  Lemon & Mocha

Grilled Asparagus with Chimichurri
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the chimichurri
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
for the asparagus
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
for the chimichurri
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the asparagus in a blender. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
for the grilled asparagus
  1. Remove and discard the woody ends of the asparagus. If you lightly bend the asparagus stalk it will snap at a natural spot where the thick stem ends. Drizzle the asparagus with the olive oil then toss to coat. Season with the salt and pepper. I usually do about 5-6 grinds each of our salt and pepper grinders (they are small).
  2. Heat your grill or grill pan so it’s at medium-high heat. Grill the asparagus for 5 minutes, tossing/turning once while grilling. If your asparagus stalks are very thin you may only need 3 minutes, if the stalks are thick you may need longer than the 5 minutes. If you are using a grill not a grill pan I would suggest using a grill grid or basket so the asparagus doesn’t slip through the grill grates and adding about 5 minutes of grilling time. Top with the chimichurri.

 

Asian Pineapple Slaw

Asian Pineapple Slaw  |  Lemon & Mocha

Ta-da! Here is the slaw I referred to in Monday’s Hawaiian BBQ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe. It’s an Asian Pineapple Slaw to be specific and, yes, it is definitely as delicious as it sounds.

Asian Pineapple Slaw  |  Lemon & Mocha

It probably has the shortest and easiest directions of any post here on Lemon & Mocha. “Add all the ingredients to a medium mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.” That’s it!

Asian Pineapple Slaw  |  Lemon & Mocha

Two of the ingredients are reduced sodium soy sauce and sesame oil to bring in the Asian flavor profile, but the fresh pineapple and agave syrup sweeten it up. Add some lime zest to give it some citrus zing (and a bunch of other ingredients that aren’t as exciting so I won’t mention them here) and you have a bright and crunchy veggie side dish.

Asian Pineapple Slaw  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have actually only ever made this slaw when I’m serving the Hawaiian BBQ Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, but it would taste great with chicken burgers or teriyaki grilled salmon. And probably a whole lot of other things, but those are the two dishes I think I will pair it with next. Enjoy!

Asian Pineapple Slaw  |  Lemon & Mocha

Asian Pineapple Slaw
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage, packed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Zest from ½ lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Add all the ingredients to a medium mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts  |  Lemon & Mocha

Unless I’m busy gorging on pasta, dinner at home doesn’t seem complete to me unless there are some veggies. This is probably because my dad always seems to need at least three types of vegetables on his plate and he’s been like that for as long as I can remember. Roasted vegetables are usually the default in our house, but these orange and apple cider vinegar sautéed brussels sprouts from Pati’s Mexican Table were speaking to me. Well, actually her recipe calls for green beans, but we are big fans of brussels over here so I’ll use any excuse to sub them in.

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s hard to make brussels sprouts look attractive, especially after removing the outer dark green leaves, so you will just have to trust me that these brussels are super tasty. They are light and citrusy, with just the right amount of acidity from the apple cider vinegar. They were also the perfect finishing touch to our dinner of Sweet and Salty Salmon and Arroz Verde.

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts  |  Lemon & Mocha

Whether I’m roasting or sautéing them, I typically halve brussels sprouts so they cook quicker and have more layers to soak up the seasonings or sauce. I was watching Anne Burrell on the Food Network a few months ago and she gave me another reason to always halve them – it releases some of the gases in the vegetable that can cause it to taste bitter. So always halve your sprouts!

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts  |  Lemon & Mocha

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, stems and dark outer leaves removed, cut in half
  • ¼ cup chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the halved brussels sprouts, chopped white onion and minced garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the brussels sprouts are almost tender, about 15 minutes. I usually test to see if I can pierce a sprout with a fork with a little resistance.
  2. Add the orange juice and apple cider vinegar. Cook until the sauce has slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.

Recipe adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table.

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Arroz Verde

Arroz Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

We’re back at it today with another tasty dish from Pati’s Mexican Table. Pati gave this arroz verde the title of My Favorite Green Rice, but I’m renaming it simply My Favorite Rice because it is the best rice I’ve ever made. The rice is so simple, but it has great flavor to it that really complements dishes like the Sweet and Salty Salmon well. A vibrant green puree is made from poblano chiles, parsley, cilantro and garlic. The puree gets soaked into the uncooked rice before finishing cooking in the water, broth and lime juice. It amazes me that such a small step added to cooking regular rice could make such a huge impact in the flavor. Similar to a few other dishes I’ve had on here where I’ve used chili peppers (Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad and Monday’s Sweet and Salty Salmon), the poblano peppers have the seeds and pith removed so they do not make the rice spicy.

Arroz Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love using my Breville Risotto Plus for this rice dish because it lets me sauté and then switch it to the rice cooker setting all in the same pot. I know I’ve talked about this appliance before, but I love it! In our house it is used as our slow cooker, rice cooker and steamer. We also use the risotto setting when we’re feeling fancy and indulgent. The sauté feature is especially helpful for slow cooker recipes that require you to sauté onions or sear meat before turning on the slow cooker setting.

Arroz Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

Anyway, back to My Favorite Rice! If you don’t have a rice cooker with a sauté setting just follow the directions below for stove-top cooking. In addition to pairing with my favorite Mexican dishes from Pati’s Mexican Table I also love serving this rice to spice up an otherwise “boring” dinner, such as grilled chicken and veggies. Once you try it you won’t want plain rice again!

Arroz Verde  |  Lemon & Mocha

Arroz Verde
 
Yield: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 poblano chiles, seeds and pith removed, roughly cut into chunks
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup parsley leaves
  • ⅓ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2½ - 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups jasmine or long-grain white rice
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Crumbled Cotija cheese, for topping if desired
Directions
  1. Puree the poblanos, water, parsley, cilantro, garlic and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into a measuring cup and note the amount (or note the amount if your blender has measurements on the side). In a separate liquid measuring cup, measure out enough vegetable broth so that when added to the amount of poblano puree you make the two liquids together equal 4 cups. Keep the poblano puree and the vegetable broth separate.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil then add the rice. Cook, stirring often, until the rice changes to a milky white color, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped white onion and continue to sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Pour the poblano puree into the pan with the rice and continue to stir while it cooks. Cook until the puree thickens and then is mostly absorbed by the rice, about 3 minutes. Stir in the vegetable broth and lime juice then bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Let cook for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. The rice should be cooked and tender, but there should still be some moisture in the pan. Fluff with a fork or rice paddle then serve with the crumbled cheese on top, if desired.
Notes
If you are using a rice cooker with a sauté setting, switch to the rice cooker setting immediately after stirring in the vegetable broth and lime juice and cover with the lid.

Recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt, my cousin, Sarah, and I have a slight obsession with elote, also known as Mexican street corn. If your life has been elote-less thus far, what you need to know is that it is grilled corn slathered in lime juice, mayonnaise or crema, then sprinkled with salt, cotija cheese and chile powder. Basically, perfection on a cob.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s hard to say where our obsession stems from. It could be because we’re cheese freaks, because we love Mexican food, or maybe because we have some inexplicable connection to corn fields. However, I think the real reason we love it so much is because it reminds us of summer beach days.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every year my family meets at the beach in Delaware for our family beach week. A few years ago, we started incorporating happy hour towards the end of the beach day. Yes, we enjoy having a drink while the sun’s still warm before having to shower and get ready for dinner. But let’s be honest – it’s really about the corn. We tried it at happy hour at the Mexican restaurant near the beach and we got hooked. I’m talking left the beach early because we couldn’t take the corn craving anymore hooked. Ever since then, we’ve been on an elote frenzy, ordering it whenever we see it popping up on restaurant menus. So when I saw this Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad I knew I needed to have it as soon as possible.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

I first made it to bring to a barbecue and the weeks following I made it two more times because Matt and I couldn’t get enough. It is that good. I love elote and literally the only thing that could make it better is pasta, because hello – pasta! This pasta corn salad is packed with mind-boggling flavor and loaded with all the best goodies. There’s avocado, cheese and bacon in there. Yes, bacon! The pasta salad is smoky without being spicy, although you can certainly make it more spicy. My preference is usually just the least-spicy baby version possible.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every time I’ve made this it’s come out perfectly delicious. Even though I think it’s perfect as is, one of the reasons I love making pasta salads (other than my noodle obsession) is that it’s so easy to adjust the flavors to your personal preferences. Like it richer? Add more mayonnaise. Like it with more zippiness? Add more lime juice and zest. I like to make it as written, taste, and then add more of whatever I feel it needs, if anything. If you are going to make it ahead I would wait and stir in the bacon, cheese and avocado last minute. Also the pasta will soak up some of the dressing if you leave it overnight before serving so maybe make some extra dressing to pour in last minute as well.

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
 
Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients
for the pasta salad
  • 1 lb farfalle pasta
  • 2 15-ounce cans of fire-roasted corn, roughly 3 cups corn (see note)
  • 3 scallions
  • ½ cup parsley leaves (or cilantro if you prefer)
  • ½ jalapeño (see note)
  • 6-8 strips bacon, cooked
  • ⅔ cup Cotija cheese
  • 1 avocado
for the dressing
  • ¾ cup regular mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • 1½ teaspoons hot sauce (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon chili powder (more if desired)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
for the pasta salad
  1. Cook the farfalle pasta according to the package directions, being sure not to overcook. Strain and then immediately rinse with cold water. Let strain until completely drain, lightly patting with paper towel if needed.
  2. Drain the cans of corn and add them to a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked pasta. Remove the ends of the scallions then slice and add to the bowl. Chop the parsley or cilantro and add to the bowl. Carefully remove the seeds and pith from the jalapeño being sure to wear gloves or wash your hands immediately after. Finely chop and add to the mixing bowl. Crumble the cooked bacon and the cheese into the mixing bowl. Pour the dressing on top then stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Dice the avocado and fold in to combine.
for the dressing
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Notes
- Note about corn: If you can’t find or don’t want to use cans of fire-roasted corn, you have a few options. Trader Joe’s sells roasted corn in their freezer section. You could char some drained regular canned corn in a skillet on medium-high heat. You could also grill your corn then remove from the cob.
- Note about spiciness: I do not like spicy food. If you make the recipe as written and remove the seeds and pith from the jalapeño, use a mild hot sauce (I use Trader Joe’s Green Dragon sauce), and use a minimal amount of the chili powder, it will not be spicy. If you are concerned, reduce the amount of hot sauce and omit the chili powder. If you want it spicier, I would leave the seeds of the jalapeño and increase the amount of chili powder.

Recipe adapted from Chelsea’s Messy Apron.