Friday recipe: Memorial Day sides

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. I am often reminded of their sacrifice not just from reading the news, but also from seeing many of our students in military attire. I am humbled by their selfless service to our country.

Remember the brave and fallen this Monday.

As many businesses, schools and other institutions are closed Memorial Day, it’s also a popular day for cookouts and picnics. Given the gallon-sized bag of radishes my parents recently delivered and my goal of serving stress-free, make-ahead sides to accompany whatever lands on our grill this weekend, I offer two options below.

Avocado radish salad (from Domestic Divas)

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pit removed, and sliced
  • 1 cup radishes, trimmed and sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

This recipe serves two, so double or triple as needed.

Roasted vegetable dip (from Eat Better America)

  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced (2 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

Heat oven to 400°. Toss zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, onion and garlic with olive oil in a jelly roll pan. Sprinkle with salt and red pepper. Bake about 30 minutes, turning vegetables once, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

Place vegetables in blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high speed about a minute, stopping blender occasionally to scrape sides, until smooth. Serve warm, or refrigerate at least two hours until chilled. Serve with baked pita chips (see below) and vegetable dippers. Makes seven servings.

Baked pita crisps

  • 1 1/2 pita breads (6 inches in diameter)
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil or butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375°. Split each pita bread around edge with knife to make two rounds. Lightly brush oil over pita rounds. Sprinkle with basil and cheese. Cut each round into eight wedges. Place in single layer on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake uncovered six to eight minutes or until light brown and crisp. Cool slightly (chips will continue to crisp as they cool). Serve warm or cool. Store in tightly covered container up to three weeks at room temperature.

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