How to Make Supporting Acts That Steal the Show
Like many of us, cookbook writer Tara Mataraza Desmond—who's also the dinner planner for a family of five—comes up with an idea for a main course and then thinks, "Okay, great—now, what am I going to serve with it?" So, she wrote Choosing Sides, a book devoted entirely to salads, vegetables, grains, breads and more. The truth is, though, many of the recipes are so strong, they could steal the spotlight right from the main course. These Brussels sprouts are a perfect example: We often see the mini cabbages with bacon or pancetta, but Desmond turns to a new ingredient—maple syrup—to give them a toasty, caramel-like flavor. They'd be just as appropriate with a simple roast chicken as they would be on a holiday table.
Photo: Ben Pieper Photography