6 Green Dishes for St. Patrick's Day That Are Good for You
Brimming with fresh herbs and vegetables, these lunches, dinners and sides will have you feeling like you found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The Soup with a Trick for Staying Brilliant
Cooking broccoli can sap it of its gorgeous hue, so to keep it looking vibrant, this recipe involves a smart idea: Start with the rest of the veggies (onion, celery, garlic and potatoes); then, when they're almost done, toss in the broccoli florets. They'll be tender in just four minutes, so when you puree the soup—which also includes herbacious parsley and zippy feta—the color will still look fantastic.
Get the recipe: Broccoli and Feta Soup
The Unexpected Hummus
This brighter version of the much-loved Middle Eastern spread is made with edamame instead of chickpeas; and a generous amount of lemon juice, plus cumin and coriander, give it zesty flavor. To bump up the green factor even more ('tis the season, right?), serve it with sliced cucumber and green bell pepper and celery sticks.
Get the recipe: Edamame Hummus with Cucumber Slices
A No-Utensils-Needed Way to Get Your Greens
Adding spinach to pizza is a great way to boost the nutrition in your meal and to add a burst of rich color. The veggie needs a light counterpart to shine, though, and here, that comes in the form of not one but two cheeses: ricotta and feta. The former is creamier, so it melts in a flash, while the latter holds its shape somewhat, so you get some delicious pops of tanginess as you make your way through a slice.
Get the recipe: Spinach, Ricotta and Feta Grilled Pizza
The Veggie Side You Sort Of—But Not Totally—Thought Of
No collection of green recipes would be complete without a kale dish, but if you're thinking this is just another salad, hang on. The dish comes from Michael Pollan
, who famously suggested we: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants"—and it might be one of the tastiest ways to follow his advice. It combines toasted pine nuts, sautéed onions and lemon juice, and you only cook the greens for a couple of minutes, so they retain their bright color.
Get the recipe: Kale with Onions and Pine Nuts
Another Reason to Love Pesto
We're seeing chefs take pesto, traditionally made with basil and pine nuts, in a whole new direction—as in this fava-bean-and-mint rendition—but one thing stays the same: the eye-catching color. The puree is terrific with sautéed shrimp skewers, though you could also serve it alongside chicken, spread some on a prosciutto-and-mozzarella sandwich or dip crackers or pita wedges into it.
Get the recipe: Shrimp with Fava Bean and Mint Pesto
Photo: Paulette Phlipot © 2012
The Entrée Accompaniment You Didn't See Coming
A fruit salad can totally work as a dinner side without feeling like you're eating breakfast at 6:30 p.m. Take this not-too-sweet version: It's a jumble of honeydew, cucumber and grapes, with a honey-lime dressing and a smattering of poppy seeds and mint leaves. The soothing colors are lovely to look at, and the cooling flavors are perfect with spicy foods, whether you're making chipotle-sauced tacos
or curry pork kebabs
Get the recipe: Honeydew Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing