Here are three veggie side dishes that we make on a regular basis. They are flavorful, but what we like most about them is that they are simple. With just a few fresh ingredients we can quickly prepare a hot vegetable side to go with dinner.

Sautéed Spinach

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot enough to ripple slightly, add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and several fine grates of whole nutmeg. Add 10 ounces of spinach to the pan and quickly turn over repeatedly until the spinach is slightly wilted, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately. Makes about 4 servings.

Italian Carrots

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add about 1.5 lbs. carrots, sliced to about 1/4 inch thickness. Sauté for one minute, turn heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes (or until the carrots have softened) stirring occasionally. Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, two tablespoons chopped fresh thyme and 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and sauté for 1 minute. Add 1/3 cup Marsala wine, and cook until the wine evaporates into a glaze. Season with salt and white pepper to taste and garnish with grated parmesan cheese. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

No Steamer Steamed Broccoli

Place one large bunch of broccoli, washed and cut into pieces, 3 cloves of fresh chopped garlic, 1/3 cup cold water, 1.5 tablespoons olive oil, several shakes of red pepper flakes and salt to taste in a pot on the stove and cover. Turn heat to medium or medium-high (stoves may vary, so you will need to test what works best for your stove) and set a timer for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, or when the broccoli is bright green and softened, stir and serve immediately. Makes about 4 servings.