Lunchbreak: Chef Chris Koetke makes easy side dishes

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Chris Koetke

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Green Beans with Roasted Red Peppers and Basil
Serves: 4

12 oz. green beans, preferably the smaller variety known as haricots vert
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water.  When tender, remove beans from the water and plunge into ice water.  Remove from ice water and reserve. Cook garlic in olive oil in a sauté pan.  Add beans and peppers and continue cooking until they are heated through.  Add basil and Parmesan.  Toss, taste for seasoning, and serve.

Wild Rice with Roasted Red Onions, Red Peppers and Carrots
Serves: 6

1 cup wild rice
3 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
roasted red onions, carrots, and red peppers (see recipe below)
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4  cup minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 oz. grated smoked cheese (Gouda or another flavorful cheese, the more flavorful the better)

Bring wild rice, water, and salt to a boil over moderate heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 40-50 minutes, or until the rice begins to pop out of its shell.  Strain and reserve.  This can be done 1 day ahead of time and kept refrigerated until needed. When ready to serve, heat butter over high heat in a large sauté pan.  Once the butter becomes a toasty brown color, add wild rice and roasted vegetables. Continue sautéing and stirring periodically until the wild rice and vegetables are hot (about 3-4 minutes). Season with pepper and salt to taste.  Stir in parsley. Place in a serving dish and top with cheese.  Serve.

Roasted Red Onions, Carrots, and Red Peppers

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into large dice
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
2 red peppers, halved, cleaned of all seeds, and cut into 1 inch squares

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Add vegetables and toss to coat.  Spread the vegetables evenly onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast vegetables until tender and brown in a 350º oven, turning occasionally.  It will take about 50 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and browned. Remove from oven and let cool.  They can be made 1 day ahead of time and kept refrigerated until needed.

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