Midday Fix: Healthy holiday side dishes

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Carolyn O'Neil

Fresh Cranberry-Orange Relish

1 large orange
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs sugar
2 10 oz. packages fresh cranberries

Grate orange rind, and place in a food processor. Peel and section orange over the bowl of food processor. Add orange sections, sugar, and cranberries to processor; process until coarsely chopped. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 day.
Note: Allow at least 1 day in the refrigerator to marry the bright, fresh flavors. Make up to 3 days ahead.

Winter Citrus, Escarole, and Endive Salad

6 cups torn escarole
2 cups thinly sliced Belgian endive (about 2 heads)
1 cup thinly sliced radicchio
1 cup pink grapefruit sections
1 cup navel orange sections
3/4 cup blood orange sections
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries, soaked for 10 minutes in apple cider

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add grapefruit, orange, and blood orange sections; toss gently. Combine the shallots and next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Divide salad evenly among 6 plates. Divide the dried cranberries evenly among servings.

Sautéed Green Beans with Spice-Glazed Pecans

2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans (can serve on the side)
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper. Bring sugar, 1 Tablespoon water, cumin, and red pepper to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat; stir in pecans, rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread pecan mixture in an even layer on prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until fragrant and browned. Cool in pan, stirring occasionally. Place green beans in a large saucepan of boiling water; cook 4 minutes. Drain and plunge green beans into ice water; drain. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beans; sauté 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper over green beans; toss. Place beans on a serving platter; sprinkle with pecan mixture. Serve immediately.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

2 center cut bacon slices
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray
1 (2-ounce) slice French bread baguette
3 Tablespoons butter

Preheat broiler. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings; crumble. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to drippings in pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add Brussels sprouts and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil; cook 6 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are almost tender. Uncover and remove from heat. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; toss to combine. Spoon Brussels sprouts mixture into a 2-quart broiler-safe glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place bread in a food processor, and process until finely ground. Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently.  Add cooked, crumbled bacon to toasted breadcrumb mixture.  Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over Brussels sprouts mixture.  Broil 3 minutes or until golden and thoroughly heated.

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