Category: <span>Side Dishes and Salads</span>

Roasted Asparagus with Kalamata Olives

Roasted Asparagus with Kalamata Olives

I make this delicious side dish when I have the oven heated to a hot temperature to bake fish or roast potatoes. Easy to make and easy clean up using non-stick foil.

1 # asparagus – cleaned and dried

Whole and pitted Kalamata olives – about 20

Lemon pepper seasoning

Olive oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place asparagus on baking lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Sprinkle olives on top. Dust with lemon pepper seasoning. Drizzle with olive oil.

Roast for only 10-12 minutes until lightly brown and sizzling.


Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Serves 4

Bag of 3 Hearts of Romaine

Olive oil based salad dressing – not low-fat – we use Gazebo Room Greek Salad Dressing & Marinade


Rinse off lettuce keeping it on the core. Remove any bad outside leaves. Cut off about one inch of the leaf end just to square it so that dressing can be drizzled in between the leaves. Gently separate the lettuce leaves and drizzle the dressing inside.

Place on moderate grill for about 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Remove when the lettuce is a bit charred and wilted.

On a cutting board, cut off the cores. Chop lettuce into bite side pieces and place in bowl. Toss lettuce very well and serve warm.

Crock Pot Applesauce

Slow cooker tip for easy clean up with no soaking or scrubbing. Use Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners. You’ll find them in the food bags and storage section in the grocery store. I love them!

5-6 cooking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced – mix and match Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonathon, Empire or others

1 cup sugar – more or less to taste

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ cup water

½ cup raisons

Except for the raisons, mix the ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Put in raisons and cook another hour.

Enjoy both the all-day aroma and the fresh taste!

Baked Vidalia Onions

Sweet Georgia Vidalia onions are plentiful in North Carolina this month. These easy, fragrant, and delicious onions make a great side dish to a simple chicken or pork entrée. All of our Josmo’s Café guests ask for the recipe which was created by John’s mother.


Vidalia onions (or any sweet white onion) – one medium onion per person

2 teaspoons butter per onion

1 teaspoon ground allspice per onion

One square of heavy aluminum foil large enough to totally wrap the onion

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Peel each onion. Cut off a small part of the bottom for the onion to stand. Cut off the top of each onion. Using a paring knife, cut a core 1 inch down in the top of the onion.
  • Place each onion on its own square of foil.
  • Place 2 teaspoons butter in each of the cored onions.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon allspice over each onion.
  • Wrap the onions by pulling the sides up and twisting the top of the foil to seal.
  • Place the wrapped onions on a baking sheet spacing a few inches apart.
  • Bake for 1 hour.
  • Unwrap the onions carefully since there will be hot steam.
  • Two ways to serve the onions. Whole on a platter or cut each onion in quarters and combine in a serving bowl. Pour the melted butter and allspice from the bottom of the foil over the onions before serving.

Tomato-Zucchini Tart

adapted from a Family Circle recipe


1 rolled refrigerated pie crust

1 4.4 ounce package light herb cheese spread, such as Boursin

4 medium ripe tomatoes, about 1 pound total, thinly sliced, patted dry

2 medium zucchini, about 1 pound total, sliced into 1/4-inch coins

1 cup of sautéed sweet onions (start with about 2 cups)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tsps Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.


  1. Prepare pie crust according to package directions for a one-crust pie, pricking the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees F for 12 minutes. Cool.


  1. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.


  1. Spread Boursin cheese evenly over bottom of crust.


  1. Alternately fan tomato and zucchini slices in a decorative fashion. Spread all the sautéed onions over this layer. Sprinkle with ½ the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and mozzarella cheese. Repeat for a second layer.


  1. Bake tart at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until nicely browned and zucchini slices are fork tender. Cool slightly and serve.

Marinated Cucumbers, Onions, and Tomatoes

Adapted from a recipe

John is the chef on this one!


3 medium cucumbers, sliced ¼ inch thick

1 medium sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings

3 medium tomatoes, cut in wedges and extra juice removed


½ cup white vinegar

¼ cup sugar

1 cup water

2 tsp salt

¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1/8 cup olive oil

1/8 cup vegetable or canola oil

Pinch of cornstarch


½ cup feta cheese, crumbled


Combine cucumbers, onion, and tomatoes in a large Ziploc bag.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients except the feta cheese. Add mixture to the Ziploc bag.


Refrigerate two or more hours flipping the bag occasionally to coat everything in the bag.


Before serving, drain and add the feta cheese. Toss well.


Makes 6 servings.

Roasted Broccoli and Tomatoes

6 cups broccoli florets

1/4 cup coarsely chopped shallots

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp snipped fresh thyme

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes,  halved

2 cloves garlic, minced (I use garlic powder for a lighter garlic taste)

1/4 cup shaved Asiago cheese

Serves 6.

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 15x10x 1-inch baking pan with non-stick foil. In the pan, combine broccoli and shallots.
  2. In small bowl combine oil, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Drizzle olive oil mixture over broccoli and shallots and toss gently to coat.
  4. Roast uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring once.
  5. Add tomatoes and garlic and stir into broccoli mixture. Roast an additional 5 minutes until broccoli is tender and tomatoes are soft.
  6. Sprinkle with Asiago cheese before serving.

Josmo’s Cafe note: We doubled this recipe for a dinner party for 7 people and we nearly finished it all!

From Better Homes and Gardens All-Time  Favorites Cookbook 2013

Strawberry and Feta Salad

Shallots, strawberries, and feta – delicious combination!

1 small diced shallot

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp sugar

1 pinch kosher salt

4 large hulled and thinly slices strawberries

3 oz fresh spinach leaves (I use the organic pre-washed that comes in a plastic container with 5 oz of spinach)

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Serves 3.

Combine shallot and lemon juice in small bowl. Let sit 15 minutes.  Whisk in EVOO. Season with sugar and salt. Add strawberries. Pour that mixture over the spinach leaves. Toss very well and season to taste with freshly ground pepper and additional salt. Top with feta crumbles and toss again.

Josmo’s Cafe note: We served this topped with thinly sliced, cold steak we had leftover. Next time, we want to try it with grilled chicken.

From May 2014

Carrots with Cumin, Ginger and Honey

Guy Fieri’s Campfire Veggies

Good Housekeeping Magazine June 2104


15 organic carrots, trimmed

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

2 tsp honey

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground ginger


Season carrots with Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste. Then toss with rest of the ingredients.

Put down one piece of non-stick foil on a baking sheet. Place 1/2 of the ingredients in the center. Cover with a second sheet of non-stick foil (non-stick sides face each other to cover vegetables). Crimp edges to form a packet. Repeat with remaining vegetable mixture.

Grill packets 17-20  minutes on medium hot grill until vegetables are tender. Be careful of  hot steam when you open!

Sensational Roasted Potatoes

I adapted this recipe from a November 2014 Family Circle magazine recipe. As soon as I saw it had brown sugar in it, I knew it was going to be sensational. It was!

2 lbs fingerling or small red-skinned potatoes – cut in half

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In large bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil.  Season with the rest of the ingredients. 

Place the mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with non-stick foil.

Roast for 40 minutes, stirring once half way through.

The potatoes will look caramelized and crunchy when done.