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April 9, 2014

Off the sidelines

Giving Easter accompaniments the respect they deserve

If Thanksgiving is all about the sides, Easter is all about the main. While we agonize over styles of stuffings, whole or smooth cranberry sauces, sweet potatoes with or without marshmallows, and so many other Turkey Day dilemmas, we tend to just cobble together a what-have-you assortment of sides to accompany the beloved Easter ham or lamb.

But we decided Easter side dishes deserve more respect, so we created this assortment of dishes to liven up your offerings.

We start with peas. Nobody loves them straight-up, but give them a simple saute with butter and a trio of seeds — caraway, coriander and mustard — and suddenly they are a dish worth getting excited about.

For a fresh take on salad, we created a broccoli slaw seasoned with Dijon mustard, as well as the zests and juices of a lemon and an orange. Chopped dried apricots add a sweet touch, while toasted pine nuts offer a savory crunch.

Finally, we have a vegetable patty made from the main ingredients of ratatouille. Finished with fresh oregano, feta cheese and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, this is a side that can hold its own at the Easter table.

BUTTER-SPICED SKILLET PEAS

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

10 ounces sweet peas

Kosher salt and black pepper

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the caraway seeds, coriander, mustard and paprika. Cook, stirring frequently, until toasty-smelling, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the peas, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just tender. Season with salt and black pepper.

Nutrition information per serving: 110 calories; 50 calories from fat (45 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 4 g protein; 120 mg sodium.

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