The steak is the star of the dish. Nobody is disputing that. But in between bites and sips of red wine, a light green side dish can provide a nice counterpoint to the richness of the meat and refresh the palate. These three simple recipes fit that bill. They come from three forthcoming cookbooks by three different acclaimed chefs. Hunter-gatherer chef Rohan Anderson makes grilled broccoli and sriracha salad; mother-and-daughter tandem Simone and Inés Ortega prepare a simple fried artichoke side; and Anya Fernald conjures a delicious lemony fennel salad. Pick one and focus most of your energy on perfecting your steak.

The Recipes

Three Sides, Professionally Made

Grilled Broccoli & Sriracha Salad

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This recipe is straight out of Rohan Anderson’s upcoming cookbook, A Year of Practiculture: Recipes for Living, Growing, Hunting & Cooking, scheduled to hit shelves late March 2016. Anderson’s 2012 cookbook, Whole Larder Love, was all about sustainability; he hunted and foraged for his ingredients. And this book follows that same mantra. This broccoli salad is light, with a little spice from the sriracha, and simple to prepare.

Generously Serves 2
Ingredients:

2–3 broccoli heads, stems removed
1–2 tablespoons of olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, sliced
100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) of soft goat’s cheese or feta
50–100 grams (1 3/4 – 3 1/2 ounces) of slivered almonds
Green sriracha, for drizzling salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

1. Blanch the broccoli for two minutes in boiling water then drain.

2. Heat a chargrill pan or barbecue hotplate to high and start to grill the broccoli – you may need to work in batches, depending on the size of your pan. The idea is to give the broccoli a bit of a burnt, charred feel. When the broccoli is cooked, transfer it to a large mixing bowl.

3. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a frying pan over low heat and fry the garlic until golden.

4. Add the fried garlic, goat’s cheese and almonds to the broccoli, drizzle over some sriracha, season to taste, and toss well.

5. Grab a fork and tuck in!

Fried Artichokes with Serrano Ham

steak-sides-gear-patrol-artichoke

In their upcoming cookbook, Quick & Easy Spanish Recipes (released April 2016), Simone and Inés Ortega (mother and daughter) share 100 iconic Spanish recipes, all of which can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Their recipe for fried artichokes, (alcachofas rehogadas, in Spanish) is a creative alternative to traditional house salads.

Generously Serves 6
Ingredients:

2-4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons (1 ounce/25 grams) of lard (optional)
14 ounces/385 grams of canned or thawed frozen artichoke hearts
5 ounces/150 grams of Serrano ham, diced
1 tablespoons of chopped parsley
Salt

Preparation:

1. Add two tablespoons of the oil and lard, if using, to a frying pan. If not using lard, add two tablespoons more oil. Heat over medium heat.

2. Add artichokes and ham and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for seven minutes.

3. Sprinkle with parsley, season with salt, and serve hot.

Lemony Fennel Salad

steak-sides-gear-patrol-fennel

Anya Fernald is the co-founder and CEO of Belcampo, a global farming and sustainable meat company. In her new cookbook Home Cooked: Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook, which will be released in early April 2016, Fernald teaches simple and sustainable recipes that are inspired from her time living and working in the Italian countryside. She describes this as a great late fall or winter salad — the perfect complement to a rich main course.

Generously Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of salted capers
3 fennel bulbs, trimmed
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

1. Soak the capers in warm water to cover for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse well.

2. With a mandoline or very sharp knife, cut the fennel crosswise into paper-thin slices. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt, tossing to coat. Let stand for five minutes, then pour off any accumulated liquid.

3. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and capers and toss to combine. Season with freshly ground pepper and additional salt to taste. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.