Our Best Side Dishes for Lamb
With Spring in the air, it’s the perfect time to get into the kitchen and prepare lamb— an underestimated protein that's a favorite around the world. The delicate flavor and tenderness of lamb make it delicious dinner option that's even suitable for company during the holidays. Haven't tried it? You just need the right sides to serve it with. We have something for your table, whether that's an authentic Moroccan or Israeli dish, or pasta and Spring vegetables.
Moroccan-Spiced Baby Carrots
Warm spices like cumin and cinnamon play deliciously off the sweetness of the carrots.
Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl
Farro Salad with Peas, Pancetta, and Radishes
Toss farro with a radish mixture, peas, pancetta, arugula, and more to make this salad.
Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Linda Hirst
White Beans with Sorrel Pesto
Fresh sorrel, a hardy, leafy green perennial, gives simple white beans a zap of color and a lemony tang. Farmers' markets often carry it from spring into early fall, depending on where you live. If you can't find it, swap in basil. This recipe comes from Erin Scott, creator of the blog (and cookbook) Yummy Supper.
Photo: Thomas J. Story
Frisée and Arugula Salad
Get your fix of Italian flare with this pleasantly pungent and peppery green salad. If you want a more mild radish flavor, look to make this in the spring when the radishes are at their peak.
Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Salty, roasted sunflower kernals give lively Carrot-Avocado Tabbouleh crunch. Diced avocado brings a dash of creaminess to this side dish.
Photo: Hector Sanchez; Stylist: Buffy Hargett
Mix cucumber, tomato, and oregano into couscous and sprinkle with feta to make this Greek-Style Couscous.
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford
Braised Leeks with Parmesan
nspired by a Marcella Hazan recipe, this side dish helps Pandolfi feel closer to his Italian heritage. Wash leeks after they’re halved by dunking them in a bowl of cold water and vigorously swishing to dislodge dirt and grit trapped between the layers. You may need to repeat the process once or twice, depending on the level of grit. We love the simplicity of this dish. White wine provides a little tangy acid to the leeks, while Parmesan cheese packs an umami wallop, making for a supremely satisfying side.
Photo: Jennifer Causey
Sautéed Leeks and Radishes
Sautéed Leeks and Radishes combine crunchy radishes with sliced leeks to create a quick and easy side at only 113 calories per serving.
Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower
You can use bagged baby carrots, but young carrots with tops taste better.
Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell
Garbanzo Beans and Greens
Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Moroccan-Style Lamb and Chickpeas
Photo: Johnny Autry and Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
Pasta Shells with Spring Vegetables
Pea tendrils, the tender tips of pea vines that taste just like the peas, make an unexpected and charming garnish.
Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
Potato and Leek Gratin
A mandoline will slice the potatoes quickly and to the same thickness, though a sharp knife will also work. Instead of being buried in cream, the potatoes and leeks are simmered in and drizzled with milk so the potatoes get wonderfully crisp and tender and the cheeses form a melty, golden crust.
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Buttery Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted cauliflower takes on a nutty, warm flavor with the help of butter and shallots. Top with fresh chives for a pop of freshness.
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine
Roasted Carrots with Citrus Dressing
Fresh fruit juice and chopped cilantro create a zesty dressing for roasted carrots.
Photo: Travis Rathbone; Styling: Megan Hedgpeth
Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas with Chile, Lemon, and Mint
Mint adds a fresh finish to this side dish, but fresh chopped thyme or oregano leaves will also pair well with the snap peas.
Photo: Jennifer Causey Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Orzotto with Green and White Asparagus
Orzo takes the place of Arborio rice in Orzotto with Green and White Asparagus--a risotto-style dish that turns rich and creamy as it's stirred to doneness. Tender asparagus and fresh lemon zest add the welcome flavors of spring in this pasta dish.
Photo: Francesco Tonelli; Styling: Tiziana Agnello
Bajane is a Provençal term for the midday meal. Chickpeas are a staple in Provence, where they are often stewed and served with pasta and vegetables. In this version, chickpeas, leeks, carrots, fennel, and spinach are served atop protein-rich quinoa.
Photo: Oxmoor House
Mediterranean Barley with Chickpeas and Arugula
Photo: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Simon Andrews
Israeli Couscous and Dill Snap Peas
Sugar snap peas pair with Israeli Couscous for a fast side salad. Finish Israeli Couscous and Dill Snap Peas with shaved Parmesan cheese and minced dill.
Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
A Perfect Pot of Lentils
Start tasting for doneness at the 28-minute mark. They'll continue to soften as they sit, so be sure to stop the cooking process before they turn to mush. Red and yellow lentils do not work well here, as they tend to cook much faster and will fall apart. You want to maintain a bit of a bite, making these lentils better candidates for salads, soups, and stews.
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Braised Spring Vegetables
Slowly cooking young vegetables with olive oil brings out their natural sweetness. Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour. Notes: If you don't like fava beans or can't find them (check upscale grocery stores and farmers' markets), you can leave them out and double the amount of peas. Green garlic is very young, mild garlic, picked before the cloves have formed; it resembles a green onion. It's available in spring at farmers' markets, but if you can't find it, double the green onions.
Photo: Leigh Beisch; Styling: Merilee Bordin