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Southern Stories
Aug 15/13

Show Stealing Southern Side Dishes Posted by: Dan | 0 Comments

The long-standing staple of Southern dining would have to be the meat-and-three plate. It’s served each night at Southern tables, and when it comes to restaurants, there’s one in every town successfully competing with the neon chains of the world by paying as much attention to the sides as the meat.

In fact, every mom-and-pop soul food joint has the option of ordering a plate with only the side of vegetables. You think that’s for the vegetarians? For the health-conscious? No, my friend. That’s because those buttery, bacony, show-stopping Southern side dishes can carry a meal all on their lonesome.

Garden and Gun has surveyed Southern chefs for their favorite side-dish recipes and the list looks fantastic. Pecan-bacon syrup anyone? Yeah, you’re on board.

But until we reveal those side dishes, here’s how they beautifully describe the Southerner’s approach to these stand-alone accoutrements.

“The idea of side dishes, the beauty of vegetables, is core to the truth of Southern food,” observes Georgia chef Hugh Acheson. “At the end of the day, we are nothing without knowledge of our own backyard.”

At home, my daughters clamor as much for hoppin’ John and butter beans as for dessert. When they think of home-cooked meals, they are not imagining the main course. Unless the main course is macaroni and cheese. Which, as any Southerner will tell you, counts as a vegetable too.

Hold out your plate and take a gander at these glorious side-dish recipes:

Cast-Iron Charred Corn

Turnips and Greens in Miso-Ham Broth

Candied Sweet Potatoes in Pecan Bacon Syrup

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette




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