Spring Vegetable Side Dishes Perfect for Pairing with Fish

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Spring has sprung and that means it’s time for a new batch of recipes to take root in your kitchen. When you’re using fish as your entrée, finding the perfect side dish can be a little difficult. Potatoes? Something light? Something fried? Working with the vegetables that are in season, we’ve put together five recipes that’ll make for the perfect side to all of your delicious Lake-Grown Tilapia mains.

Chili-Lime Snap Peas

snap peas vegetable side

Start off with a kick! This Chili-Lime Snap Pea recipe by Real Simple packs a whole lot of flavor into a light side dish. Balancing zest and spice, this side dish ensures a refreshing taste that pairs best with a milder main dish.

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 red chili pepper (such as Fresno or jalapeño), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, plus 1 tablespoon lime juice

Instructions:

  1. Add kosher salt and water to a medium-sized pan and bring to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water and place it next to the sink.
  2. Add snap peas to the boiling salt water and cook for 1–2 minutes (until tender), then drain the water. Dump the snap peas into the ice water, drain again, then pat dry.
  3. Toss together all remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt in a medium-sized bowl. Serve. It’s as easy as that!

Grilled Zucchini with Sea Salt

zucchini fresh vegetable side

Simple to make, this side goes with an array of dishes and doesn’t require many ingredients. It’s a slight twist on traditional grilled zucchini as My Recipes offers three extra options for savory and sweet toppings. If you’re someone who likes something a little more flavorful, be sure to check out how you can quite literally spice it up.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Toss all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well to ensure maximum coverage. Place zucchini in a single layer on the heated pan and cook for two minutes before flipping. Then cook for another two minutes.
  3. Remove from pan and cover with one of three delicious toppings: parmigiano-crumbed, caprese “salsa” or mint gremolata.

Pan-Fried Asparagus

asparagus butter vegetable side

This buttery recipe by AllRecipes is a classic spring side for a delicious salmon or Tilapia dish. The richness of the salt and butter play off of any light fish flavor, leaving you with a well-balanced, flavorful dish. It’s perfect if your kids (or you!) aren’t fans of overly seasoned foods.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized skillet (large enough to fit the trimmed asparagus), melt the butter then add olive oil, salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for roughly a minute, but do not brown.
  2. Add in asparagus and cook for 10 minutes total. To ensure even cooking, turn each piece every two minutes. Remove from pan mixture and serve.

Vidalia Onion Rings

onion rings vegetable side

Looking for a twist on fish and chips? Onion rings are the answer! This Food Network recipe takes advantage of the seasonal onion by making some of the best, pub-worthy onion rings you could possibly whip up at home. This playful side will win over even the pickiest of eaters.

Ingredients

  • Several large Vidalia onions
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Peanut oil, for deep-frying

Instructions

  1. Slice onion to form rings and set aside. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. In another bowl, beat egg yolk, pour in milk and add vegetable oil. Stir well and add to dry mix. Ensure the combined result is smooth.
  3. In a third bowl, fluff egg whites and fold into the egg yolk and flour mixture until it’s fully combined.
  4. Preheat a deep fryer, dip onion rings into the mixture and then deep fry. Remove when golden brown and cooked all the way through.

Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

spinach salad vegetable side

Okay, we’re cheating a little by adding fruit to the mix, but the spring calls for a little sweetness! Fresh strawberries tossed with spinach and topped with a light vinaigrette aren’t just a side dish made in heaven, but also a delicious stand-alone lunch when topped with a fresh serving of Tilapia from Mexico or Honduras.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Toss together spinach, strawberries, Gorgonzola cheese, and pecans in a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together honey and balsamic vinegar while slowly adding in olive oil. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle over salad and serve.

Spring is the best time of year to to change up your diet, simplify your recipes and take advantage of fresh, in-season vegetables. A side dish is just as important as the main, so have fun this season and take your meals from good to great.

Photos: Regal Springs, Anna Hoychuk / Shutterstock, andrusjones0, gorillaimages / Shutterstock, Gayvoronskaya_Yana / Shutterstock, kkolosov