Pegeen is a trusted home cook.
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Of course it depends on what sides you're planning... so if you were serving the shanks with polenta or mashed potatoes, risotto is not a great starter... but could do small portions of a savory risotto (sage, mushroom). Or, staying with the mediterranean flavors, maybe a spoonful of eggplant caponata (http://food52.com/recipes...) on a baguette toast, placed on a bed of mixed baby greens that have been very lightly dressed with olive oil and a little lemon juice. (You could skip the toast and just have a nice spoonful of caponata right on the greens.) Or, since the lamb is such a hearty dish, just a light salad with arugula, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, and some long shards of shaved parmesan cheese on top. It kind of depends on how many side dishes you're having and what they're like. But the lamb shanks sound awesome...
Yes that's the one! Not sure about sides yet either but those are great suggestions. Thank you!
Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52
What about a lemon soup avgolemono - http://www.marthastewart...
Look at the recipe for carmelized butternut squash with Sage hazelnut pesto....it is a nice color contrast for what you are serving and very seasonally appropriate. I would also consider a simple pumpkin or squash soup, which you can make a day or two before it you are pressed for time.
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