Five Holiday Recipes From Showstopper To Side
With each passing day of November, we find ourselves deeper into the season of slow-cookers and comfort foods. Our plates tend to become a bit more monotonous; colors err on the side of beige, brown or the occasional mute green, flavors dance the three-step between rosemary, sage and thyme, and textures sway from soft to softer. Let’s be clear – we have no problem with this. There is nothing that warms the belly and sticks to the soul like the foods of winter.
Perhaps, however, you’re looking to branch out a bit this year. Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or merely a cold Thursday night in a warm kitchen, here are a few recipes to add a bit more color, flavor, and texture to your repertoire. From showstoppers to subtle sides, we’ve got you covered with these crowd-pleasing recipes.
Brussels sprouts are a far more versatile vegetable than the typical table gives them credit for. Their densely stacked leaves are perfect for a chiffonade cut, turning them into delicate ribbons. Massaged with just a touch of salt and oil, these leaves get nice and tender, and make for a welcomed fresh and crunchy side dish. As a bonus, these cruciferous vegetables are high in fiber, vitamin K, and vitamin C.
This recipe involves baking a mixture of day old bread, cream, cheese and bacon directly in a de-seeded pumpkin, but feel free to get creative and use whatever you have on hand for some variation. Use brown rice, wild rice or quinoa in place of the bread. Add chickpeas, cauliflower or kale to add fiber and flavor. Add apple, pear or pomegranate for some sweetness. Add sausage, ground beef or chopped ham for extra depth. Add curry spices such as cumin, coriander and turmeric for something a little different. This show stopping side dish is best when adding a dash of your imagination.
When we reflect on the typical ingredients to the green bean casserole, we may not be all that surprised to learn that it was an invention of the Campbell’s soup company in 1955 as a means to sell their cream of mushroom soup. The result? A dish that is utterly processed and quintessentially nostalgic. Fortunately, there is a whole-foods alternative that is worth the effort and will satisfy your sentimentality. This recipe includes fresh green beans, homemade mushroom Alfredo sauce, and panko fried red onions.
While a pasta dish may be a somewhat unexpected Thanksgiving accompaniment, there are fewer things more widely accepted as comfort food than noodles. Simply purchase some store bought ravioli noodles (butternut squash would be especially tasty here), and combine them with hearty greens, caramelized onions, and toasted nuts.
Butternut squash is one of the stars of the winter months, being incredibly versatile in texture, both sweet and savory in flavor, and high in vitamin E, A and B vitamins. Unfortunately, the peeling and prepping can feel a bit daunting to many in the kitchen. Here’s where we take note from the professionals. Acclaimed cookbook author and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi leaves the peel on his squash, finding that it “is actually incredibly delicious when roasted as it gets quite sticky and chewy”. This unique recipe has fewer than 10 ingredients and will add a variety of colors and textures to your assortment of sides.