Holiday Sides

From stuffing to mashed potatoes, holiday accompaniments are just as important as the main dish.

Roasted Cauliflower with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Roasted Cauliflower with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan

Far from its overcooked cafeteria-line incarnation, cauliflower takes well to sophisticated flavors and roasts wonderfully. The high heat of this recipe makes cooking fast, but is also necessary for the pretty and tasty browning of the cauliflower's surface. If you want a crunchier texture, add a tablespoon or two of panko at the end with the Parmesan and lemon.

View Recipe:Roasted Cauliflower with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan

Sausage, Apple, and Fennel Corn Bread Dressing

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Sausage, Apple, and Fennel Corn Bread Dressing

There's something incredibly comforting about this dressing―the fluffy corn bread combined with sweet apples and smoky spiced sausage just warms you to the core. It's great with turkey and all the trimmings, or reheated for a post-Thanksgiving snack.

View Recipe: Sausage, Apple, and Fennel Corn Bread Dressing

Butternut Squash and Leek Gratins

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Butternut Squash and Leek Gratins

A crunchy browned cheese topping conceals a hearty, sweet squash-and-onion combination here. Serving individual gratins in single-serving ramekins makes for a more impressive presentation than one large casserole, and the individual servings cook faster as well.

View Recipe: Butternut Squash and Leek Gratins

Ranch Mashed Potatoes

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Ranch Mashed Potatoes

Add tangy zest to a mild-flavored classic with this recipe. It has the quintessential rich-and-creamy texture of mashed potatoes, while adding visual appeal with skin-on red potatoes and taste appeal with sour cream, buttermilk, and herbs.

View Recipe: Ranch Mashed Potatoes

Winter Jeweled Fruit Salad Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Winter Jeweled Fruit Salad

In Mexico, copas de frutas (fruit cups) are popular street food. They typically consist of fresh fruit sprinkled with lime juice and chili powder and are the inspiration for this jewel-colored fruit salad. Jicama (pronounced HEE-kah-mah), also known as a Mexican potato or turnip, tastes like a cross between an apple and a potato and adds crunch to the salad.

View Recipe: Winter Jeweled Fruit Salad

Citrus Green Beans with Pine Nuts Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Citrus Green Beans with Pine Nuts

Citrus gives a common side dish an unexpected, but delightfully delicious, makeover. The dish is light and refreshing so it won't bog down your plate.

View Recipe: Citrus Green Beans with Pine Nuts

Garlic-Roasted Kale Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Garlic-Roasted Kale

Roasting kale is amazing—the leaves turn from a dusty dark green to dark emerald with brown-tinged curly edges that crunch. This vegetable side is delicious served hot from the oven; the leaves lose their crisp texture as the dish stands.

View Recipe: Garlic-Roasted Kale

Wild Rice Dressing with Roasted Chestnuts and Cranberries Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Wild Rice Dressing with Roasted Chestnuts and Cranberries

The nutty, almost smoky flavor of wild rice pairs beautifully with game birds and other poultry. Bright bits of dried cranberries, fresh herbs, and sliced carrot give this side dish definite curb appeal.

View Recipe: Wild Rice Dressing with Roasted Chestnuts and Cranberries

Brussels Sprouts Gratin Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Braise the Brussels sprouts and toast the bread-crumbs up to a day ahead. Before serving, add cooked, crumbled bacon to the toasted breadcrumb mixture, and then sprinkle the mixture over the sprouts. Broil 3 minutes or until golden and thoroughly heated.

View Recipe: Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots

You don't need butter and cream to make wonderfully creamy mashed sweet potatoes. Heart-healthy olive oil adds flavor and silkiness without saturated fat.

View Recipe: Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Shallots Recipes  

Sausage and Sourdough Bread Stuffing Recipes

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Sausage and Sourdough Bread Stuffing

Lots of tastes and textures to sample as you travel around your plate—that's our idea behind having lots of sides. Start the journey with this rustic stuffing.

View Recipe: Sausage and Sourdough Bread Stuffing

Brussels Sprouts with Honey-Glazed Pearl Onions and Capocollo

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Brussels Sprouts with Honey-Glazed Pearl Onions and Capocollo

The salty richness of bacon, ham, or other cured meats round out the bitterness of Brussels sprouts, turning the oft-reviled veggie into something transcendent. The addition of sweet pearl onions and honey just adds another dimension on top of that. The flavor of capocollo, made from pork shoulder, is very similar to prosciutto or Serrano ham; you can substitute either if necessary.

View Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Honey-Glazed Pearl Onions and Capocollo

Haricots Verts with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Haricots Verts with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Haricots verts are tiny, fresh French green beans. If you can’t find them, substitute regular fresh beans, which you’ll need to cook a few minutes longer. You can also use white wine vinegar instead of Champagne, if necessary.

View Recipe: Haricots Verts with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes

You can make this dish up to two days ahead. Simply bake the potatoes and assemble. Then refrigerate and bake just before serving.

View Recipe: Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes

Buttery Lemon Broccolini Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Buttery Lemon Broccolini

If you want to get a jump on this recipe, cook the Broccolini four minutes, plunge it into ice water, and refrigerate. Separately prepare the compound butter, and chill it. Then finish cooking the Broccolini in the skillet, and toss it with the butter just before serving.

View Recipe: Buttery Lemon Broccolini

Buttermilk-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Buttermilk-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Be sure to purchase a crumbly wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano for this super quick potato side dish. The salty flavor will give just the right bite to these melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes.

View Recipe: Buttermilk-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Italian-Style Escarole Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Italian-Style Escarole

Peppery mustard greens and slightly bitter escarole combine with raisins and pungent garlic for a tasty green veggie side. If you can’t find mustard greens or escarole, you can make this dish with fresh spinach.

View Recipe: Italian-Style Escarole

Fontina-Stuffed Potato Skins Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Fontina-Stuffed Potato Skins

Bake potatoes up to two days ahead, and fill with stuffing. Cover and refrigerate. Before serving, let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano, and bake.

View Recipe: Fontina-Stuffed Potato Skins

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples

We tested with Fuji apples and love the sweet-tart contrast with the bitter Brussels sprouts. Leave the red skin on for a pretty contrast, or peel the apple, if you prefer.

View Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples

Bulgur with Dried Cranberries Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Bulgur with Dried Cranberries

Serve this lemony bulgur--an American interpretation of Middle Eastern tabbouleh—instead of the more familiar and expected stuffing.

View Recipe: Bulgur with Dried Cranberries

Classic Herbed Bread Dressing Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Classic Herbed Bread Dressing

Refer to our recipe for Homemade Turkey Broth, or you can substitute fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth to prepare this recipe, but reduce the added salt.

View Recipe: Classic Herbed Bread Dressing

Soft Polenta with Wild Mushroom Sauté Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Soft Polenta with Wild Mushroom Sauté

This is an easy and versatile side dish. The polenta is topped with a quick sauté of wild mushrooms (or use exotics, like shiitake and oyster, if wild are not available). If you replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth, this side dish can serve four as a vegetarian entrée. Garnish with sage sprigs.

View Recipe: Soft Polenta with Wild Mushroom Sauté

Gratin of Cauliflower with Gruyère Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Gratin of Cauliflower with Gruyère

Gruyère's nutty, earthy flavor is a nice match for subtle cauliflower, and crisp breadcrumbs add texture. Substitute broccoli for the cauliflower, if you prefer. You can prepare all the elements for the dish a day ahead, if necessary. Refrigerate the sauce, the cauliflower, and the breadcrumb mixture separately, and simply assemble before baking.

View Recipe: Gratin of Cauliflower with Gruyère

 

Smashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Chives Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Smashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Chives

If you want to make the potatoes ahead, chill them and reheat just before serving, adding extra liquid to desired consistency. Stir in the chives just before serving. For a nice presentation, sprinkle additional chives over the top.

View Recipe: Smashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Chives

 

Brussels Sprouts with Currants and Pine Nuts Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Brussels Sprouts with Currants and Pine Nuts

Peel away the outer leaves from trimmed fresh Brussels sprouts, reserving the leaves and centers. This technique shortens the cook time and makes a nice presentation.

View Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Currants and Pine Nuts

 

Risotto with Champagne and Radicchio

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Risotto with Champagne and Radicchio

This recipe sounds, looks, and tastes sophisticated. With an elegant balance of flavors―tart Champagne, salty Parmesan, bitter radicchio, and sweet onion―it will impress at any meal, whether a weeknight family dinner or a fancy New Year's Eve buffet.

View Recipe: Risotto with Champagne and Radicchio

Wild Rice Stuffing Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Wild Rice Stuffing

It seems like just about every family has a signature stuffing (or dressing) recipe, based on one of a wide variety of grains. This recipe uses nutty wild rice, along with tart-sweet dried fruit and plenty of classic sage, creating an inspired side that might just become a new tradition in your home.

View Recipe: Wild Rice Stuffing

Green Beans with Bacon

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Green Beans with Bacon

About 15 minutes is all it takes to put together this flavorful―and healthful―dish. It's got all the meaty flavor of bacon and tender crunch of fresh green beans with only 46 calories and 1.11 grams of fat per serving.

View Recipe: Green Beans with Bacon

Sourdough Stuffing with Pears and Sausage

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Sourdough Stuffing with Pears and Sausage

Completing the triumvirate of stuffing styles, this bread-based version takes advantage of sourdough's tangy chewiness for structure and taste, while adding the unexpected flavors of earthy mushrooms, subtly sweet pears, and licorice-like tarragon.

View Recipe: Sourdough Stuffing with Pears and Sausage

Camembert Mashed Potatoes

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Camembert Mashed Potatoes

Soft, mild camembert cheese adds the same creaminess to mashed potatoes that butter and cream do, but it also brings in a sophisticated tangy, distinctly cheesy flavor. Any young, soft cheese can be used in this recipe―try your favorite brie, or even a creamy chévre.

View Recipe: Camembert Mashed Potatoes

Sautéed Carrots with Sage Recipes

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Sautéed Carrots with Sage

You can easily double, triple, or quadruple this small-yield recipe to feed more hungry holiday dwellers. A few simple ingredients turn carrots into a star side dish.

View Recipe: Sautéed Carrots with Sage

Browned Butter Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Photo: José Picayo

Browned Butter Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes laced with bourbon, butter, and cream—what could be better?

View Recipe: Browned Butter Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Romano-Topped Brussels Sprouts

Photo: José Picayo

Romano-Topped Brussels Sprouts

Simple roasted Brussels sprouts get a big flavor boost from one simple addition: salty pecorino Romano cheese, which punctuates the traditional fall veggie dish with meaty umami notes. You can also use subtler Asiago or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, if you prefer. Quarter the larger sprouts so they are about the same size as halved smaller ones, and spread them in a single layer in two different roasting pans so they brown nicely and evenly.

View Recipe: Romano-Topped Brussels Sprouts

Sautéed Broccolini with Tomatoes

Photo: José Picayo

Sautéed Broccolini with Tomatoes

This speedy, simple stovetop dish saves you oven space and can be prepared at the very last minute and then brought to the holiday table. Roma or plum tomatoes are the best choice this time of year.

View Recipe: Sautéed Broccolini with Tomatoes

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Walnuts

Photo: José Picayo

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Walnuts

Here’s a crowd-pleasing side that’s easy on the pocketbook: just 67 cents per serving! If money is no object, consider finishing with a flourish of white truffle oil.

View Recipe: Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Walnuts

Mushroom and Leek Stuffing

Photo: José Picayo

Mushroom and Leek Stuffing

This delicious yet budget-friendly dish comes to $1.15 per serving. Look for a poultry herb blend in the produce section—one package contains all the herbs you need. Slice leeks and swirl them around in a big bowl of water to wash.

View Recipe: Mushroom and Leek Stuffing

Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Photo: José Picayo

Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Sweet Italian sausage, chopped fresh fennel, and apple combine with tangy sourdough for a classic Thanksgiving stuffing.

View Recipe: Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Polenta-Sausage Triangles

Photo: José Picayo

Polenta-Sausage Triangles

Prepare polenta through step 2 up to two days ahead. Before serving, let the dish stand at room temperature one hour, cut polenta into triangles, and toast them at mealtime. Pork sausage gives them a wonderfully familiar, stuffing-like flavoring.

View Recipe: Polenta-Sausage Triangles

Mashed Potato Soufflé

Photo: Johnny Miller

Mashed Potato Soufflé

Who knew instant potato flakes could be the basis of such an amazing dish? It's really something of a faux-fflé--technically not a soufflé, but you get the same puff-tacular results without even having to whip egg whites.

View Recipe: Mashed Potato Soufflé

Make-Ahead Layered Salad

Photo: Johnny Miller

Make-Ahead Layered Salad

Prechopped veggies and precooked bacon and eggs help you pull this charmingly retro dish together in a flash. You can assemble the salad, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

View Recipe: Make-Ahead Layered Salad

Easy, Cheesy Potato Gratin

Photo: Johnny Miller

Easy, Cheesy Potato Gratin

Refrigerated presliced potatoes slash tons of prep and cook time. The combo of Gruyère and Parm-Regg cheeses is delicious, but you can use all one type if you prefer.

View Recipe: Easy, Cheesy Potato Gratin

Quick Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole

Photo: Johnny Miller

Quick Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole

This side is ridiculously easy and goes into the oven in only 10 minutes, thanks to sweet canned yams. To boost flavor and add richness, we counter the canned spuds with luscious crème fraiche; chunks of almonds bring big crunch.

View Recipe: Quick Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole

Green Beans with Sherried Mushroom Sauce

Photo: Johnny Miller

Green Beans with Sherried Mushroom Sauce

Here's a faster, fresher take on green bean casserole that's done all on the stovetop--one less thing to try to work into oven rotation on the big day. Although we use fresh beans and make our own creamy sauce, we've kept the French-fried onions (arguably the best part of traditional green bean casserole). To speed prep, you can purchase bags of fresh, pretrimmed green beans from the produce section.

View Recipe: Green Beans with Sherried Mushroom Sauce

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