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Festive Sides For Your Holiday Spread

05 December 2023
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As the holiday season unfolds, I find so much joy in planning the festive feast. It’s a beautiful reminder that it’s not just about the main course – the side dishes also hold a special place in the meal, adding a delightful variety and complementing the main dish in the most harmonious way.

Whether I’m opening my home for a grand dinner or creating a cosy family gathering, these recipes are my go-to. They not only add a touch of flair to the table, but also nourish us from within with their nutritional balance. Bursting with flavour and surprisingly easy to prepare, they have become the perfect companions for any holiday meal. 

Let’s dive into the delicious details…

Burrata with Roasted Tomatoes

Deck the halls with bowls of burrata! This joyful dish pairs the sweet, blistered cherry tomatoes with the creamy indulgence of burrata bulbs. Roasted with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, these tomatoes bring a warm, tangy contrast to the cool, milky burrata. Topped with fresh basil leaves and served with crunchy sourdough, this side dish is fit for a festive feast. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 punnets (500g) cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tsp sea salt 

To serve:

  • 2 burrata bulbs
  • Basil leaves 
  • Fresh breadstick/sourdough 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C or 390°F. Place the tomatoes in a baking dish. Drizzle over the olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. 

Roast for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened and started to blister. 

Place the burrata onto a serving plate. Add the roasted tomatoes to the plate. Make sure to spoon any pan juices over the top. Sprinkle the basil leaves on top and serve. 

Time to cook: 25

Serves: 6-8, as a side

Green Beans with Caramelised Onions + Goat’s Cheese + Almonds

Add a dash of flair to your holiday table with our take on classic green beans, all dressed in a tangy lemon-olive oil mix and adorned with sweet, caramelised onions. The crowning touch? A sprinkle of crunchy roasted almonds and creamy goat’s cheese for that extra ‘wow’ factor. This opulent side is ready in just 20 minutes, making it the perfect companion for your festive feast.

Ingredients:

  • 500g (17.6oz) green beans
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 2 red onions, finely sliced, we used 2 small red onions 
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar, or brown sugar 
  • 50g (1.7oz) goat’s cheese 
  • ½ roasted almonds, chopped 

Method: 

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. 

Place the beans in a bowl. Pour 1 tbsp olive oil and the lemon juice over the top. Season with sea salt and black pepper and toss to combine. 

Heat the remaining olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium high heat. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes or until softened. Add the balsamic vinegar and coconut sugar to the pan. Stir to coat. Cook for a further 6-7 minutes or until golden and caramelised.

Arrange the green beans onto a serving plate. Top with the caramelised onions, goat’s cheese and roasted almonds.  

Time to cook: 20

Serves: 4-6, as a side

Roasted Carrot & Kale Salad

Light up your holiday spread with this delightful salad! It stars sweet honey-roasted carrots and earthy lemon-massaged kale, all wrapped in warmth from the cinnamon plus a hint of heat from the chilli flakes. The creamy feta dressing adds a delicious twist to this merry medley. Finish with a sprinkle of walnuts for crunch, cranberries for a tarty contrast and mint leaves for a refreshing final touch.

Ingredients:

  • 4 (580g) carrots, peeled & sliced into wedges
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp honey 
  • 4 stalks kale, de-stemmed & roughly torn 
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • Pinch sea salt
  • ¾ (70g) cup walnuts 
  • ¼ (70g) cup cranberries 
  • ½ cup chopped mint leaves

Creamy feta dressing:

  • 50g (1.7oz) feta cheese, we used Danish feta 
  • ¼ cup Greek yoghurt 
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • ½ lemon, juiced 
  • 1 tbsp water 

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper. 

Place the carrots wedges in a bowl. Pour the olive oil over the top. Season with sea salt, ground cinnamon and chilli flakes. Use your hands to toss the carrots and ensure they are evenly coated. Spread the carrots onto the baking tray in one single layer. Drizzle the honey over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the carrots are golden and soft. 

Whilst the carrots are cooking, place the torn kale in a bowl. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, the juice of ½ a lemon and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Use your hands to massage the kale. Set aside. 

To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Season to taste. If your dressing is too thick, add an additional splash of water. 

To assemble your salad, layer the kale and honey-roasted carrots onto a platter. Sprinkle the walnuts, cranberries and mint leaves on top. Spoon the dressing over the top and serve.

Time to cook: 40

Serves: 6-8, as a side

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