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The definitive guide to show-stealing Christmas side dishes

by Jessica Lockyer-Palmer

published on 6 December 2016

Though a perfectly burnished turkey, tender cut of beef or hearty nut roast might be the centrepiece of your festive meal, done right, it’s the sides that can often steal the show. Golden roast potatoes, creamy bread sauce, elevated sprouts – in this collection you’ll find all the inspiration you need to take the accompaniments to your Christmas meal from bits on the side to the main event.

Potatoes

A non-negotiable at festive tables up and down the country. Opt for classic roast potatoes or go off-piste with the likes of Jamie Oliver’s turkey dripping hasselbacks.

The Perfect Roast Potato

The Perfect Roast Potato

by Rosemary Shrager

For top-notch, perfect roast potatoes this Christmas, follow Marcus Wareing’s fail-safe guide. They work every time.  

Hasselbacks Turkey Dripping, Blue Cheese & Crushed Hazelnut Crumb

Hasselbacks Turkey Dripping, Blue Cheese & Crushed Hazelnut Crumb

Hasselbacks are made by slicing multiple times through the potatoes, without going all the way through – this makes them wonderfully absorbent of flavour and amplifies their crispiness. Cooked with turkey dripping and thyme, and served with melting blue cheese and a crushed hazelnut crumb, these are potatoes fit for the festive season.

From the book

Jessie and Lennie Ware’s Jansson’s Temptation

Jessie and Lennie Ware’s Jansson’s Temptation

by Jessie Ware, Lennie Ware

This traditional Swedish Christmas dish of creamy potatoes and anchovies is pure indulgence. Jessie and Lennie insist that you needn’t be put off by the anchovies as they melt away but deepen the flavour of the dish. Bake with breadcrumbs for a crunchy topping.

Sprouts

These compact little greens are often subject to less than glowing reviews. Luckily, thanks to a spate of recipes featuring clever cooking methods and flavour pairings from the likes of Ottolenghi and Jamie Oliver, they’re having quite the moment.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Sweet and Sour Sprouts with Chestnuts and Grapes

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Sweet and Sour Sprouts with Chestnuts and Grapes

by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage

Put your faith in Ottolenghi to change your mind about sprouts once and for all with this sweet and sour recipe with grapes and festive chestnuts.

Crispy Tamarind Sprouts with Peanuts and Shallots

Crispy Tamarind Sprouts with Peanuts and Shallots

Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, these sprouts are packed with flavour thanks to Rukmini’s inventive and playful approach to easy one-tin cooking. 

Squashed Brussels Roasted with Chorizo & Chestnuts

Squashed Brussels Roasted with Chorizo & Chestnuts

Made with chorizo and chestnuts, Jamie’s sprouts will turn even the biggest sprout sceptic the other way. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomelo and Star Anise

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomelo and Star Anise

Looking to add some Ottolenghi-style flavours to your Christmas spread? Enter this recipe for Brussels sprouts with Pomelo and star anise, an imaginative recipe that brings freshness and vibrancy.

Creamy Cheese, Brussels Sprout and Almond Gratin

Creamy Cheese, Brussels Sprout and Almond Gratin

by Lizzie Kamenetzky

Christmas is synonymous with cheese and we’re all for getting it into as many dishes as possible. Here, sprouts are covered in a cheese sauce and topped with a cripsy Parmesan and bread crumb.

Colourful veg

From platters of rainbow-hued veg roasted with herbs to aromatic spiced braised red cabbage.

Ahlam Saeid’s Rainbow Roasted Vegetables

Ahlam Saeid’s Rainbow Roasted Vegetables

by The Hubb Community Kitchen

Add a splash of colour to your table with this platter of beetroot, squash, red pepper, carrots and parsnips flavoured with oregano and chilli.

Meera Sodha’s Roasted Carrot and Cabbage with Gochujang

Meera Sodha’s Roasted Carrot and Cabbage with Gochujang

from EAST

Add Korean fermented red chilli paste, gochujang, to carrots and cabbage roasted until sweet and caramelised, for a side dish with a warming hit of spice.

EAST
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EAST

Red Cabbage Crispy Smoked Bacon & Rosemary, Apple, Fennel Seeds & Balsamic

Red Cabbage Crispy Smoked Bacon & Rosemary, Apple, Fennel Seeds & Balsamic

With crispy smoked bacon, rosemary, apple, dried prunes, fennel seeds and balsamic, this red cabbage recipe isn’t just any red cabbage recipe. Make this the day before and simply reheat it in a pan.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Clementine and Chilli

Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Clementine and Chilli

Serving as a foil for all of that rich, creamy food, greens play a vital role in a Christmas spread. Liven them up with clementine and chilli with Nigella’s broccoli recipe.

Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food
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Simply Nigella

Crunchy Shredded Roasted Cabbage with Parmesan and Breadcrumbs

Crunchy Shredded Roasted Cabbage with Parmesan and Breadcrumbs

by Michaela, Emanuela and Romina Chiappa

Here the Chiappa sisters top their cabbage with breadcrumbs and Parmesan and roast it in the oven for a suitably decadent side.

Sauces and other trimmings

Because it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without the finishing flourishes.

Get-ahead Gravy Perfect for Your Big-day Turkey

Get-ahead Gravy Perfect for Your Big-day Turkey

Save yourself the stress and make your gravy a few days, or even weeks in advance. Jamie uses chicken wings here to make a rich, flavoursome gravy that you can either fridge or freeze before reheating it in the turkey tray on the big day.

Sourdough, Marmite and Butter Bread Sauce

Sourdough, Marmite and Butter Bread Sauce

by Neil Rankin

Just when you thought bread sauce couldn’t be any more inviting, this sourdough-based recipe laced with marmite comes along.

Cranberry, Port and Orange Sauce

Cranberry, Port and Orange Sauce

by Kylee Newton

“This is fresh, tart and boozy with a lovely orange-scented aroma”, says Kylee Newton of this quick and easy homemade cranberry sauce. Why not fill up a few jars and give them as gifts?

Sausage and Cauliflower Bread Pudding

Sausage and Cauliflower Bread Pudding

by Claire Thomson

This savoury bread and butter pudding teams sausages and cauliflower. Boosted with fennel, Dijon and garlic and baked until crisp and bubbling, this hearty side is what Christmas is all about.

Fondant Swede Gratin

Fondant Swede Gratin

by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ramael Scully

Cabbage and swede are cooked in plenty of butter and baked with mild, crumbly Caerphilly cheese, cream and a herby lemony crust. If you want to get ahead and prepare this in advance, take it up to the point where the gratin is due to go in the oven and just bake it half an hour before you are ready to serve.  

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