Easy festive side dishes to try at home
When it comes to festive side dishes, the possibilities are truly endless. For us, we love nothing more than crispy, golden roast potatoes and a hearty helping of spiced, warming red cabbage served with our meat of choice. Here is a rundown of our simple and stress-free suggestions to elevate your festive dinner this year…
Traditional Roast Potatoes
No festive spread is complete without roast potatoes (or, “roasties” as they are popularly known in England). The best news? You can create them at home with just 3 ingredients: potatoes, salt and an oil of your choice (ideally vegetable oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, duck fat or goose fat).
Method: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Peel the potatoes, then slice into half or quarters (be sure that they are all similar in size). Add to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the potatoes are almost tender. Meanwhile, add a generous helping of your fat of choice to an oven proof tray, so that the fat covers the base of the tray. Place this in the oven for a few minutes until it is piping hot. Drain the potatoes, return them to the pot and then give the pan a good shake to give the potatoes rough, fluffy edges (which are great for crisping up later!) Carefully add the potatoes to the hot oil, then roast for 25 minutes until golden and crisp.
Honey Glazed Root Vegetables
Top baby carrots and parsnips with a quick honey thyme glaze for a sweet side dish the whole family will love!
Method: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Prep your vegetables – if you’re using baby carrots, we’d recommend simply washing them rather than peeling, but if you’re using regular carrots, we’d suggest peeling and chopping to size. Slice the parsnip into similar sized pieces to the carrots. Add to a lined baking tray, drizzle with oil and place in the oven (don’t place them too close together) for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Melt 30g of butter in a pan, then add 1-2 tbsp of honey and 1 tsp of garlic powder. Mix well, then add a generous sprinkling of thyme leaves (strip them directly from the stem into the pan). Add the glaze to the vegetables and coat well. Roast for a final 3 minutes until golden.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
When cooked well, this classic festive vegetable can add an undeniable dose of deliciousness to your dinner. Whether you roast them, chop them up into a salad or top them with a generous helping of garlic (because garlic butter is always a good idea) we hope you’ll find a way with sprouts that you love this season.
Method: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Wash and trim your sprouts, and place them onto a baking sheet. Generously drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place them in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, add 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp of honey to a bowl and mix well. After 20 mins, add the glaze to the sprouts and bake for a further 5 minutes. Finish off with a grating of parmesan cheese just before serving.
Truffle Cauliflower Cheese
Elevate this classic side dish with an indulgent twist!
Method: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Add cauliflower florets to a pan of salted water and cook until tender. Drain. Heat a second pan over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 tbsp of flour and 30g of butter. Cook, stirring continuously, for 1 min or until a sandy paste has formed. Gradually whisk in 400ml of milk and cook for 3 min further or until the sauce has thickened. Add a dash of cream, a generous helping of grated mature cheddar (reserve some for later!) and continue to mix. Season well. Add a generous drizzle of truffle oil (optional: add a pinch of truffle salt, too) to the bechamel sauce. Add the florets to the sauce, then tip into an ovenproof dish. Top with the remaining grated mature cheddar cheese, then bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Spiced Red Cabbage
Our speedy take on this festive favourite is packed with winter flavours and will make your kitchen smell divine!
Method: Slice a medium red cabbage as finely as possible. Discard the stem. Heat a large pot over a medium heat with 50g of butter, 50g cranberry sauce, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. Once hot, add the red cabbage, 100ml water, 1 star anise and a cinnamon stick. Simmer, covered, for 15 min. After 15 min, remove the lid from the cabbage and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for 3 min further, stirring. Remove from the heat and discard the star anise and cinnamon stick before serving.
Read more: 10 festive drink pairing ideas