Delicious Holiday Sides From Top Bloggers
The holidays are so close we can almost smell the cookies baking in the kitchen. It's that time of year when we all curl up by the fire (or heater), drink mulled wine with family and friends, and feast on our favorite foods without a trace of guilt—it is but once a year. So in the spirit of the season, we asked a few top food bloggers to share their favorite holiday sides. Even if you've planned your Christmas menu already, we guarantee you'll want to change it after reading this. Scroll down to read their picks.
You may know Geri Hirsch as the talent behind Because I'm Addicted, where she chronicles her impeccable style in fashion and music. But the young creative has taken her superb taste into the kitchen with Leaf.tv, featuring fresh and simple how-tos for her favorite foods and other DIY projects. She chose a delicious warm salad as one of her favorite holiday sides. "This sweet and toasty salad is beautiful on a table and full of flavorful layers of textures and nutrition," she said. "It's always a hit!" Scroll down to try the recipe.
1 butternut squash
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup quinoa
1 package arugula
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 avocado, diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup roasted pistachios
Goat cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
Caramelize the butternut squash. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut off both ends of squash, peel, then cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds, then cut into cubes and place on baking sheet. Melt unsalted butter and drizzle over squash. Sprinkle brown sugar, 1 tsp. salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Toss then roast for 45 minutes, turning from time to time.
Toast and cook the quinoa. On medium heat, add quinoa and 1 tsp. of olive oil. Heat until quinoa starts to pop and is a nutty brown, or about 7 minutes (stir to keep from burning!). Add 1 cup of water or veggie broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes while fluffing with a fork.
Assemble! Combine arugula, toasted quinoa, caramelized squash, cucumber, avocado, red onion, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, roasted pistachio, and goat cheese. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and season to taste.
When it comes to cooking, Gaby Dalkin is all about incorporating the sunny California aesthetic. From healthy green goddess salads to indulgent brownies to tacos with guacamole, her recipe for eating is as varied as the landscape. So we're not surprised her favorite holiday side is equal parts healthy and luxurious all in one. It's homemade pizza, so it's a smarter choice than takeout, with caviar, the ultimate indulgence. "I've recently developed a bit of an addiction to Roe caviar, and I'm finding excuses to put it on just about everything," she said, "most recently this caviar and potato pizza. It's a great appetizer or side dish as you can slice it up and serve it to a group of guests, and they are all going to love it. Plus, who doesn't want to be a little fancy with a bit of caviar this holiday season?" It would have to be the chicest pizza we've ever seen too. Scroll down to follow the recipe.
1 store-bought pizza dough
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, green germ removed, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crème fraîche
3 medium, waxy potatoes (about 14 oz.), peeled, cooked, and thinly sliced into rounds
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Handful of red onions, sliced paper thin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To read the directions, please visit What’s Gaby Cooking.
If we're ever in a bind for a quick, healthy, and delicious meal, The Kitchy Kitchen is our go-to. Claire Thomas just knows how to create meals that not only taste amazing but also look incredible. Whether you're eating for one, cooking for the family, or entertaining friends, her recipes will have everyone reaching for seconds. This one is no exception. Thomas calls it a "compilation of awesome stuff, all on one plate," and we couldn't agree more. "The key to it working is that like the Super Friends, each element brings something different to the mix," she said. "The asparagus is fresh and green, the brown butter nutty, the guanciale savory and crisp, the burrata creamy and rich. Together it’s all the things. It’s also very easy to mix and match these elements. Don’t have guanciale? Try bacon or pancetta. No asparagus? Try broccolini or even roasted leeks. Just don’t skip the burrata and brown butter, because why would you? Enjoy!"
Claire Thomas for The Kitchy Kitchen
1/2 cup diced guanciale
1 bunch asparagus, bottoms trimmed
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
8 oz. burrata
In a pan over medium-low heat, render the guanciale until most of the fat is in the pan and the pieces are crisp. Set the pieces aside, but keep the fat in the pan. Heat the pan over medium heat, and add the asparagus. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes (depending on how thick the asparagus is), until bright green and tender but still crisp in the center. Remove from the pan. While you’re cooking the asparagus, brown the butter by placing the butter in a small pan over medium heat, and melt and stir until a deep golden brown hue. Immediately pour off into a glass; otherwise it will keep cooking. To assemble, place the asparagus on a plate, and top with burrata, guanciale, and brown butter. Eat immediately.
Athena Calderone is a master at creating "beauty and deliciousness in everyday life." Eye-Swoon is a chic curation of her impeccable taste in design, interiors, and cuisine, and we love to immerse ourselves in her world of rich textures, vivid colors, and "swoony" style. Calderone knows how to entertain (throwing a decadent party is her fortés), so of course, her favorite holiday side—roasted root veggies with herbs and apples—is just as delicious as it looks. "As soon as winter rolls around all veggies are destined for the oven in my kitchen," she says. "I love to roast a variety of root vegetables to bring out their inherent sweetness and caramelized flavor. This recipe has become a family favorite for the holidays as the shallots and apples practically melt in your mouth and offer a unique flavor once mingled with the savory veggies and herbaceous thyme."
When your kitchen is bombarded during the height of entertaining this season, Calderone says you can "amp up the swoony stakes" by preparing this dish in advance and serving it at room temperature.
NOTE: Serves 6 to 8
1 bunch carrots; halved lengthwise
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
6 medium parsnips; halved lengthwise
Extra-virgin olive oil (about 3 tbsp.)
3 medium apples (Gala or Macintosh), cored and sliced into 1-inch wedges
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley, chopped, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine the root vegetables in a baking pan; drizzle generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and half the thyme. Place apples on a separate rimmed baking sheet, and toss with shallots, remaining thyme, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Roast vegetables for about 45 minutes and apples for about 25 minutes, until soft. Combine all on a serving plate, garnish with parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
What is your favorite holiday side dish? Do you have a family favorite you make every year? Share it below.