Holiday main dishes are even more wonderful when paired with equally great side dishes. Here are a few delicious suggestions.
Potatoes, sweet potatoes and squash. Baked, boiled, glazed or mashed. Take your pick.
Hasselback Potatoes – Inside, they’re just like baked potatoes. But outside, especially on top, it’s more like a cross between potato chips and French fries.
Buttered Pearl Potatoes With Fresh Parsley – Halve the pearl potatoes, boil in salted water until tender but still firm, drain and, while still very hot, toss with butter, olive oil, grated garlic, chopped parsley, thyme and freshly cracked black pepper.
Butter-rich Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes – I read that it’s a “classic accompaniment for traditional holiday dishes like roasted turkey and chicken.”
Meatless Charquicán: Mashed Potatoes and Squash with Spinach and Celery – Charquican is really a dish for leftover meat and bits and pieces of whatever vegetables are on hand. And the dish may have originated from Peru. This is a meatless version.
Mashed Potatoes and Squash with Chopped Spinach – This is Chilean charquicán meets Irish champ (poundies) in an unforgettable symphony of flavors and colors.
Brown Sugar Glazed Baked Sweet Potatoes – A traditional Thanksgiving side dish, these brown sugar glazed baked sweet potatoes are just as good any time of the year especially with fried chicken, pork chops or roast beef!
Salads and other vegetable dishes
Not only do vegetables add color to a meal, they also provide a wonderful textural contrast to the heavier meat or seafood main dishes. These are among my family’s favorites.
Green Beans and Cauliflower With Spiced Butter – This dish of green beans and cauliflower with spiced butter is seasoned with nothing but salt because the butter has everything else that the vegetables need.
Caponata – What is caponata? It’s a Sicilian eggplant dish. Think ratatouille with Italian flavors.
Salted Quail Eggs and Vegetables Salad – For ovo-vegetarians, a bowl of this salad is substantial enough for a filling meal. For omnivores, enjoy it as a side dish to go with grilled or fried meat or fish.
Cabbage, Carrot and Pineapple Coleslaw – I am not a huge fan of vinaigrette so my coleslaw has mayo for its dressing. It also has roughly chopped pineapple.
Ratatouille (French Provençal Stewed Vegetables) – This is classic ratatouille — not the Pixar version — with diced vegetables stewed in chopped tomatoes—although I wish that all the vegetables were more Provençal.
Sweet Potatoes, Pepper and Habanero Salad – Make a simple garden salad, add fried sweet potato cubes, slivers of bell pepper and chopped habanero. Toss together with your favorite dressing and sprinkle generously with grated Parmesan.
Rice and Bread
Don’t be afraid of carbs. They won’t hurt unless you over-indulge (although it may be hard not to because everything in this rice and bread list is just absolutely delectable).
Herb-and-seed Fried Rice – It bursts with the flavor and aroma of basil and thyme. And, with every mouthful, you get a light crunch from the flax, chia and hemp seeds.
Coconut Pilaf – Rice cooked with coconut milk and spices, and garnished with fried slivered almonds.
Garlic Naan – You can make it totally by hand or use a mixer with a dough hook for convenience.
Sesame Seed Mini Loaf Bread – Bake mini-loaves or a single huge one but don’t forget the sesame seeds. They add a beautiful crunch and a lovely aroma.
3-cheese Mini Corn Muffins – Based on the corn muffins a la Kenny Rogers in the archive, these mini muffins are made tastier with the addition of three different kinds of cheese and chopped parsley. I used jalapeño cheddar, salty feta and gooey mozzarella.