If you’re headed out of the house this holiday season for dinners at family or friend’s houses you may have been tasked with bringing a side dish to compliment the meal. No problem, there’s tons of things you can make, but are all of them going to live through the trip? We found a great selection of portable, simple, yet delicious side dishes from Food & Wine that you can whip up and show off at the holiday dinner gathering. These can all be made ahead, which takes a big weight off of your shoulders when you’re up early trying to get everyone out of the house on the day of. Let us know what you think about them!
Roasted Squash with Maple Syrup and Sage Cream
This is an interesting side dish that you can guarantee no one else will be bringing. Finished with a decadent sage-infused cream sauce, this dish uses vibrant squash that are in season, so you can get them very fresh at your local farmer’s market.
1 buttercup or kabocha squash (about 2 pounds)—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch wedges
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup light brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)—halved, seeded and cut into 1-inch wedges (with skin)
1 delicata squash (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch rings (with skin)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 cup heavy cream
20 sage leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Baby watercress and shaved pecorino cheese, for garnish
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the butternut and buttercup/kabocha squash with 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of the brown sugar, add salt and pepper to taste.
Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat for the acorn and delicata squash and spread on separate baking sheet. Roast both trays for about an hour turning everything once until tender and lightly caramelized in spots.
Arrange them on a large platter and drizzle with the maple syrup.
While squash is roasting, bring the cream and sage to a simmer in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove and let stand for another 5 minutes, then add butter and season lightly with salt and pepper. Strain the cream into a mug and drizzle over the squash once it is out. Top with baby watercress and pecorino then serve immediately.
If you want to make it the night before, simply refrigerate the squash and cream separately then reheat the squash in a 350 degree oven covered lightly with foil. When heated through, drizzle with cream, garnish and serve.
Carrots with Tahini Dressing
This side is a fantastic bright complement to heavy turkey, and elevates carrots in a way that you don’t get every day. You can also modify this recipe for future use and serve with steamed fish, roast chicken, or pork.
3 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Spread the carrots in a steamer basket and steam until tender, approximately 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool a bit.
In another bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, tahini, water and olive oil until very smooth. Whisk in the garlic and add salt to taste. Pour dressing over carrots, add parsley and toss to coat. You can make these the night before and refrigerate, simply return the dish to room temperature and add the parsley just before serving.
These dishes look mouth wateringly delicious and when they’re that easy to make ahead and serve when you arrive, they are made ten times better. Enjoy the holidays and have stress free weapons in these great recipes.