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Hearty Sides For A Holiday Meal

December 15, 2017 by Melissa | 0 Comments

Coco + Kelly Holiday Table

Image courtesy of CocoKelley.com

Every year at Christmas, my husband’s family holds a big dinner.  One person is in charge of the protein (usually a prime rib roast) and the rest of the families are asked to bring a side dish to share.  Over the past decade or so, I have tried many different side dishes for this event.  Through a process of trial and error, I have come up with a list of side dishes that pair well with any main course meat dish.  Here are a few of my favorites.  (Click on the title or photo to follow the link to the recipe.)

Appetizer

Ina Garten's Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail (Image and Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten (via FoodNetwork.com))

I love the Roasted Shrimp Cocktail.  It is a nice twist on a classic.  I often find traditional shrimp cocktail to be gummy and flavorless.  By roasting the shrimp in salt and pepper, they have a more appealing flavor and texture.  And, they are meant to be served at room temperature, which means you can make them in advance.

Salad

Kale & Quinoa Salad with Ricotta Salata from Smitten Kitchen

Kale and Quinoa Salad (Image and Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen)

The kale salad above is one of my all-time favorite salads.  I got the recipe from a friend and, in addition to being great for a holiday gathering, I make it for everything from weeknight dinners, brunch with girlfriends, and even an accompaniment on pizza night.  It is delicious and the kale is so hearty that you can enjoy leftovers the next day.

Vegetable Side Dish

Real Simple Spinach and Gruyere Gratin

Spinach and Gruyere Gratin (Image and Recipe courtesy of Real Simple Magazine)   

I have been making the Spinach and Gruyere Gratin above for nearly a decade.  It is always a crowd-pleaser.  It is a rich dish for sure, so I find that a little goes a long way.

Starchy Side Dish

Pioneer Woman Hassleback Potatoes

Hassleback Potatoes (Image and Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond (via FoodNetwork.com))

I recently tried these potatoes for the first time and they are delicious.  The preparation is a bit of work, but I think they are worth it.   They are rich because they are cooked with quite a bit of butter, but they are not as rich as a cream based dish.  Because many other dishes at the holidays are cream-based, I think it nice to include one that is not.

Dessert

Shortbread Ina Garten

Image courtesy of FoodNetwork.com

I think the best dessert at Christmas is homemade cookies.  If you pick your favorite recipe, they are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.  Happy Holidays!

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