The festive season is generally celebrated with food. Decadent mains and delicious desserts steal the limelight, but putting effort and thought into the side dishes can really make a great meal, memorable.
We’ve gathered some delicious side dishes for you to try, leaving you more time with friends and family.
Vegetables for the Win
- Baked asparagus spears are not only delicious, but a healthier alternative too. They require minimal effort and can really make a statement at the dinner table. Simply toss breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese together, coat the asparagus with a beaten egg, and bake in the oven.
– For an Asian-inspired side, try the traditional Korean dish of kimchi. This recipe is made up of fermented vegetables and elevates the flavour of food. Serve your Kimchi in individual ramekins or small bowls.
– Individual vegetable baskets are another healthy option. Fill a butternut or pepper of your choice, with finely chopped, roasted vegetables and top it off with cheese. Bake this in the oven until all vegetables are soft (cover the cheese with tin foil if needed and remove towards the end of cooking to brown).
The humble and versatile potato is welcome at our dinner table because there is simply so much one can do with this starch.
- If you enjoy the boiled baby potato variety, add rosemary to the water for a subtle flavour. Alternatively, par-boil them, coat them in flour, herbs and oil and bake them for a crispy, golden finish.
- If baked potatoes are on your menu, consider these delicious options:
The best thing about baking potatoes is that they’re so versatile. You can add garlic, spring onion and Gorgonzola or Parmesan for an extra twist.
- Mashed potatoes are another firm favourite. Include roasted garlic or mustard with some double cream or butter for a pleasant surprise to this side dish staple. To take it even further, you can pipe it onto each plate using a star or flat nozzle.
- You can replace normal potatoes with sweet potatoes for a low GI option that gives you a different dimension and flavour.
The Lighter Side
- On a hot summers’ day, a cold, crispy salad is the ideal companion to a braai, or relaxed meal. Use leaves like rocket and fennel to compliment and add extra flavour to ice berg or butter lettuce. Include herbed feta, some toasted nuts and seeds, sweet corn and sprouts for added crunch.
- For a Middle-Eastern flavour combination, add vegetables and salad to couscous or quinoa with fresh herbs like mint, red onions and a hummus dressing infused with roasted cumin. This combination of flavours is ideal if your main course is lamb.
Sweeten the Deal
- Brighten up vanilla ice-cream with a salted caramel sauce and some roasted pistachio nuts.
- Alternatively, make your own sauce, such as a dark chocolate infused with lime, a rich butterscotch or fresh berry compote.
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