When you start thinking about holiday menus, you think about appetizers, ravioli, stuffed turkey, desserts … Side Dishes. In fact, vegetables & co. they prove to be the necessary completion of the great main courses, as well as being dishes appreciated by vegetarian guests who, more and more often, sit at our table. Finally say goodbye to improvised salads and boiled vegetables. The time has come to compose bring inviting and chic vegetables.
The ingredients? Seasonal!
To create superfine side dishes, the many seasonal winter products come by car. There is the whole world of cabbages, that of turnips, leafy vegetables, i artichokes, i fennel, the pumpkin. To mix with evergreens celery, carrots, onions and products grown all year round such as i mushrooms champignons or pioppini. The recipes are embellished with fresh or dried fruit, from apples to almonds, with pickles and pickles and also with the savory touches given, for example, by fillets of anchovies or from cubes of cured meat. There is also a wide choice of preparation techniques, from fried to oven, without forgetting the salads but in a richer version than ever. Are you ready to discover the 8 recipes that we have selected for you?
Chickpea batter sticks. Let's start with some sort of Tempura made elegant by the original coating based on legume flour. Clean a small heart of thistle by dipping the ribs, gradually, in water with the lemon juice. Also clean a small bunch of chard, discarding the green leaves (you can use them for another preparation), 3 carrots and a heart of green celery, then cut all the vegetables into sticks 15-20 cm long. Blanch them for 4-5 minutes in salted water, drain and dry them. In a bowl, mix 130 g of chickpea flour, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1.5 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour in 2 dl of water, stirring with a whisk. Dip the sticks in flour 00, in the batter and fry them in hot oil. Drain them on absorbent paper and serve, to taste, with a homemade ketchup prepared with 6-8 blanched and blended dried tomatoes, a chopped and browned red onion, 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, a small boiled beetroot and a few drops of Worcester sauce. For 4 people.
Pecorino artichokes. I am stuffed and au gratin with a crunchy breadstick coating. Cut 8 artichokes in half lengthwise, remove the internal hay and half of the stem (keeping it aside) and dip them gradually in water with lemon juice. Drain them, arrange them in a pan lined with parchment paper and season with oil, salt, pepper, thyme and half a glass of white wine. Cover with aluminum and bake 12 minutes at 180 °. Meanwhile, melt 2 anchovy fillets in a pan with oil and a crushed clove of garlic. Add the artichoke stems into small pieces and cook for 3 minutes. Add 2-3 chopped dried tomatoes, 20 g of crumbled breadsticks and a little julienne mint. Remove from the heat, remove the garlic, add 20 g of pecorino and pepper. Stuff the artichokes with the filling, sprinkle with more pecorino and grill for 3 minutes. For 4 people.
Braised thistles and mushrooms. A simple combination for a side dish elegant, which tastes of wood. Clean a kilo of thistles, cut them into 10 cm pieces and dip them in water acidulated with lemon juice. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of flour in a little cold water, add 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 of lemon juice and pour the mixture into 2 liters of salted water. As soon as it boils, boil the thistles for 50 minutes. Melt 30 g of butter in a pan and add a crushed clove of garlic, an onion, a rib of celery and a chopped carrot. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, mashing the vegetables a little. Wet with a ladle of water and remove the vegetables (you can reuse them in a soup). In the aromatic cooking sauce, melt another 60 g of butter with a generous grating of nutmeg. Add 300 g of mushrooms, cleaned and halved, and 300 g of peeled pioppini. Cook, add the thistles, chopped chives and sprinkle with a ladle of hot water. Let it cook for about ten minutes. For 6 people.
Sprouts au gratin. Small and cute, they are scented with thyme and covered with stringy cheese. Remove a pound of Brussels sprouts of the outer leaves and the base of the core. Boil them for 15 minutes in abundant salted boiling water. Stop cooking by immersing them in cold water and drain them on kitchen paper. In a bowl, mix 6 tablespoons of oil, a teaspoon of crushed black pepper and abundant thyme leaves. Transfer the sprouts to the bowl and mix so that they are well covered. Drain them, arrange them on a plate lined with baking paper and mash them with a meat grinder or with the bottom of a glass. Sprinkle them with a mixture of grated Grana Padano and Gruyère (160 g in total) and 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds and bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° for 10 minutes. Serve the sprouts on the table while still hot. For 6 people.
Baked onions. At Christmas, even the simplest vegetables know dressing up! Peel 8 white onions and boil them in salted water until soft but not undone. Let them cool and cut them in half lengthwise. Separately chop 50 g of smoked bacon, 8 walnut kernels, the leaves of 2 rosemary sprigs and 50 g blueberries and the heart of the onions (the central 2-3 leaves). Mix everything, salt and pepper. Brush the onion boats with oil, fill them with the mince and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them in a preheated oven at 200 ° for about 10 minutes. Serve hot or lukewarm. For 8 people.
Reinforcement salad. From the Campania tradition, the chic version of a dish that cannot be missing on the Christmas table. Clean and divide a small white and yellow cauliflower into florets. Boil them for 15 minutes in salted water. In a large bowl, collect 100 g of pitted black Gaeta olives, 2 tablespoons of pickled capers, 250 g of mixed pickled vegetables (carrot, peppers, turnip, gherkins) or 12 chopped anchovy fillets in oil. Season with ground pepper, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 4 tablespoons of oil. Add the cauliflower and mix. Blanch the leaves of a bunch of parsley, drain, let them cool and chop them in a blender with a bunch of chives, 6 tablespoons of oil and a pinch of salt. Let the reinforcement salad rest in a cool place for a few hours before serving it with the parsley oil added at the last minute. For 4 people.
Mixed salad with quinces. The unusual apples complete a winter mix, candied and caramelized. Peel 2 small quinces, cut them into wedges, remove the cores and place them in a saucepan with 5 dl of water, 2 lemon zest, a pinch of salt, 200 g sugar and 2 peppercorns. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over a very low heat for 2 hours. Let cool, drain the apples and put them in a bowl. Filter the cooking syrup, pour it over the apples, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, peel and wash 1 small head of Treviso radicchio and one of Belgian endive. Peel a stalk of white celery and one of green celery, peel 100 g of celeriac and cut into sticks. Mix the salad leaves with the sticks and season with a drizzle of oil, a few drops of vinegar, a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of pepper. Drain the quinces, add them to the salad and serve. For 4 people.
Pan of turnips and fennel. I am frosted with sugar and butter, which form an enveloping cream. Peel 4 small turnips and cut them into four wedges. Peel and wash 12 radishes, cut the larger ones in half and leave the small ones whole. Peel 2 fennel, keeping the green barbine aside, and cut them into wedges. Peel 6 small shallots. Melt a knob of butter in a large pan, add all the prepared vegetables and brown them gently for 2-3 minutes until they begin to brown. Season with salt and pepper, add 100 ml of water, 100 ml of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue cooking in a covered pot and medium heat for 8-9 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked al dente. Uncover the pan, raise the heat and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes until the cooking juices have reduced to a syrupy consistency and the vegetables begin to caramelize. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the fennel barbine kept aside and serve. For 4 people.