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Christmas side dishes – Italian Cuisine – Italian Cuisine


For lunch or dinner, for them it is the great opportunity to transform themselves from supporting actors to protagonists. If the other dishes have rich and complex tastes, the ideal is to resort to simplicity. Inspire, with imagination, to tradition

THE right contours for Christmas? It will depend on the second dish to which they match, you will say. But no. Or rather, Christmas is one of those occasions in which the outline can live its own life, exalting itself, without necessarily being a supporting figure. Just look at the example – we repeat it once again! – dell 'Neapolitan reinforcement salad, so independent of the dish that once "reinforced" that in many cases, now, has moved arms and luggage to the appetizer. Of course, in front of Christmas recipes particularly complex or refined, from appetizers to the second, for the contours the advice is to play on simplicity. With a touch of creativity. As usual, the best way will therefore be to revisit the stars of our own tradition. With a touch of fantasy and an eye to the seasonal ingredients. Here then 10 ideas to make the outline really Christmas.

Christmas vegetables

Free space for imagination: they are needed potatoes, carrots, white turnips, artichokes and shallots. Season with salt, pepper and aromatic herbs (the classic mix of sage, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme) Put everything in the oven and, at the end, spread a pinch of roast or the second sauce that you have cooked (if possible.) Otherwise, glaze them with honey, as you can see, in this case, the outline apparently continues to play the role of the compimario, but once tasted …

Duchess potatoes

Contour of sure scenographic effect, borrowed from the kitchen French. In practice it is a question of mashed potatoes enriched with egg yolk, butter, nutmeg and parmesan and then baked in the oven, after they have taken the classic curled shape using the sac a poche. In addition to elegance, their main value is versatility: they combine perfectly with both meat and fish.

Modified puntarelle

A classic in the kitchen season Roman. These are the Catalan sprouts, cut into strips, and then immersed in water and ice: a trick that reduces their bitter taste and gives them the typical curled appearance. They should be seasoned with a sauce based on anchovies, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, pepper and garlic. But, instead of anchovies, you can also try an excellent condiment based on capers, pine nuts and Gaeta olives, all crushed together in order to obtain a homogeneous sauce.

Battered vegetables

Another classic of the kitchen Roman: cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, artichokes and pumpkins. And – if you want to go out of season – aubergines and zucchini. All fried in batter. They will be snapped up!

Red chicory and gorgonzola salad

The Red radish, or theBelgian endive, can be combined with gorgonzola, toasted hazelnuts, liquid honey, delicate mustard and extra virgin olive oil for a mixed salad of great personality, filling the leaves with cheese and hazelnuts.

Stuffed artichokes

Another seasonal ingredient that at best makes Christmas, the artichoke can be enriched with a tasty filling based on minced meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley and garlic. The artichoke, before filling, should be boiled. And then, cooked in the oven. With a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil as a final touch.

Baked mushrooms

A simple filling based on breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, white wine and extra virgin olive oil. With which to fill large champignon mushrooms. Baking and a final bit of oil. What do you want more from life?

Poached brocolli

Typical Sicilian recipe, get ready by cooking i broccoli in a pot with onions and extra virgin olive oil. Then, during cooking, they are added anchovies, pecorino cheese, pepper and red wine.

Orange salad

The red oranges from Sicily make great in this side: peel them, cut them into slices and mix them with Tropea red onions cut into thin slices, olives, oil, salt and pepper. Everything can be arranged on a bed of small salad like the valerian.

Stuffed potatoes with ham

How to enrich the usual potato? Simple. Just burn in the pan onion and raw ham in strips in extra virgin olive oil. The potatoes, once blanched, should be cut in half and then seasoned with the mixture, to which it will be added parmesan and breadcrumbs.

To all gratini! The most delicious gratinated side dishes for winter dinners – Italian Cuisine


Fennel, broccoli, artichokes: here's how to use the oven to make these vegetables so tasty that they are also served as a dish

In winter period also Side Dishes they become richer, thanks to more elaborate preparations and cooking in the oven. If you want a warmth this evening comfort food, which can also become a simple single dish, you are in the right place. Take a look at the vegetables you have in the fridge and the ingredients in the pantry: between béchamel, butter, Parmesan, breadcrumbs and various aromas you will get a delicious dish. Here are some ideas.

Fennel gratin with ham and cheese

The taste of fennels is delicate and makes them perfect with cheese. Boil them so that they soften and try cooking with a fork: they should not be too soft because they will cook in the oven again. Put them in a pan with cubes of stringy cheese, like gruyere or bitto, if you want a substantial and tasty dish, and strips of cooked ham. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, add a few knobs of butter and put in the oven already hot for about ten minutes at 180 ° C. Run the grill for a crust to scream!

fennel gratin
Fennel gratin.

Broccoli in oven with bechamel

Boil the broccoli florets and place them in a pan. Add some bechamel, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and put the broccoli in the oven at 180 ° C under the grill until they become golden and crisp.

Gratin artichokes with parsley and pecorino cheese

Clean the artichokes eliminating the hardest outer leaves, the beard and the part of the most filamentous stem. Boil them in boiling salted water until they are tender. Drain and cut them in half. Prepare a mix of bread crumbs, grated pecorino cheese, chopped parsley and olive oil in a bowl. Grease the bottom of a pan, then place the artichokes and sprinkle them with the mix of breadcrumbs. Cover them completely. Put in oven at 180 ° C for 20 minutes.

Tomatoes au gratin with garlic

Tomatoes are not winter vegetables, but if you want a lighter side dish, they are good for a gratin. You can choose even the smallest ones. Cut them in half and empty them of the seeds. Prepare the breadcrumbs separately, mixed with Parmesan, parsley, extra virgin olive oil and a minced garlic clove. Place the tomatoes in a greased pan and with a spoon put the mixture of breadcrumbs on each tomato. Bake for half an hour at 180 ° C.

Ten side dishes for Christmas lunch – Italian Cuisine


Forget the faded salads and devote yourself to a perfectly prepared side dish that does not disfigure the main course.

All the attention spent to decide which first and second to bring to the table for Christmas lunch, and then run out of ideas for the side dish. And at the end the choice falls on the usual salad, a bit 'sad and uninviting. If it is true that the first and second courses are the masters on this occasion, why not think also of the contours for Christmas lunch a bit 'more elaborate? Below are our suggestions for an impeccable menu from start to finish.

Camembert potato cups

For this dish you can use any flowery crust cheese. Cook the potatoes cut into thin slices in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Separately put the cream, chopped garlic, a pinch of nutmeg and the cheese cut into small pieces in a bowl. Put a layer of potatoes in an oven dish, add a layer of cream and cheese and then more potatoes. Finish with a slice of Camembert, bake in a bain-marie and cook for 40 minutes. Turn out and serve hot.

Fried pumpkin slices with fresh mint

To prepare this side dish cut a Mantovana pumpkin into thin slices, fry them in plenty of extra virgin olive oil and dry them well with absorbent paper. Remove the frying oil and cook for a few minutes in the same pot of white wine vinegar with a tablespoon of sugar, a tablespoon of oil, a small bunch of fresh mint, a clove of minced garlic and a pinch of salt. Season the pumpkin slices with this sauce and serve.

Caponata of artichokes

A winter version of the iconic dish of Sicily. Clean and boil the sliced ​​artichokes for 5 minutes. In a saucepan, brown a clove of garlic with the diced artichokes and celery for a few minutes. In another pan, cook the tomatoes with garlic and extra virgin olive oil. When cooked, add the artichokes, the green olives cut into small pieces, the pine nuts, the celery and the raisins previously soaked in vinegar and sugar. Cook for a few minutes until it is well blended.

Baskets of potatoes and chestnuts

A rich and tasty side dish. Brown the slices of peeled pumpkin in a pot with a little oil. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes and broccoli that reduce to purée once cooked. In another pan fry the shallots, add the crumbled chestnuts and after a few minutes add some toma, a spoon of Parmigiano Reggiano, salt and pepper. Crush the potatoes and season with salt and pepper oil. Grease with the butter of the single-dose molds, cover them with pumpkin slices, make layers with the crushed potatoes, the pureed broccoli and the browned chestnuts. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes and serve hot.

Leeks with cheese

A delicious and quick to prepare dish. Boil the leeks in salted water, drain and dry well. Arrange two crosswise and put in the center a piece of soft cheese such as taleggio. Fold up the leek sheaths by closing the cheese to a bundle, flour the chunks, pass them in the beaten egg and then in the bread crumbs. Fry the bundles of leek in plenty of olive oil, dry them with absorbent paper and serve hot.

Bundles of cabbage and cauliflower

To prepare this side dish, boil the cauliflower florets in boiling salted water and then, when cooked, blend them. Meanwhile cook the leaves of a cabbage steamed, then spread them on a towel and dry them. Cut off the central rib of the leaves, overlap and fill them with cauliflower cream. Rewind them and cook them for ten minutes along with shallots. At the end of cooking, shake the shallots, add some cream on the stove. Cut the slices of cabbage and toss with the cream of cream and shallot. Sprinkle with some black pepper and serve.

Skewers of Jerusalem artichokes and pumpkin with lettuce sauce

The sweet taste of this skewer will be diluted with a lettuce sauce. Boil the diced Jerusalem artichokes and the pumpkin slices. Then brown them in a pan with a knob of butter. Let cool and then make the skewers alternating a piece of pumpkin and one of Jerusalem artichokes. Separately steam lettuce leaves and when they are cooked, whisk them with a little oil, a sprinkling of paprika and salt. Serve the hot skewers seasoned with the lettuce sauce.

Caramelized endive wedges

Ideal to serve with a roast or stuffed turkey. Boil the endive cut into wedges in acidulated water and a pinch of salt. Let it simmer for about 40 minutes then drain it, dry it and put it to caramelise in a pot with some butter and some brown sugar. When it is golden add the juice of an orange juice, reduce and serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Courgette dadini seasoned with onions in sour.

Brown the zucchini cut into small pieces and when they are cooked but still crisp, roll them out in a well oiled baking pan. In a bowl, soften the sultana raisin. Meanwhile, combined with the zucchini of garlic and thinly sliced ​​red onions, some marjoram leaves, squeezed raisins and toasted pine nuts. Separately, cook for three minutes three tablespoons of white wine vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar. When it has thickened, pour it over the zucchini, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and cook in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Escarole rolls

A quick to prepare and very tasty side dish. Boil a bunch of salad and when it is cooked, drain and dry. Spread the escarole leaves and fill them with chopped black olives, capers, pine nuts, raisins and anchovies in oil. Close the leaves, place them in a pan with a clove of garlic, cook for a few minutes and serve.