5 Italian Side Dishes For Christmas

Making one or all of these 5 Italian side dishes for Christmas will ensure you and yours have a hearty holiday. These Italian side dishes go with any main dish that you have planned. These side dishes for Christmas will make your Christmas meal unique.

 

Fennel au Gratin

Ingredients:

  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • Salt
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Cut off the green stems. Save the fronds.
  2. Quarter the bulbs lengthwise.  Cut out the core.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and the fennel and boil for five minutes.
  4. Dice the tomatoes. Chop the fennel fronds.
  5. Drain cooked fennel in a colander. Rinse under cold water.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay the fennel into a greased baking dish. Put tomatoes on top of the fennel.
  7. Mix together bread crumbs, Parmesan, fennel fronds and black pepper. Sprinkle over the top of the tomatoes.
  8. Slice butter and place on top of the gratin. Bake for twenty minutes.

 

Baked Red Beets

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch red beets
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim the top and root ends of the beets.
  2. Wash the beets and dry them. Wrap in a piece of aluminum foil.
  3. Bake one and a half to two hours. Take out when they are fork tender.
  4. Let cool slightly. Peel off the skin. Slice thinly.
  5. Place on a platter. Sprinkle with salt, olive oil and vinegar.

 

 

Roast Turnips with Leeks and Pumpkin

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces diced pumpkin flesh
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 7 ounces leeks, white part, sliced
  • 11 ounce turnips, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the pumpkin on a piece of foil and sprinkle with salt and thyme.
  2. Close up the foil packet and put on a baking sheet. Cook for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat up the olive oil in a pan. Add the leeks and turnips. Cook over medium heat until tender.
  4. Add the pumpkin to the pan. Cook for a few minutes more.
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle with olive oil.

 

Carrots in a Marsala Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds of carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Cut the carrots in quarters. Then cut into two-inch long pieces.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add carrots and cook over medium low heat for five minutes.
  3. Pour the Marsala in the pan.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook for another ten to fifteen minutes until crisp tender.
  4. Add the parsley to the carrots. Add the lemon juice.  Taste for seasoning.

 

 

Braised Pearl Onions

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds pearl onions
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Trim the onions. Place them in boiling water for ten minutes. Drain.
  2. Melt butter in a pan. Add the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for twenty minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Mix the rest of the butter with the flour. Add this paste to the pan with the vegetable stock.
  4. Turn up the heat slightly. Cook for ten more minutes until the sauce thickens.
  5. Place in a serving dish. Spoon the sauce over the onions.

 

References:

Dickhaut, Sebastian, Schinharl, Cornelia, and Lane, Kelsey. “Basic Italian”. Silverback Books. 2002.

Hazan, Marcella. “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking”. Knopf. 1992.

Editors of Phaidon Press. “The Silver Spoon.” Phaidon Press. 2005.

Dickhaut, Sebastian, Schinharl, Cornelia,  and Lane, Kelsey. “Basic Italian”. Silverback Books. 2002.

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