Authentic Italian Cooking

Italian Xmas recipes: side dishes

A side dish always accompanies the main course in every menu. I'm going to show you some recipes that I have the habit to choose when I plan my get-togethers or formal parties at Christmastime. I try not to be tempted by too elaborate recipes. The menus in this period are already more elaborate on their own than usual and so it is necessary to match the side dish with intelligence.

Green salad with walnuts and apples
Green salad with nuts and apples

How to choose a side dish in Christmas menus

As I have just written before, you have to be very careful in choosing the side dish to pair to your meat and/or fish recipes. I prefer fresh or raw vegetables to be seasoned with flavored oil.
This is the reason why I usually prepare tantalizing salads even with the addition of fruit. Do not be afraid to be seen with a little imagination. In fact, such a choice is an act of attention for your guests and relatives. Gone are the days of gargantuan meals!

Few fried food, I recommend you. I suggest only artichoke quarters, dipped in batter and then fried, not in industrial quantities ;))
Potatoes are fine in other moments of the year, unless you add some of them to your baked turkey. No need to read any recipe, right? ;))
If you really want something different from the usual, choose my mini flans but combine them with not too elaborate meat or fish dishes.

Side dish recipes for Christmas, New Year and all your parties.

Artichoke quarters, dipped in batter and fried

fried artichokes

Fried food is quite popular at Christmastime. But you must be careful not to exaggerate seen the abundance in these days. However, I think that this recipe accompanies meat and fish dishes very well but in the right amount ;)

Artichokes and chestnuts

artichokes and chestnuts

This combination is not usual though it goes back a long time ago. But believe me, it is still fantastic when accompanies meat or fish without sauce. Another recommendation: avoid to choose it for a menu very rich in courses. On the contrary it is perfect for a refined menus with few exclusive recipes.

Cauliflower mini flan

mini flan made with cauliflower

Nice to see, right? I prepare them to assemble assorted antipasto platter or to accompany my main dishes: baked turkey, pot-roast, baked fish ...

Lemon-flavored green salad

A few simple ingredients. Songino salad, Granny Smith apples, lemon-flavored olive oil. Very good to match to almost all the traditional dishes of this period.

Green salad with the addition of pine nuts, apples and raisins

This side dish is richer in ingredients than the previous ones. The green lettuce is enriched with pine nuts, Granny Smith apples, raisins and citrus flavored oil. Match it to baked duck for example.

Fennel and orange salad

This salad made with fennel and orange is a delicate side dish that can be well combined with pot-roast or baked meat, typical of the holiday season. Even when your meat is a little fat, as it often happens. I've also served it in a particular starter with smoked herring and other fish and I found it delicious.

Green salad with apples and nuts

Green salad with the addition of  apples and nuts

Another delicate side dish that is fine to accompany roasted pork shank or baked fish rich in fat. Each time that your main dish needs to be "degreased" with a fresh taste.

Green salad with the addition of oranges

green salad with oranges

Add orange segments to your green salad and it will be fantastic. I like to add orange slices with their skin too if they are organic. In this case I cut oranges crosswise.

Orange salad

orange salad

This is different from the previous recipe. In fact it is made with oranges without green salad leaves. You can add olives, onion, garlic ... Match it to baked turkey or capon and as part of a starter dish paired to salami or fish rich in fat.

White salad

salad with fennel and grapes

Grapes, fennel, cashew nuts, honey and olive oil.This is the list of ingredients you need. It is perfect with duck and very tasty meats. I prepare it for baked fish too, salmon for example.

Spinach and ricotta flans

spinach and ricotta mini flans

They are so delicious that disappear in an instant when I put them on the table and so when I have a lot of guests I have to place them already in the individual plates :))