Two impressive and relatively easy side dishes to add to your holiday table. The first, a fresh take on cabbage slaw with the addition of kale or Brussels sprouts and lots of green onion, fresh dill and a vinegar-forward dressing to bring it all together. A final garnish of jewel-colored pomegranate makes for a pretty and festive salad.
For potato lovers, the simple combo of fresh orange and sweet potato work well together. Thin slices make for the best presentation and even baking. Opt for a mandolin slicer — this one is a workhorse and not too pricey. There are many ways to finish this dish. If going for a sweeter note, drizzle some maple syrup before serving. Fry some sage leaves in brown butter or combine fresh cilantro and jalapeño and some crumbled queso fresco. Or top with freshly-grated Parmesan and/or a grating of amaretti cookies or Biscoff. — Kim Sunee
Roasted Sweet Potato and Orange
Makes 4 to 6 servings as a side dish
4 medium (about 2 pounds) sweet potatoes (use a variety of colors, if available)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large clove garlic, cut in half
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, for brushing potatoes
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or ground ginger)
Pinch ground cayenne or smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For garnish: Fresh sage leaves fried in brown butter; freshly grated Parm; chopped jalapeño, cilantro, and queso fresco; grated amaretti or Biscoff cookies
• Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rub a large baking dish (size will depend on amount of potatoes but make sure they fit neatly in a nice pattern and tuck in tightly enough so they don’t fan out) with the cut side of garlic clove. Combine softened butter with zest of orange (reserve juice) until well blended; grease dish with orange zest butter; set aside.
• Using a mandoline slicer (or the slicer on a food processor or a very sharp knife), cut sweet potatoes into very thin, even slices. Stack slices vertically in a bowl or cup as you go. When ready, carefully transfer the stacks of potatoes sideways into the prepared baking dish, making a nice pattern and tucking them in tightly. Mix preferred spices with olive oil and brush over potatoes and in-between some of the slices. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven 35-40 minutes, brushing with more seasoned oil over top and in-between layers, as needed, so potatoes stay moist. Potatoes are ready when center is tender and edges are browned and crispy. Sprinkle with some flake salt. And garnish, if desired with sage leaves fried in brown butter; chopped jalapeños and cilantro; grated Parmesan; or drizzled with maple syrup.
Green Slaw with Feta, Dill and Pomegranate
Makes 6 to 8 servings, as a side dish
1 small head green or Savoy cabbage (1 to 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced or shredded
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts or kale leaves, very thinly sliced
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup packed fresh chopped dill
1 jalapeño or serrano, stem removed and thinly sliced (optional)
6 to 8 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning (optional)
Garnishes: 1/2 cup pomegranate arils, 1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans
• In a large bowl, combine cabbage, Brussels sprouts, feta, dill, jalapeño, if using, and green onions. Toss to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper; taste and add more vinegar or oil to balance out the flavors; if desired, add a pinch of sugar. Pour vinaigrette over cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Taste and add more oil or vinegar or green onion, as needed. Cover and chill in fridge at least two hours and up to overnight. Garnish with toasted nuts and pomegranate arils before serving.