While we look forward to holiday get togethers, sometimes bringing a side can add unnecessary stress. What should I bring? Will it be liked by everyone? Do I have enough time to prep & cook that?
If you don’t have a dish that’s demanded every time – like Aunt Kathy’s Nut Roll – maybe it’s time you develop one. We have a feeling these easy-to-make, fresh, flavorful sides have the chance to become just that:
Dried Cranberry and Basmati Rice Stuffed Butternut Squash
- 2 Butternut Squash – cut in half and seeded
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil as needed
- Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 packages Basmati and Wild Rice Pilaf cooked per package instructions
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 2 cups Onions chopped
- 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
- two 3-ounce packages Dried Cranberries
- 1/4 cup parsley – chopped
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Brush olive oil onto cut side of squash.
- Season with sea salt and pepper and place on a cookie sheet.
- Cook in the oven until fork tender.
- When finished, remove the squash from the oven and let cool.
- Using a spoon, scoop out the pulp from the squash, leaving about a 1/4-inch edge. This will be used as the baking dish for serving.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large pan, melt the butter and caramelize the onions.
- Next add the cooked rice, squash and lemon juice.
- Stir to break up the squash pulp.
- Add the cranberries and parsley and mix well.
- Divide the mixture among the squash shells.
- Place on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven until heated through. Serve immediately.
*Note: I like to garnish the finished squash with more dried cranberries.
Green Bean, Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Saute
- 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 pounds Green Beans, washed and trimmed
- 2 pounds Button Mushrooms, washed and quartered
- 2 tablespoons Garlic, roasted and minced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and the olive oil in a pan.
- Saute the mushrooms for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the butter, the green beans and the garlic.
- Season and heat until beans are tender.
*Note: Bacon pieces are a great addition to this dish.
Fuyu Persimmon Loaf Bread
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
- 1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- ¾ cup Canola Oil
- 3 cups Fuyu Persimmons – 2 cups peeled & diced small; 1 cup puréed
- Cooking Spray as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with the cooking spray, line it with parchment paper and spray it again. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. While mixing, add the eggs, one at a time, scrape in the seeds and pulp from the vanilla bean and add the oil. Add the diced persimmon and the persimmon puree and mix until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and place in the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy. Makes 1 loaf bread.