#veggielife: 5 Meatless Holiday Sides & Starters

Ahh, Thanksgiving.

The time of year where friends and family gather together around the table to stuff their faces. start stacking up your plates because these five recipes pretty much go with any main dish you're serving. Heck, you can even just pile up these sides and call it a night. 


dilly rolls

(photo credit: BON APPETIT)

(photo credit: BON APPETIT)

Dilly rolls. Upon first sight, I thought these might be doughy balls filled with dill pickles (why we're on that topic, I've recently discovered Dill Pickle Cashews by Emerald Nuts and they're surprisingly fabulous) but I soon learned these were actually dill herb friendly bread bites. Ahhh, that makes much more sense. I plan on making these little doughboys as my Thanksgiving bread basket pass around. #justaddbutter

DIRECTIONS

Gently heat milk until warm to the touch (an instant-read thermometer should register 120°–130°). Add sugar and yeast and whisk to combine. Add buttermilk; let sit until yeast starts to foam, 5–10 minutes.

Combine onion, fresh dill, dill seeds, salt, and 2½ cups flour in a large bowl. Stir in milk mixture and 2 Tbsp. butter, adding more flour as needed (dough will initially be fairly wet), until a sticky dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Transfer dough to a lightly buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and let rise until doubled again, about 1 hour. Punch down dough, and, using a pastry scraper, divide into 12 pieces.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly butter top. Cupping your hand over and using your palm, roll each piece of dough on work surface into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing at least 2” apart (you need to leave enough room so that they’re not touching after they’ve risen). Brush tops with remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rise until doubled in size, 20–30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°.

Bake rolls until puffed and deep golden brown on the tops and bottoms, 15–20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving.

DO AHEAD: Rolls can be made 3 hours ahead. Reheat before serving, if desired.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ¼-oz. envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ tsp.)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons dill seeds
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour plus more
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided, plus more for bowl and parchment paper

(photo credit: MICHAEL GRAYDON + NIKOLE HERRIOTT VIA BON APPETIT)

(photo credit: MICHAEL GRAYDON + NIKOLE HERRIOTT VIA BON APPETIT)

I've always wanted to experiment with harissa paste and now I have a reason to try it. I love that this recipe combines the heat of harissa with the natural sweetness of carrots and maple syrup while throwing in a bit of tang from the thinly sliced lemon. I remember when I was little, when I swore "I was running away forever," I grabbed a pot of boiled carrots (really safe, I know) and took off for...well, I wasn't sure. But I do remember the comforting taste of cooked carrots and how much I liked them. Today, I laugh about how far I made it - to the bushes one house over. #ohchildhood 

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2½ pounds small rainbow carrots, scrubbed, tops trimmed to about ½”, halved
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed

 

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450°. Whisk garlic, oil, maple syrup, harissa, and cumin seeds in a small bowl; season garlic mixture with salt and pepper.

Toss carrots and lemon with garlic mixture in a large roasting pan to coat; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until carrots are tender and lemons are caramelized, 35–40 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Carrots can be roasted 6 hours ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Bring to room temperature or reheat slightly before serving.


green bean casserole with crispy shallots

(photo credit: KANA OKADA VIA THE FOOD NETWORK)

(photo credit: KANA OKADA VIA THE FOOD NETWORK)

The word casserole always makes me think of 50's housewives but who can knock a dish that is warm and comforting and available by the enormous scoopful? I feel like green beans were meant to marry garlic and shallots and olive oil. This combination will always be a winner in my book. Add in some parmesan and thyme and you've got a scrumptious side dish. #greenbeannation 

ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 medium shallots, sliced into rings (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 pounds thin fresh string beans or haricots verts, trimmed
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 cups low-fat (1 percent) milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray

directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1/4 cup shallots and cook, stirring, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining shallots, cooking 1/4 cup at a time. Reserve the oil in the skillet.

Place the green beans in a steamer basket fitted over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam until bright green and still crisp, about 3 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved shallot oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushroom liquid is evaporated and they begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl.

Whisk together the milk and flour until the flour is dissolved. Add the mixture to the skillet and, whisking constantly, bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the green beans, mushroom mixture, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, the parsley, nutmeg, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon the green bean mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle the top with the crispy shallots and the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake until golden on top and bubbling, about 20 minutes.


(photo credit: ALLRECIPES)

(photo credit: ALLRECIPES)

Cream cheese. Cream cheese is basically the reason why I eat stuffed anything. This is a basic stuffed mushroom recipe but it's a solid one. No frills. Just a tasty veggie taking a fry bath. Who can resist that? #whoneedsmeat

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 whole fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.

When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.


(photo credit: MARCUS NILSSON VIA MARTHA STEWART)

(photo credit: MARCUS NILSSON VIA MARTHA STEWART)

Tarts aren't my first choice when thinking about holiday goodies but this savory tart has my name written all over it. I love hazelnuts and plus, a pastry dough dedicated to this delicious morsel? Done. Oh yeah, and there's bechamel. Bechamel. #bluecheeseandbutter

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE TART

FOR THE FILLING

  • 4 ounces red pearl onions
  • 1 small head cauliflower, separated into florets
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

FOR THE BECHAMEL

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped chestnuts

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the tart: Roll out pastry dough to a 6-by-16-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 4-by-13-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim edges flush with top. Prick bottom of tart all over with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. 
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line crust with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until crust is set and edges are just starting to turn golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and remove pie weights and parchment. Bake until bottom of tart shell is pale gold, about 10 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook onions for 2 minutes. Transfer to ice-water bath. Drain. Peel onions, and cut each in half. Meanwhile, steam cauliflower in a basket insert set over a pan of simmering water until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt. Let cool. 
  4. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring, until browned, about 12 minutes. 
  5. Make the bechamel: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking, until mixture is thick and just starts to boil. Add 1/4 cup blue cheese, the thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt, and whisk until cheese melts. Stir in cauliflower, half the onions, and half the chestnuts. 
  6. Spread cauliflower mixture onto tart shell. Scatter remaining onions and chestnuts over filling, and dot top with remaining 1/4 cup blue cheese. Bake tart on a baking sheet until filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving. 

happy holidaying!

BitesCarly PetroneComment