Yes, the turkey steals the show at Christmas, but that shouldn’t mean your side dishes pale in comparison. Here are some extra-special festive ideas to bring to the table…
Prep 10 min
Cook 35 min
1tbsp olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
100g cooked and peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
25g fresh breadcrumbs
2tbsp chopped fresh parsley
A few fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
10 fresh sage leaves, finely shredded
Good grating of fresh nutmeg
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
8 eating apples (such as braeburn)
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Heat the oil in a frying pan, then add the onion and cook over a low heat for 10 min. Set aside to cool.
2 Put the chestnuts in a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, herbs, nutmeg and lemon zest. Add the cooked onion and mix to combine.
3 Carefully core each apple and score a line around the equator (to prevent the skin splitting). Spoon the stuffing into the cavity of each apple, piling it up slightly, then place the apples in a large baking tin.
3 Bake for 20 min or until tender, then serve.
Per serving: 95kcal, 1.1g protein, 1.9g fat, 0.3g saturates, 19.6g carbs, 13.3g sugar, 3.3g fibre, 0.1g salt, 18mg calcium, 0.4mg iron
Keep the cooled stuffing in a sealed food bag or container for up to 3 days in the fridge. On Christmas morning, assemble and stuff the apples, cover loosely with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place (outside if there’s no space elsewhere) until ready to cook. Or prepare the stuffing without the herbs, then freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost at room temperature overnight, then add the herbs and continue from step 3.
More ideas on the side…
* For roasts and casseroles: slow-cook sliced red cabbage with red onions, sliced apple, a handful of dried cranberries, a little brown sugar, orange juice and a cinnamon stick until tender.
* For the Boxing Day buffet: make a robust winter salad by mixing shredded sprouts, cauliflower and red or white cabbage with chopped apple and celery, and a handful of mixed nuts or seeds.