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Vegetable side dish for Christmas Buffet Dinner

The menu:

Cherry Tomatoes stuffed with Crab and Goat Cheese
Puff Pastry with mustard and Smoked Salmon
Gougeres

Spinach Salad with Mushrooms and Mustard Vinaigrette
Beef Tenderloin with Bourbon and Cracked Black Pepper Sauce
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
???
???
Poppy Seed Rolls

Chocolate cups filled with chocolate and white chocolate mousse
Fudge Cake (cut into bite size pieces)
Egg Nog Pound Cake (toasted and cut into bite size pieces with Rum Dipping Sauce)

I need a couple of vegetable dishes to go with this. I SUCK at coming up with good veggies. I'd like to avoid green beans, since I did those last year with roasted shallots and cashews. What other suggestions have you got?

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  1. One thing I like is a beet & bleu cheese salad. I just boil the beets (I guess I could roast, but never do), slip them out of their skins when they're done and toss with crumbled bleu cheese & a bit of olive oil and salt & pepper. Sometimes I've also added chopped almonds or pinenuts, but not required. This dish is good hot or cold so you could make it ahead pretty easily. It's probably only good if you're a beet fan, but I love 'em.

    I know you're trying to avoid green beans, but my mom made a great green bean salad for Thanksgiving--cooked & cut up green beans tossed with a mustard & cumin vinegrette, with shredded gruyere & chopped walnuts. Sounds weird, but the flavors were fantastic.

    Good luck!

    1. How about Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta? It's one of my favorite side dishes and there's a very good recipe here:

      http://tinyurl.com/yddf59

      1. I made roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and shallots for Thanksgiving and everyone raved about them.
        4 slices of bacon
        2 shallots, chopped
        2-3 Tablespoons of decent balsalmic vinegar
        1 bag Hanover gold line brussel sprouts(I like these better than fresh, more consistant size, really small.Must be GOLD line)
        rosemary, sea salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
        Fry bacon crisp and crumble. Add shallots to bacon grease and fry till translucent. Saute brussel sprouts and seasonings just till mixed. You may need a little olive oil if it looks too dry. Take off heat add vinegar and bacon toss and roast in 350 degree oven 12-15 min.

        1. It sounds like you also need some sort of pickle given the menu. I just posted the idea for a cucumber/onion quick pickle on another board. It might be a nice cool contrast with your main menu.

          Think of it as some sort of Western raita - peel, seed, slice and salt cukes. Let drain. Squeeze dry. Add thin-sliced red onions. Dress with a vinaigrette of your taste; or, I use olive oil, cider vinegar, a whiff of garlic (and ginger if you're making beef - nice flavor compliment), and a bit of dry mustard, depending upon the menu, again - also check flavor to correct for a bit of sweetness. Let the salad/pickle sit at room temp. prior to serving.

          HAF is right on with a beet salad recommendation, especially if this is to be a buffet . Good flavors with your beef tenderloin.

          1. This is my holiday choice of a great veggie side dish. You can prepare it the night before and refrigerate, then cook the day of your party. If you do this, take out of refrig. 1/2hr. before baking.

            Spinach Gratin - Ina Garten



            4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
            4 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large)
            1/4 cup flour
            1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
            1 cup heavy cream
            2 cups milk
            3 pounds frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (5 (10-ounce) packages)
            1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
            1 tablespoon kosher salt
            1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
            1/2 cup grated Guyuere Cheese

            Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
            Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the flour and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Add the cream and milk and cook until thickened. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach and add the spinach to the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

            Transfer the spinach to a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and the Gruyere on top. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve hot.


            Prep Time: 10 minutes
            Inactive Prep Time: 45 minutes
            Cook Time: 40 minutes
            Yield: 8 servings