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Nov 22, 2009 02:10 PM

Adding a little more green to a Christmas Lunch

I'm all for being traditional for a christmas lunch, but we absolutely detest brussel sprouts. We need to have some (green) vegetable on the table. I've been doing some research online and most menus include red cabbage, butternut squash, green beans, as popular examples for a side dish.
It may sound really trivial but i'm all for having a a vibrant set of colours on the table. Turkey's brown (or bronze), potatoes' yellow/brown/golden, cranberry sauce's red, gravy is brown (again), butternut squash with pecans and roquefort's overall colour, again orange/brown...I would add the red cabbage but I would really like something green. There isnt that many of us (four people) to do more than 2 vegetable side dishes, maybe this could even be too much.
Any suggests for great greens that are festive, yet simple and easy to digest are all welcome here.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I like a "salad" of broccoli and cauliflower florettes lightly steamed and then blanched in icy water and tossed in a vinaigrette wtih red cherry tomatoes. You can arrange the red, green and white veggies in a the shape of a wreath on a platter and make a "bow" out of roasted red pepper.

    Fortunately it will give you real color at a time of the year when not so many colorful veggies are in season. Very Betty Crocker and 50s but nice and easy nonetheless.

    1. How about a baby spinach salad with roasted pumpkin/butternut squash cubes, pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries, clementine segments, and toasted almonds/walnuts/pistachios? Serve with a vinaigrette or bacon dressing.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ChristinaMason

        would you give a loose recipe based on the ingredients mentioned?
        sounds great!

        1. re: purplishrose

          I made something similar this week sans the roasted squash. This should work:

          Peel squash, cut in half lengthwise, and seed. Cut into large chunks. Coat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper (and a bit of dried sage, cinnamon, turbinado sugar, and nutmeg, if you like). Bake on a lined baking sheet @ 375F about 30 minutes, or until soft and the edges are golden.

          Peel and chop a handful of pistachios (or nut of choice). Rise baby spinach. Peel clementines into segments. Prepare pomegranate seeds if using.

          For a bacon dressing, you could try Alton's recipe. Since you're not serving it over hot vegetables, you might want to swap the bacon grease for a piece or two of crumbled bacon (hate to see the grease solidify on cold food...ew):

          1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
          1/4 cup cider vinegar
          2 tablespoons bacon drippings
          1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
          1 tablespoon prepared mustard
          1 teaspoon salt
          1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


          To serve: pour the dressing into the bottom of a large clear salad bowl. Top with the spinach and then layer on all the goodies, ending with the nuts (you could arrange the toppings decoratively, if you're not swearing at the turkey by this point). Toss at the table.

      2. Is a salad not possible here? Romaine (dark leafy stuff, not just the hearts), fresh parsley torn up...maybe some dandelion greens if you can find it or fresh spinach...add a red/yellow/orange bell pepper and red onion for extra color...maybe cucumber...very refreshing and nutritious!

        1. I like to saute a little red bell pepper and garlic slivers in olive oil, add some black olives, then add the flat Italian frozen green beans and some cracked black pepper and steam until tender. Nice hearty bean flavor, colorful, tastes great and isn't heavy. Looks nice on the table next to the butternut squash and roasted red beets.

          1. A salad of Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, shredded carrot, and tomato in a mustard vinaigrette. Simple, colorful, healthful, and delicious.