Some side dishes are perfect to prepare ahead for a no-fuss Christmas Day menu.
Although we probably cook side dishes most days, they do seem to be much more hassle on Christmas day. I guess it's because there's so much other stuff going on and we do also seem compelled to do such an enormous selection. So let's see what we can do ahead of time to ease the pressure on the big day ...
1 Roast Potatoes
Freeze-ahead roast potatoes taste (and look) better than fresh ones. And my most important piece of advice - make loads. Loads and loads and loads. You can never have too many roast potatoes - especially when they're as little fuss as these. Prepare to be converted ...
2 Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
An injection of colour on the Christmas dinner table is always a bonus too, so bring on Braised Red Cabbage with Apples - it's a beauty to prepare in advance and with that striking purple colour it really is a double winner.
3 Roasted Vegetables
And while we're thinking about colourful prepare-ahead vegetable dishes, here's another suggestion. Do you remember the Roasted Vegetable Lasagne? Well, the roasted vegetables for the filling also make a fantastic side dish. One recipe - two dishes. I like that.
Tweak it a little to get the most from it -
- Only add the cherry tomatoes for the last 5 minutes so that they keep their shape.
- With or without the capers and olives is up to you. I'd say yes to both, but this is your side dish after all ...
- Save the basil garnish until you are just about to serve.
This is a dish that I would freeze - after all, your fridge will most probably be under as much pressure as you. Gently warm the defrosted dish in the microwave. Perfect.
4 Sweet Potato Mash
This sweet potato mash is a stunner - that orange with the little specks of red from the chilli and a smattering of green from the rosemary. Gorgeous.
5 Celery, Apricot and Walnut Stuffing
You can do all the time-consuming prep beforehand and pop your stuffing in the freezer so that you are ready to go on Christmas Day.
6 Make-ahead Gravy
This make-ahead gravy is my most significant Christmas dinner game-changer. It's the tip that makes my heart sing - it really is the answer to my 'no fuss on the day' prayers.
So that's six side dishes that can be prepared ahead of time. I think we're in great shape ...