Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day 2008: Apps, Veggies, and Sides

A holiday isn't a holiday without a lot of food. Jon always tells me that I make too much or that we have too much, but that's how I like it!!

My Christmas Day menu looked like this, and was an all day affair -
  • Antipasto: prosciutto, salami, provolone, Jon's homemade roasted red peppers
  • Chips and dip... we are a chip and dip loving family!
  • Boursin cheese with crackers
  • Roasted Garlic Soup (recipe found here)
  • And finally, dinner: stuffed pork loin with a mushroom-wine gravy, cauliflower with tomatoes and prosciutto, broccoli rabe with garlic, and roasted potatoes. Click here for my post with the pork and gravy.

Jon makes really good roasted peppers. Luckily all the ice on the deck melted on Christmas Eve so he was able to use the grill. He grills the red peppers until the skin is completely charred, and then immediately transfers them to a paper bag to sweat - this makes the skin easy to peel. After about 15 minutes he peels the skin off, removes the top and seeds, and slices them into strips. He then tosses them in just a touch of olive oil (maybe a tablespoon?) and one clove of pressed garlic. Aren't they beautiful?

Cauliflower with Prosciutto and Tomatoes
I found this recipe on the Epicurious web site. The original recipe called for Serrano ham, but since I already had prosciutto on hand, I decided to use it.
  • 1 large or 2 small heads of cauliflower
  • 1/3 c chopped red onion
  • 1/3 c EVOO
  • 1 c grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch dice (I just halved them)
  • 1 lb thinly sliced Serrano ham, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (I used a handful of prosciutto, chopped)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c finely chopped fresh Parsley


  • Cook cauliflower in a large pot of salted boiling water until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes (mine took about 10). Drain well in a colander, then transfer to a large bowl. (I used a long platter)
  • While cauliflower boils, cook onion in oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and ham and cook, stirring frequently, until just heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and parsley.
  • Pour tomato mixture over cauliflower and toss to coat, then season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This dish was a hit. Not only was it beautiful, it was delicious. The prosciutto was fine, but it didn't hold up as well as a thicker meat would have. I actually think that pancetta or bacon would be the perfect meat for this dish, or no meat at all!

Broccoli Rabe with Garlic
I love broccoli rabe. We usually have it with pasta, but it's a great veggie on its own as well.

I blanched the broccoli rabe in boiling water for about 3 minutes, drained it, and ran cold water over it to stop it from cooking. In the meantime, I heated about 3 tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan. To that I added 5 cloves sliced fresh garlic and about 1 tsp red pepper flakes. Two minutes later I added the broccoli rabe and about 1 tsp Kosher salt. Toss and serve!

I also made roasted potatoes - I simply halved new potatoes, tossed them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and baked them on 375, covered, for 45 minutes. At the end I uncovered them and turned the broiler on for a few minutes to add some color and crispiness.

All of these sides were extremely easy, and the veggie dishes each only took 10 minutes.

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  1. I love a good antipasto and the veggie dishes look great and so colorful!

  2. i want to try the cauliflower! looks fabulous!