An ‘easy does it’ celebration – side dishes

You’ve chosen the main dish – now you need some stunning side dishes to make the Christmas meal really special (the recipes should look and taste amazing but not keep you tied to the stove all morning – unless you’re trying really hard to avoid a particular relative of course!)

In our fourth blog, we’ve got three tasty recipes for your perusal.

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Roasted Squash and Red Onion

A versatile and moreish side that will go with most main dishes

  • Serves 6
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook:45 mins


  • 1 butternut squash
  • 3 small red onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp currants soaked in hot water for 15 mins
  • 4 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted
  • Handful of sage, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.
  2. Halve the butternut squash, scooping out the seeds. Cut the squash and onions into wedges, keeping the skin on the squash.
  3. Put the wedges onto a roasting tray with the garlic and drizzle the olive oil over. Mix well, making sure the vegetables aren’t overcrowded, otherwise they will steam rather than roast. Divide into two trays if needed.
  4. Roast for 30 mins, then add the drained currants, almonds and sage to the tray and put back in the oven for another 15 mins until golden.

 Sausage, Pork, Fig and Thyme Stuffing Roll

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You can make this up to two days in advance and keep in the fridge. It’s a really succulent and impressive way to serve the stuffing.

  • Serves 6-8
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins


  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 70g breadcrumbs
  • 350g sausage meat
  • 250g minced pork
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 7 dried figs, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 3 tbsp thyme, plus extra for the garnish
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 200g smoked streaky bacon


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. Heat the oil in a pan and soften the onions, then set aside.
  2. Mix all the ingredients, except the streaky bacon, adding the onions once cool. Form into a large ball.
  3. Grease a 30cm x 40cm piece of foil. Line the rashers up across it, overlapping and stretching them lengthways, leaving 5cm either side to help seal the log in the foil later.
  4. Roll the stuffing ball into a log and lay it over the bacon.
  5. Wrap the bacon tightly around the log, using the foil to help. Twist both ends of the foil to make a cracker shape and place the parcel join-side down on a baking tray.
  6. Cook for 45 mins, then remove the foil and turn up slightly; cook for 15 mins to crisp the bacon up.
  7. Rest for another 15 mins and garnish with the extra thyme.

Baby carrots wrapped in prosciutto

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A combination of sweet and salty flavours that proves carrots can wear blankets too.

  • Serves 4
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins


  • 24 baby carrots (about 400g)
  • 16 slices prosciutto
  • 150ml water
  • 3tbsp honey


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6 and trim the stems of the carrots, leaving a short tuft. Then wash and peel them.
  2. Quarter each prosciutto slice, cutting across and then lengthways. Wrap a quarter around each carrot and place in a baking dish, lining them up as you go.
  3. Mix the water and honey together, with a pinch of salt and pepper, and drizzle over the carrots. Bake, basting occasionally, for 30 mins or until the carrots are tender.

Decadent mash

You’re already indulging, so make sure your Christmas mash is buttery and rich.


  1. Peel 750g potatoes – Maris Pipers make the fluffiest mash – and chop them in half.
  2. Place them in a pan of cold water (boiling water will cook them unevenly) and bring to the boil. Simmer until tender (25 mins). Drain, leave to steam for 4 mins and mash using a hand masher.
  3. When it’s fluffy, mash in 75g butter, slowly adding 35ml double cream, a pinch of salt and black pepper. For extra luxury stir in cheddar, roasted garlic or horseradish.

From Ocadolife – read the latest edition online now

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