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Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) promotes local food knowledge, production and market opportunities for farmers and community members throughout our region.

Holiday Sides: Front and Center

RAFFL Updates

News, cooking tips, recipes, and more from the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link.

Holiday Sides: Front and Center

Phil Gurley

Are you still drumming your fingers over what sides to make for your holiday meal? These quick and simple crowd-pleasers might actually upstage your roasted beast!

Root Vegetable Gratin: Beets, Parsnips, Carrots, Rutabaga, Turnips, Potatoes…we never tire of these flavors.  The combinations are endless and delicious. Try combining your favorites in this video recipe.

Broccoli with Mustard Butter: This is a standard side in my house, and it doesn’t lose its’ specialty when served on a holiday table. And broccoli is so good this time of year. All you need is:
Broccoli (1 big head serves 2)
Unsalted Butter (3 tbsp. serves 2)
Your choice of mustard (I like those grainy ones. 1 tbsp serves 2)
Kosher Salt, Pepper

Cut your broccoli florets small and bite-sized. Take off all that dead white stuff. Bring to a boil in an inch of water covering the bottom of a pot or saucer pan (depending on how many diners you have). Add broccoli, cover and boil 1-2 minutes, depending on floret size. Makes sure it’s tender, not soft.

Drain broccoli, season it, set aside. Melt butter in pan, add mustard and mix together. Add broccoli and mix to coat. Check for seasonings and serve.

Brussels Sprout Gratin: Brussels roasted with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper on 375 for 40 minutes is a thing of beauty. Try them with blue cheese added on top and cooked 5 minutes extra.

Parsnip or Sweet Potato or Squash Latkes: Latkes are usually made with potatoes, but swapping in sweet potatoes is a really delicious holiday twist. Assemble your ingredients:
3 cups grated sweet potatoes or other root vegetable of choice (just like with the gratin, mix and match your roots!)

2 med. onions, grated
4 med. sweet potatoes, grated
1 med. carrot, grated
1/2 c. matzo meal or 1.5 tbsp flour
Salt & pepper to taste
6 eggs 

Mix matzo meal, seasonings and eggs with grated vegetables. Spoon into hot oil. Flatten a bit and fry a few minutes, until edges brown. Turn once, fry until golden brown.
Serve with applesauce, and instead of a sour cream-dill accompaniment, try either hot sauce and plain yogurt mixed together, or cinnamon with little chunks of crystallized local honey in your dip.

Videos credited to Saveur Magazine: