Even if you aren't making an entirely meat-free meal, there are a number of ways you can still make the night's menu vegetable-driven without missing the animal protein.
To see chef Annie's best bets this yuletide season, keep reading!
- Don't feel obligated to rely on meat substitutes. "Do something with mushrooms," she suggests, like shepherd's pie: "Layer wild or cultivated mushrooms with caramelized onions, cheese, and herbs, then top it off with a layer of mashed potatoes. It's something you can make in a casserole dish, a Dutch oven, a Pyrex dish, or individually. We make a mushroom sauce [to go with it]. That's a delicious main event."
- Beans: Another magical main. "There are so many good varieties of beans! They all have different flavors and characteristics. Think about beans as being the main event, as opposed to a side event. We would've thought that customers wouldn't have been interested in [that], but they are!" She suggests trying something new, like stuffing poblano chiles with beans.
- Take advantage of in-season root vegetables. "Right now at the farmers market, there are all these beautiful carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts. Roast those up with a little olive oil, salt, fresh black pepper, sprigs of herbs, and serve that as another dish," Somerville recommends. Weather willing, this side can be done on the grill, too.
- Remember some veggies actually flourish in the harsh Winter. "Kale gets even better; it's sweetened by the frost and the cold night." And don't forget that citrus: "Satsumas are definitely at their peak, and blood oranges are just getting started."
If you're making a meatless (or vegetarian-friendly) holiday spread this year, feel free to share your own tips with us below.