Creamed kale is an easy side dish that deserves its place on your holiday table. This version is made in the slow cooker and includes a bit of chicken stock, milk, and heavy cream, which is thickened on the stove before being poured on top of ribbons of kale. Romano cheese adds nuttiness and binds the sauce, along with a pinch of nutmeg and a little crushed red pepper. Right before serving, a touch of lemon zest brightens the dish.
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These carrots develop a natural sweetness as they're roasted on the grill. A finishing brush with a honey and soy sauce mixture leaves them with a glistening glaze that has a salty depth and a mild ginger and garlic bite.
Cooking leeks on the grill can take a very long time, but by par-boiling them first, we were able to cut the grilling time to less than 10 minutes. Once softened and lightly charred, they make a beautiful pairing with Spanish romesco sauce, made from almonds and roasted tomatoes and peppers.
If you only know endive as a crunchy, leafy, bitter green, then you've been missing out. Roasted, grilled, or sautéed, the wide-leafed vegetable loses much of its trademark bitterness, allowing its sweet, faintly earthy character to emerge at full force. Here, it's combined with shallots and goat cheese for a rich, buttery quiche-like tart.
Creamed corn, made in the slow cooker, is gussied up with cream cheese, American cheese, and crème fraîche.
Caramelized roasted cauliflower with a pine nut, raisin, and caper vinaigrette.
Spiced roasted carrots with crème fraîche and harissa.
Easy roasted mushrooms with olive oil and herbs.
A simplified versino of caponata—the classic sweet and sour Sicilian eggplant relish—tossed with bitter broccoli rabe. This is about as flavorful as side dishes get.
Fennel, swiss chard, and white beans in a creamy gratin scented with nutmeg and topped with cheesy breadcrumbs.