Superfast Holiday Recipes
Here's the ideal dish for holiday party guests to bring as an offering—easy to make and transport, and welcome at any gathering. It's also great for hosts who need a simple snack to tide guests over until dinner, or to round out an appetizer spread. We like a mix of briny kalamata and mild, fruity Castelvetrano olives, both available at most specialty market antipasti bars.
Seared Sea Bass with Lemon-Olive White Beans
Here’s a lovely way to incorporate more fish into your diet. Beautifully browned sea bass fillets nestle into a brothy bean mixture for an elegant, speedy dinner. Castelvetrano olives are meaty, buttery, and lower in sodium than many other olives. They pair particularly well with rich sea bass and creamy white beans, but if you can’t find them, you can use any olive you like. Serve with a simple side salad, a chunk of crusty whole-grain bread, and a glass of wine.
Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
This salad is a feast for the eyes, and a welcome relief from the brown and gold tones on the Thanksgiving table. Sweet-tart blood oranges and a honey vinaigrette offset the bitter edge of the endive and radicchio (you can also use milder romaine lettuce hearts). If you can’t find blood oranges, try ruby red grapefruit or pretty pink Cara Cara oranges.
Soothing Cardamom Sipper
Wind down at the end of the day with the adult version of a glass of warm milk. Research shows cardamom may help ward off stomach ulcers. It and sesame seeds (the essential ingredient in tahini) also have heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory benefits. Be sure to use refrigerated coconut milk (found with nut milks in the dairy case) and not canned coconut milk.
Coriander-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Potatoes
Crushed whole spices create a beautiful crust on a seared and roasted pork tenderloin. You don't need a spice grinder or mortar and pestle; place the peppercorns and coriander seeds in a ziplock bag and crush gently with a small, heavy skillet until very coarsely ground. Refrigerated potatoes are parcooked, saving you oven time. Coat and sear the pork while the oven preheats. Make the yogurt sauce while the pork and potatoes bake.
Bacon and Brussels Sprout Slaw
Slaws aren’t just for summer; their crunch and creamy, tangy dressing is a welcome contrast to the heartier dishes of fall. You can make it ahead or at the last minute, and it won’t take up valuable oven space. If using a mandoline to shred the Brussels sprouts, hold each by the stem end and slice whole, being careful not to get your fingers too close to the blade (you can also use a sharp knife). Try shredded Brussels sprouts as your salad base all season long, dressing at least 10 minutes before you plan to serve to soften the leaves.
Holiday Coconut Cooler
Wow your guests this holiday season with a whimsical white cocktail. A mix of coconut milk and coconut rum adds Caribbean flair, making even the coldest winter days feel bright and blissful. Entertain a crowd with ease by making a double or triple batch ahead of time—just give it a stir right before garnishing.
Frittatas are some of the most efficient vehicles for leftover vegetables. Here, we combine roasted butternut squash with quick-cooking kale for a fiber-rich breakfast duo. A touch of dairy lends custard-like creaminess to the egg mixture.
This quick, easy gravy delivers rich flavor without any need for pan drippings. Shallots and thyme create a savory backbone, and the technique of briefly cooking the flour (before adding the stock) adds a slight toasty note. A little butter whisked in at the end enriches both the taste and the texture. Serve over roast chicken or pork, or use to perk up leftover turkey or a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
Stewed Chickpeas and Chard over Garlic Toast
This is one of those go-to dishes for busy weeknights—it’s fast, easy, and filling. It also happens to be a vegan recipe where legumes and whole grains take center stage. Loads of garlic build a savory flavor base, while Swiss chard contributes a decidedly earthy flavor. If you’re not a big fan of chard, you can also substitute a milder green, such as spinach or baby kale. And that reminds us—though we’re calling this dinner, it would also be splendid for breakfast.
Preserved Lemon Labneh
This is the ideal condiment: tangy, rich, salty, and lemony, all without trying too hard. It works well with Greek yogurt or sour cream if you can’t find labneh (strained yogurt).
Crunchy Greens with Radish
Letting the raw shallot stand with the salt and vinegar pickles it slightly and mellows the harshness. Long spears of romaine make for a dramatic presentation. Once it’s brought to the table, you can coarsely chop the lettuce for easier serving.
Carotene-rich butternut squash gives this starchy mash a healthy boost. A food processor will get the mixture silky smooth. Pair with any seared or roasted protein.