I think we can all agree that this year we can use all the extra comfort we can get. Even though we're unable to gather with our loved ones as much this holiday season, it's even more of a reason for the act of cooking a beautiful and delicious meal to be extra special occasion. This season still has so much incredible produce to offer and is filled with all of our favorite nostalgic, cozy flavors and spices - there's so much inspiration all around us this time of year that it can be overwhelming to know where to start, but we've rounded up a few of our favorite mouthwatering dishes to help narrow down the decision-making process for you.
We hope you'll pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on an uplifting playlist like this one, and make a special evening out of preparing one of the dishes below!
Roasted Winter Vegetable, Butter Bean & Apple Cider Spiced Warm Salad
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 medium fennel bulbs (keep fronds for garnish)
1 cup dried butter beans (or canned works as well)
2 large cloves garlic
10 whole cloves
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Fresh mint to garnish
(Makes 1 cup, only 1/4 cup used for recipe - we love to use the extra for salads throughout the week!)
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1 medium shallot (diced)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Salt + pepper
This dish is satisfying on its own, or also would pair wonderfully with something like these Sage-Brined Pork Chops with Brown Sugar Glaze.
*Soak the beans the night before you plan to cook this dish for faster cooking time!
Rinse beans and cover with 4 cups fresh water. Add your aromatics (garlic, cloves, coriander seeds, bay leaf, + pinch of salt and pepper) and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until tender, about 45 min. to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 450º.
Toast your almonds in skillet on low-medium heat until golden brown and you can start to smell the nutty aroma. While still warm, toss with about a teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, set aside.
Chop your sprouts in half, keeping the root in tact to help hold them together. Toss lightly with olive oil and salt. Place cut side down on parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until nice and golden brown and crispy.
Meanwhile, prep your dressing by adding all ingredients together and blending (using an emulsion blender or food processor) until well emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Next slice the fennel bulbs into 6 equal wedges, keeping a bit of the stalk attached to help keep the wedges intact. Add about one tablespoon of olive oil to skillet and bring to high heat, until the oil is sizzling. Add fennel wedges to pan, and let cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until well charred and knife-tender.
While the fennel finishes cooking, prepare your mint leaves and fennel fronds for garnishing.
When your sprouts and fennel are done cooking keep warm until ready to plate.
When tender, drain beans and carefully remove aromatics. While still warm, toss gently with about 1/4 cup of your dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange a bed of cooked vegetables on your serving platter then layer the bean mixture, including the dressing, over the vegetables. Finish the dish by adding your toasted almonds, mint and fennel.
Serve warm and enjoy!
Be sure to check out some of our other favorite comforting recipes this season:
Entrees and Sides:
Soups and Stews:
We hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do and be sure to let us know which recipes you're trying and loving!
Recipe and photography by Jordan Kindy Shaw