Ten Festive Favourites to Feed a Crowd
Surely one of the best things about Christmas is having a house full of family and friends, not just on the big day but in the day before and those more restful days of limbo between Christmas and New Year. I find I need warm, hearty meals but not heavy ones – sometimes we need a break from the decadence. Here are ten recipes that find their way on to my table mid-winter cooking to feed a crowd – satisfying and flavourful but hopefully won’t leave you slumped on the sofa.
STICKY PANEER + GREEN BEAN CURRY from A Modern Way to Cook
This is a super-quick but supremely flavourful curry that fills my house with incredible smells. It’s spicy, sticky and sweet and, for me, that’s the best way to eat paneer.
TOMATO + COCONUT CASSOULET from A Modern Way to Eat
This delicious recipe brings together so many of my favourite things. Sticky roasted tomatoes, the soothing creaminess of coconut milk and sweet little white beans, topped with a crust of sourdough bread.
SMOKY MUSHROOM + ROAST KALE LASAGNE from The Modern Cook’s Year
This is based on Vincisgrassi, an Italian mushroom lasagne from the Le Marche region. The original gets its smokiness from parma ham; I use roasted kale and smoked water, which you can buy from Welsh sea salt makers, Halen Môn.
CHARD, LENTIL + BAY GRATIN from The Modern Cook’s Year
With flavours firmly rooted in Italy, this gratin tastes more indulgent than the sum of its parts.
CHRISTMAS EVE PARSNIP ROSTI SUPPER from A Modern Way to Cook
There is something clean and Alpine about rösti, at the same time as being super-satisfying. Using parsnips in a rösti adds a sweetness and savouriness that a potato rösti doesn’t have. I make it with a couple of different toppings and it always goes down well.
BUTTERNUT + CANNELLINI GRATIN from A Modern Way to Cook
This is a favourite warming winter or autumn dinner. It’s crispy-topped, with a sweet butternut, lemon and herb filling. It’s super-easy to put together and is made from simple stuff that I usually have to hand.
VEGEREE from A Modern Way to Cook
Kedgeree has long been our Christmas Day breakfast – the waft of spices and the cheery yellow of the eggs feel celebratory – but we eat it for dinner all year round.
THE ALL-PLEASING CHILLI from The Guardian
This is based on one of my most-cooked recipes, but made a little simpler and easier on the wallet. Mix and match the grains as you like – this is a great way to use up those odds and ends left at the bottom of a jar,
MISO ROAST SQUASH + POTATOES WITH ALMONDS + KALE from The Guardian
A centrepiece of a dish; squash, potatoes and greens cooked together in one tray. The harissa, miso and lemon combo is a great foil for some of the richer dishes which show up at this time of year.
A VAT OF SOUP from A Modern Way to Cook
On top of their endless possibilities, one of my very favourite things about soups is that they can be remarkably quick and easy. You can pull together something delicious in the time it takes to pop to the shop to get a tin of cream of tomato.