What are the Traditional Christmas Vegetables?
First of all, there’s always going to be a bit of a debate about what traditional Christmas day vegetables are. For some, cauliflower might always make its way onto the plate. For others, that idea might be heresy. But in general there are a few vegetables that we always associate with Christmas lunch.
So what are they? And what alternative options do you have?
Here’s a list of some of the traditional Christmas vegetables that make it onto most dinner tables for Christmas lunch. And if you’re feeling a little bit adventurous, we’ve added an alternative recipe you could try instead.
1. Brussels Sprouts
Perhaps top of everyone’s list when asked what the traditional vegetables we eat at Christmas are is Brussels sprouts. Cooked well, they can complement your main dish perfectly, especially if you serve them up with some crispy lardons. Cooked badly, they can end up over boiled, mushy and left untouched on everyone’s plates.
Alternative for Brussels Sprouts:
Lardons work brilliantly with Brussels sprouts, but they can also partner up with Tenderstem® broccoli just as well. For this alternative Christmas vegetable dish, the lardons offset the sharpness of the pearl onions to create a wonderfully textured Tenderstem® broccoli dish.
2. Roasted Root Vegetables
Not far behind Brussels sprouts are roasted parsnips and carrots when you think of traditional Christmas vegetables. Roasted root vegetables can be delicious but perhaps always suffer from being shovelled onto your plate alongside roast potatoes, which are of course one of the highlights of Christmas day dinner.
Alternative for Roasted Root Vegetables:
This recipe doesn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. We’ve used carrots, but you could incorporate parsnips too, and there’s even some Brussels sprouts to keep things that little bit more traditional. The inclusion of sage and orange really gives it that Christmassy flavour that will work so well with your Christmas dinner.
3. Carrot and Swede Mash
Instead of roasting their root vegetables, some people go down the route of mashing them for Christmas dinner. Carrot and swede mash is the traditional version most people go for.
Alternative for Carrot and Swede Mash:
This is a really indulgent alternative Christmas vegetable recipe. This recipe has a perfect combination of rich Gruyere cheese, Christmassy chestnut flavours and an indulgent truffle treat for a finishing touch. All of which makes this side dish dangerously good enough to steal the show as everyone’s favourite part of the meal.
4. Braised Red Cabbage
Braised red cabbage infused with all the flavours of Christmas is another traditional favourite. Usually cooked down for several hours, you can prepare this dish well ahead of time and simply reheat on the day.
Alternative for Braised Red Cabbage:
This recipe isn’t really similar to red cabbage in any way other than the Christmas butter which is infused with wonderful Christmas flavours in the same way braised red cabbage takes on so much flavour. Cranberries, clementines, rosemary and chestnuts all combine in a delicious butter sauce.
5. Boiled Mixed Vegetables
Lastly, there’s often a range of boiled vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and peas to finish off the Christmas vegetables.
Alternative for boiled mixed vegetables:
If you like to let your vegetables do the talking, boiled Tenderstem® broccoli can be cooked up quickly and served at the last minute. Or, you can cook Tenderstem® broccoli in a variety of ways, so whether you like your vegetables oven roasted, steamed or cooked on a griddle, Tenderstem® broccoli tastes great however you cook it. Because it’s Christmas, you could even go for some extra special Tenderstem® Royale.
Even More Special Christmas Vegetable Recipes
We’ve got a few more special Christmas vegetable recipes you can mix up a traditional Christmas dinner with. And you can even download our Christmas e-book for a really handy guide to cooking Christmas dinner, including recipe ideas and timings. According to packaging suppliers Springpack, we spend over £446,000 every minute on presents at Christmas, it's now time to spend a bit more time on them veggies!
This one is especially for those of you who go straight for the blue cheese as soon as the cheeseboard gets served. Maple syrup provides a sweetness to balance out the flavours and complement the Tenderstem® broccoli.
This recipe is definitely one for those of you looking for something to really shake up a Christmas dinner. The delicious tahini flavour will really stand out and can be mopped up by all of your crispy roast potatoes too.