Two Festive Sides

Man it already feels like we have had Christmas with all the celebrations we have had this week. So nice to get a taste of it all before the big day plus it means that our quiet Christmas at the farm will be just that….quiet!

I’ve made a few tasty sides at the two celebrations we have had this week that were simple and delicious so thought that I would share them on the blog in case you are trying to work out what to cook on the big day. With the heatwave we are experiencing here it’s hard to think about anything that goes in the oven so there’s one salad, and one cooked pumpkin which you could also serve warm or cool.

This is a salad I made up by chance one time and has become a firm favourite of mine. So simple but with great flavours and drenched in dressing it’s the perfect accompaniment to roast meat (lamb in particular) or delicious on its own.

Pea, Mint & fetta salad

Packet baby salad leaves
Small packet frozen peas
Container of persian or marinated fetta
Bunch Mint
Half red onion (thinly sliced)

Dressing

1-2 cloves garlic grated
2-3 teaspoons of cumin
Squeeze lemon juice
Salt & Pepper
Half cup olive oil

1. Cook the peas, run under cold water to stop cooking when done and leave to cool

2. Throw all the ingredients for the dressing into a jar, give a good shake and set aside

3. Finely slice the red onion (I use a mandolin)

4. Into a large mixing bowl add in the lettuce leaves, cooled peas, red onion and then toss in a full jar of persian or marinated fetta, rip off the leaves off a bunch of mint toss, add in the dressing and re-toss. Serve immediately

The other thing I love about this salad is you could add in lots of other greens (think snow peas or asparagus) whatever is in season and you can prep it all ready to go, and then put together at the last minute…which is what I did on both occasions this week.

Pea, mint & fetta salad

Serves 6-8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Salad, Side Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 packet baby salad leaves
  • 1 Small frozen peas
  • 1 jar marinated or persian fetta
  • 1 bunch mint (leaves torn off)
  • 1/2 red onion (finely sliced)

Dressing

  • 1-2 clove garlic (minced or grated)
  • 2-3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 lemon juice squeeze
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

Step 1
Cook the peas, run under cold water to stop cooking when done and leave to cool
Step 2
Throw all the ingredients for the dressing into a jar, give a good shake and set aside
Step 3
Finely slice the red onion (I use a mandolin)
Step 4
Into a large mixing bowl add in the lettuce leaves, cooled peas, red onion and then toss in a full jar of persian or marinated fetta, rip off the leaves off a bunch of mint toss, add in the dressing and re-toss. Serve immediately

The second side was something that Mum saw in Donna Hay’s latest magazine that she asked me to make. It looks SO good and really is so simple to make that people will think you went to lots of trouble. My favourite kind of cooking!

Donna Hay’s Honey Almond Hasselback Butternut Pumpkin

1 x 1.8 kg butternut pumpkin halved, deseeded and peeled (oops just realised I didn’t peel it!)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons malt vinegar
14 bay leaves
1/2 cup almonds toasted and chopped
Sea salt & pepper

1. Toast the almonds and set aside (I used way more than I share because everyone in this family is addicted to nuts)

2. Take 2 chopsticks and place alongside the pumpkin on your chopping board parallel to the long sides of the pumpkin. When you chop down the knife will hit the chopsticks and you won’t cut all the way through. Such a cool trick! Cut at 5mm intervals

3. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper placed on a lined tray and cover tightly with foil and bake in a 220 degree oven for 1 hour

4. After an hour remove the foil and cook for a further 20 mins until golden brown

5. In a small saucepan add in the vinegar, honey and bay leaves and bring to the boil then cook for 4-5 mins or until slightly reduced then set aside

6. Chop or smash the toasted nuts up then set aside

7. Pour half the mixture over the pumpkin and then put back into the oven for 5-10 mins – make sure you place the bay leaves in the slits you cut earlier

8. Then place on a tray/platter/board sprinkle with salt and pepper, nuts and the remaining honey mixture and serve immediately. We had it warm-cool

Honey Almond hasselback butternut pumpkin

Serves 6-8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 40 minutes
Meal type Side Dish
From magazine Donna Hay

Ingredients

  • 1.8kg butternut pumpkin (peeled, de-seeded and halved)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 14 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup almonds (toasted and chopped)

Directions

Step 1
Toast the almonds and set aside (I used way more than I share because everyone in this family is addicted to nuts)
Step 2
Take 2 chopsticks and place alongside the pumpkin on your chopping board parallel to the long sides of the pumpkin. When you chop down the knife will hit the chopsticks and you won't cut all the way through. Such a cool trick! Cut at 5mm intervals
Step 3
Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper placed on a lined tray and cover tightly with foil and bake in a 220 degree oven for 1 hour
Step 4
After an hour remove the foil and cook for a further 20 mins until golden brown
Step 5
In a small saucepan add in the vinegar, honey and bay leaves and bring to the boil then cook for 4-5 mins or until slightly reduced then set aside
Step 6
Chop or smash the toasted nuts up then set aside
Step 7
Pour half the mixture over the pumpkin and then put back into the oven for 5-10 mins - make sure you place the bay leaves in the slits you cut earlier
Step 8
Then place on a tray/platter/board sprinkle with salt and pepper, nuts and the remaining honey mixture and serve immediately. We had it warm-cool

Both of these were really YUM and will both get a run again. That salad is becoming the go-to for summer already. Hope they inspire you to think outside the box with sides…so many inspiring salads and vegetarian options out there you should go for it!

Have you started planning your Christmas Day Menu?
Got any good recipes you’d like to share or inspire us with?

Comments

  1. YUM! You cant share enough recipes on your blog!!

  2. thanks beth! … always inspiring me!
    I will do those! … affirmations happening too!
    all good! lovemxx

  3. Delicious recipes thanks Beth!!

  4. Delicious recipes thanks Beth!! Going to try them for sure!

  5. Yum! I want to make the first salad for Christmas Day, finally convinced my elderly parents we should have a cold lunch. Thanks so much!

  6. Both look delish – thank you for sharing. Was wondering whether you include the Persian feta marinade in the salad when you toss it through or just use the feta itself? Thank you and Merry Xmas!

  7. Oh yum! These both look so good and will definitely get a gurnsey this festive season. Cheers for making menus planning (and therefore life) just that bit easier ??

  8. Hi Beth, going to be trying the salad this week – looks great thank you! Can I just check, with the marinated feta do you add the oil from the jar of feta too? I’m guessing not, but just from the way the recipe says “toss in a full jar of marinated/Persian feta”… makes me wonder if the full jar includes the oil? Thanks for the help.

  9. You probably won’t see this, Beth as it’s from too long ago … but that pea salad was amazing. Even better the next day stuck in a huge wholemeal roll with leftover roast lamb.

    Thank you! x

Trackbacks

  1. […] Beth’s to-die-for mint, pea and fetta salad. This is ALL kinds of wonderful and delicious! My husband and I are now obsessed with this one. So good for summer, so fresh and so easy to put together. You can get the recipe from her website. […]

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