Vegetables a viable addition to Christmas dinner

Just as turkey and hams have garnered a spot amongst favourites in meat category of Christmas dinners some vegetable traditions have too.

Just as turkey and hams have garnered a spot amongst the favourites in the meat category of Christmas dinners, there are some vegetable traditions that are up there as well.

Of course the vegetable menu is different from home to home, however,  there are some in Canada that have been on the Christmas table for many generations.

Yams have been a part of many Yuletide meals over the years. Joining the yams are broccoli, brussels sprouts and carrots.

Parsnips also make the Christmas dinner menu some years.

I know these vegetables are very popular and I know there are as many ways to cook these veggies as there are carrots.

Here’s a nice way to use broccoli this Christmas.

• 1 bunch broccoli cut into small pieces

• 1 cup raisins

• 4 slices thick bacon cooked and crumbled

• 1 cup of toasted walnuts crumbled

• 1/2 red onion thinly sliced

Orange Vinaigrette

• 1 tsp grated orange zest

• Juice of one orange

• 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

• salt to taste

• 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

• 4 tbsp olive oil

• Toss all ingredients into a bowl

For the vinaigrette, mix all ingredients except the oil and stir with a whisk.

When blended, add the oil and whisk again. This is a sweet orange dressing that goes well with strong-tasting vegetables.

Pour over the salad and then toss.

I wasn’t much interesting in cooking when I was a kid and so I don’t remember exactly how these vegetables were cooked.

I suspect most were boiled in water. I know my grandmother cooked the brussels sprouts in butter and bacon grease.

Check out this neat way to cook brussels sprouts:

• 1 pound brussels sprouts

• Enough beer to cover the sprouts in the pot

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 2 tbsp butter

Place cleaned sprouts in a saucepan and pour enough beer over to cover.

Bring to a boil and then simmer. Cover for about 25 minutes or until tender. Drain, then add salt and butter.

Carrots are another vegetable that has been around the Christmas table for some time.

I like to steam the carrots to retain much of their original goodness. I will add some butter along with oregano and thyme, and of course pepper and salt to taste.

Vegetables — a tradition at Christmas time.

I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas with lots of laughter, good health and, of course, good eating.

Bye for now and Goood Cooking!

Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.