From irresistible nibbles to decadent desserts: our best recipes for Christmas Day | Food

A decadent starter – and a godsend for cooks who like to get ahead.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s three-cheese dip with spiced date syrup and pine nuts.
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian.

A set of festive snacks: caraway, spelt and parmesan grissini with aleppo chilli, to dip in a three-cheese mix with spiced date syrup and pine nuts, and a posh, sake-cured salmon with sesame sprinkles and pickles.

Rachel Roddy’s prawn salad.
Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian.

Two light first courses to offset the big feast to come – a bright prawn, fennel and celery salad, and a ricotta and spinach bake that’s somewhere between a soufflé and a frittata.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s spiced creole turkey with bourbon and pineapple.
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian.

With roast cassava, a garlic and coriander salsa, rainbow chard with ham hock, and a cranberry and chard stem pickle.

Thomasina Miers guajillo pineapple adobo roast ham.
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian.

A cheering alternative ham with a spicy, sweet-sour Mexican glaze of pineapple and chilli.

Ravinder Bhogal’s jewelled nut and cranberry rice pilaf
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian.

Dried fruits are a speciality of the Levant, and bring festive luxuriousness to these dishes of fragrant roast chicken and nutty, chewy jewelled pilau rice.

Meera’s vegan christmas pumpkin.
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian.

A bulging, festive squash filled with a savoury stuffing of spicy, herby veg, mushrooms and nuts.

Meera Sodha’s red cabbage, apple and pomegranate salad.
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian.

A crisp and fresh winter salad of festive red cabbage, crunchy apple and sweet-sour pomegranate that will go nicely with any roast.

Emily Scott’s Christmas baked salmon with lemon verbena vodka, clementines, fennel and dill creme fraiche.
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian..

A whole fillet of salmon baked with fennel in chilli and sea salt, then drizzled with a honey, lemon verbena and clementine vodka glaze, with candied clementines, and a dill creme fraiche.

Ravneet Gill's sherry apple pies.
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian.

Spiced apple pies that will win over people who (say they) don’t like mince pies.

Tom Hunt’s Christmas leftovers pie.
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian.

Turn the remains of the festive table into a barnstorming pie that’s as satisfying to make as it is to eat.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s celebration sticky rice cake.
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian.

Introducing a Chinese-inspired vegan centrepiece for your Christmas table.

Thomasina Miers’ chicken braised with celeriac, pancetta and sage
Photograph: Lizzie Mayson/The Guardian.

Delicious – and easily adapted to feed however many people you have around the table.

Signe Johansen’s Norwegian-style feast of blow-dried roast duck with a cherry sauce, a winter salad with clementines, fennel and candied walnuts, and Jansson’s temptation – potato, celeriac and rye crisp.
Photograph: Lizzie Mayson/The Guardian.

A Scandinavian feast of blow-dried roast duck with a boozy cherry sauce, a winter salad with clementines and candied walnuts, and a luxurious, layered potato hotpot.

Signe Johansen’s wild mushroom, chestnut and stilton filo pie, and pickled beetroot with a sprout, dried cherry and dill slaw 20201203 Feast SigneJohannsonFiloPie 043
Photograph: Lizzie Mayson/The Guardian.

Wild mushroom, chestnut and stilton filo pie, a “sunset roast” of swede, pumpkin and sweet potato with saffron lemon yoghurt, and pickled beetroot with a sprout, dried cherry and dill slaw.

Rick Toogood’s recipe for stuffed hake with porcini gravy.
Photograph: Lizzie Mayson/The Guardian.

A crowd-pleasing seafood alternative to the turkey roast.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s spatchcock chicken with roasted chilli butter
Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian.

Turn heads with a roast spatchcock chicken in chilli butter, with a Gruffalo-inspired stuffing cake, sweet potatoes roasted with pecan and lime, and a zingy sprout slaw.

Gill Meller’s roasted and boiled ham.
Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian.

A banquet of gammon cooked with stout, oranges, molasses and spices, with sides of mustard pears, blue cheese gratin, roast parsnip and date salad, herby sprouts with puy lentils, and a caramelised onion mash.

Sabrina Ghayour’s beetroot, feta and chestnut puffs
Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian.

Everyone will tuck into these festive beetroot pastries – plus a recipe for honeyed harissa brussel that may even win over the anti-sprout brigade.

Meera Sodha’s vada pav with coriander and peanut chutney.
Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian.

Known as vada pav, this snack gets on well with a bit of green chutney for the perfect festive evening snack.

Nik Sharma’s roast chicken pulao with cranberries, raisins and spice.
Photograph: Lizzie Mayson/The Guardian.

The perfect combination: spicy chicken jewelled with cranberries and cashews, and a sharp fruity side.

Felicity Cloake’s traditional Christmas spread.
Photograph: Emma Lee/The Guardian.

A big, bronzed turkey or a sage and stilton nut roast this year? Or both? And not forgetting all the classic festive sides. Our resident perfectionist shows you how.

Rachel Roddy’s roasted vegetable and cheese savoury pie, with mushroom and chestnut.
Photograph: Rachel Roddy/The Guardian

This adaptable seasonal favourite features a ricotta pastry with just the right amount of flaky crumble and a thick and richly flavoured filling.

Rachel Roddy’s coffee and ricotta creams.
Photograph: Rachel Roddy/The Guardian

A satisfying dessert that’s a cross between mousse, cheesecake filling and blancmange – enjoy with a glass of something strong.

Thomasina Miers’ pear, panettone and chocolate trifle.
Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian.

The pinnacle of trifle decadence: mascarpone, panettone, poached pear and chunks of dark chocolate, with a good kick of sherry.

Meera Sodha’s spiced chocolate kheer with almond chikki.
Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian.

A chocolate and cinnamon rice pudding, known as kheer + caramelised almonds = a Christmas dessert with the x-factor.

Rachel Roddy’s Christmas cassata.
Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian.

A tender, outrageously sweet dessert.

Ravneet Gill’s baked alaska.
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian.

Is there any dessert more flamboyant than this retro barnstormer of ice-cream on a sponge base, all smothered in meringue and blowtorched to crackly perfection?

Felicity Cloake’s perfect – that is, hybrid – basque cheesecake.
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian.

If you’re still looking for a high-impact sweet centrepiece for the Christmas table, this simple baked dessert is ideal.

Rachel Roddy’s dark chocolate and orange tart.
Rachel Roddy’s dark chocolate and orange tart. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian.

This festive tribute to the Terry’s Chocolate Orange makes for a showstopping dessert.

Benjamina Ebuehi’s mini clementine ginger tarts.
Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian.

The sweetness of clementine curd mellows the hit of fiery ginger in this tasty winter pudding.

Ravneet Gill’s Christmas recipe for steamed date pudding with toffee sauce
Photograph: Laura Edwards/The Guardian.

A winning alternative to traditional Christmas pud. Spoons at the ready …

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Food stylists: Emily Kydd (Yotam, Ravneet, Sweet Spot, guests, Tom), Kitty Coles (Felicity, Thomasina, Meera, guest spots), Benjamina Ebuehi, Anna Wilkins (Sweet Spot), Rosie Ramsden (Felicity), Ellie Mulligan (guest spots). Prop styling: Jennifer Kay (Yotam, Rachel Roddy, Felicity, guest spot, Tom), Louie Waller (Felicity, Thomasina, Meera, guest spots), Tabitha Hawkins (Felicity), Toni Musgrave (Thomasina, guest slots). Food styling assistants: Jessica Geddes (Yotam, Rachel), Rosie French (Felicity) Julia Aden (Sweet Spot, Rachel), Sarah Vassallo (Felicity, Meera, guest spots). Photo assistant and retouching: Sophie Bronze (Yotam, Rachel Roddy, guests, Tom Hunt).

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