Winter break is finally here, which means it is time to whip up some festive dishes for the holidays. The reds and greens in these five recipes not only make Insta-worthy photos, but are also delicious and easy to make. If you are up for a classic dish with a holiday twist, try making a holiday pizza wreath. For quick appetizers, opt for the cranberry salsa or mini Caprese salad bites. Check out these recipes and try one for yourself.
Cranberry Orange Roasted Brussels Sprouts (adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)
1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts, rinsed
Juice of 1 large orange
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey or agave (agave for vegan recipe)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
2. Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any discolored leaves. Cut the sprouts in half if they are large sprouts. If you have small sprouts you can leave them whole.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together fresh orange juice, orange zest, olive oil, and honey. Add the Brussels sprouts to the bowl and toss until they are well coated. Pour them on a large baking pan and season with salt and black pepper.
4. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly.
5. Put the Brussels sprouts in a large bowl and add the dried cranberries.
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus (adapted from Inspired Dreamer)
12 asparagus spears
6 prosciutto slices/strips
Ghee for frying
1. Wash asparagus and cut 2 cm off the ends. Cut prosciutto strips into two halves, going lengthways, you should end up with 12 strips.
2. Place each prosciutto strip on a chopping board at a 45 degree angle. Place one of the asparagus spears on top of the meat, perpendicular to it. The tip of the asparagus should be lined up with the bottom of the prosciutto strip. Wrap the bottom end of prosciutto over the asparagus and holding the meat tight, start rolling the asparagus up. The prosciutto strip will wrap around the whole length of the spear because it’s on an angle. You can try a different wrapping method but I find this is a very quick to do it. Don’t worry if parts of the asparagus spears are not covered completely.
3. Heat some ghee in a large, flat frying pan to sizzling hot. Fry wrapped asparagus spears for 1-2 minutes on each side or until prosciutto is brown and crispy.
Cranberry Salsa (adapted from Bombshell Bling)
1 bag cranberries
1 granny smith apple
⅛ medium onion
½ large red pepper
¼ large green pepper
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeno
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
⅓ cup apple juice
1. Chop the apple, red onion, peppers, and jalapeno into large pieces in the food processor.
2. Add the bag of cranberries to the food processor.
3. Use the food processor to chop and combine the ingredients.
4. Move the chopped ingredients to a bowl and add the sugar, lemon juice, apple juice, and cilantro.
I switched this up a bit by using a blender since I don’t own a food processor. If you chop the ingredients into small pieces and add the apple juice into the blender, it works just fine. Blend it a little bit at a time to prevent your blender from potentially being overloaded with solid foods. I didn’t add sugar because I love the tartness of cranberries, and I only used half a bag of cranberries. Salsa recipes can be adapted to whatever your taste desires (sweet, tart, spicy, and so on).
Holiday Pizza Recipe (adapted from Tablespoon)
1 (13 oz.) can Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust
8-9 cheese sticks
1 (25 oz.) jar Muir Glen tomato basil pasta sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups baby arugula
2 red bell peppers, 1 diced and 1 sliced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 oz. spiced salami, thinly sliced
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Sauces for dipping and serving
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
2. Unroll the pizza crust dough and shape it in into a ball. Allow the dough to rest 5 minutes and then roll it out into a large circle.
3. Slice the cheese sticks in half lengthwise and place them around the edges of the pizza dough. Roll the edges up and over the cheese, pinching the dough to seal in the cheese.
4. Using a large 4-½ inch circle cookie cutter or a sharp knife, cut a circle out of the middle of the dough. Use the leftover dough to fill in any thin spots around the wreath.
5. Spread the pizza with sauce and then sprinkle with cheese. Add the arugula and diced red and green peppers. Sprinkle with a little more mozzarella cheese and then add the salami slices.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. While the pizza is baking, cut slices of the remaining red pepper in strips and arrange them in the shape of a bow.
7. Garnish the pizza with fresh arugula and Parmesan cheese. Place the pepper bow at the top. Serve with balsamic vinegar, ranch dressing and extra pizza sauce if desired.
Mini Caprese Salad Bites (adapted from Living Eventfully)
1 large package of cherry tomatoes
8-10 sticks of mozzarella string cheese or 1 container of pearl sized buffalo mozzarella
1 bunch of fresh basil
Salt and pepper
1. Rinse and pat dry the tomatoes.
2. Use a melon baller or a paring knife to scoop out the seeds.
3. Place the tomato’s emptied out side down on a paper towel to drain liquid.
4. Cut the mozzarella sticks into bite size pieces that will fit nicely into the tomato.
5. Rinse and pat dry the basil.
6. Season your cherry tomatoes with salt and pepper.
7. Line each tomato with a piece of basil and push it into the bottom of the tomato.
8. Add pieces of mozzarella inside the tomato.
9. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
I used the mozzarella cheese sticks. They were a little more student friendly, as much as I do love some really good cheese. Instead of cherry tomatoes, I used Roma tomatoes for a bigger bite. This appetizer is the simplest yet fanciest looking bite-sized recipe you will try all season.