The best holiday meals are one part rustic and one part luxurious. (Too fancy, and no one can get comfortable!)
Our test kitchen cooks have been hard at work developing a menu of seasonal stunners we know you’ll love. Parmesan-laced popovers are fluffy, yeasty and light, and take the edge off an early-in-the-evening appetite. A bright arugula and beet salad pops with holiday colors. Potatoes with leeks are a gorgeous twist on classic scalloped potatoes, and nestles daintily on the table next to hulking, statuesque prime rib. For a sweet finish, just try to find a prettier, more tempting end note than our caramel-drizzled tower of Bundts.
Here’s what makes each recipe so special.
Too many of us are unfamiliar with the charms of the popover, that inimitable love child of Parker house rolls and biscuits. But once you’ve tried great ones, such as these Parmesan-and-pepper packed specimens, there’s truly no going back to ho-hum store-bought rolls for the holiday feast.
You’ll need a bright, refreshing respite from all the decadence ahead of you, and boy, does this salad deliver. Chioggia beets are the candy canes of the beet world, with a red-and-white palette and a slight sweetness. Here, they mingle with plenty of arugula, fennel and radicchio. Thanks to a finishing flurry of candied walnuts and nutty Manchego, the other dishes on the holiday table won’t outshine it.
This dreamily elegant take on scalloped potatoes features crème fraîche, sweet leeks and an aromatic trio of herbs. Thyme, rosemary and sage join a creamy sauce and buttery Yukon gold potatoes for the easiest rendition of this classic we’ve spied. Finishing touches of thyme sprigs and fried sage lend the whole dish a wonderfully wintry vibe.
Prime rib is one of the most impressive entrées you can serve in general, and during the holidays, it really ups the “wow” factor. We love this recipe for its ease (ready in an hour and a half) and the gorgeous herb butter you serve alongside. Dollop a bit on each guest’s portion or let them slather their personal portion to their liking. Either way, it’s the definition of luxury.
Seasoned bakers know the Bundt cake is one of the easiest to make; simply blitz everything together, pour into a greased pan, unmold, and boom: dessert. That’s why we’re so smitten with this tower of Bundts, which require only one batter to make. Featuring cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger, it’ll make your home smell fantastic as it bakes.
Simply cool and unmold the finished Bundts, nestle them into a tower, and pour a brandy caramel over the whole that couldn’t be simpler to make. It’s true that you could put a whole lot more work into a different show-stopping dessert. It’s also true that you don’t need to; this is the show-stopper you want.