The perfect partner: Foolproof side dishes for a turkey roast
There really is nothing like a roast turkey to get the taste-buds twitching with excitement. Just the sight of that golden brown bird being lifted from the oven is enough to make anyone feel good about life.
Brussel sprouts with pancetta
Even people who hate sprouts usually respond to this recipe with newly discovered ardour. The thing about sprouts is that distracted cooks often neglect them, setting them to boil forever on the hob, resulting in water-logged mushy globes that look as unappetising as they taste. However, err on the side of caution and very lightly steam the sprouts until they verge on cooked but not quite, then fry up some salty, delicious pancetta cubes, and add the sprouts to the pan for the last couple of minutes, coating them in bacony fat. Then transfer them to a bowl and watch how quickly people reach for them. The freshness of the green leaves coupled with the warm depth of the pancetta makes this irresistible.
Sweet potato and apple bake
Now, there are those that distrust an overabundance of sweetness with a roast, but those people have yet to fully embrace the particularities of this dish which combines the tartness of apple with the toothsomeness of sweet potato and then adds cheese: bitter, sweet and salt in one dish and it is magnificent. To serve four, the ratio should be four potatoes to two cooking apples. Simply boil the potatoes until tender and then cut them and the apples into quarter-of-an-inch slices. Throw them all into a baking dish and add chopped onion, some freshly chopped oregano, 80ml water, the juice of half a lemon and a few dabs of butter. Then, sprinkle around 100g mature cheddar cheese on top and bake at 180 degrees C for half an hour. Magic.


Steamed broccoli with garlic and lemon
This is such an easy recipe but it makes a delicious, fresh counterpoint to the heavy sweetness of the rest of the meal. Cut the broccoli into 2 inch florets, slice the stem into thick green coins (people often discard the stem but it is a real treat and a nice textural change from the bushiness of the floret) and steam them over boiling water for about 4 minutes. In the meantime, crush a couple of garlic cloves with the flat of a knife and then chop finely. Fry the garlic gently in a tablespoon of olive oil, adding a few teaspoons of lemon juice. Then, add the broccoli to the pan, making sure to coat it in the lemony garlic oil. Don't worry if the broccoli browns a little, it actually adds an interesting depth to the flavour. The important thing is to avoid overcooking – the crunch of the veg is half the pleasure and the flavours are much more intense.
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The perfect partner: Foolproof side dishes for a turkey roast