This shop about easy meals and holiday entertaining has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidayMadeSimple #CollectiveBias
Pizza was meant for parties, right? That’s why you’ll never catch us without a few frozen pizzas in the freezer, especially during the holiday season when the dreaded drop-in is a possibility at all times! Easy meals are a must during the hectic December rush, and you never know when you might be entertaining at a moment’s notice!
But all pizza is not created equal. I’m a sucker for unique flavors and a stickler for premium ingredients, so we look for the yellow box – California Pizza Kitchen. The white variety is my favorite, with creme fraiche sauce, spinach, garlic, and five cheeses on a killer crispy thin crust. (But it’s a close race between that one and the BBQ Chicken Pizza, which screams to be paired with a tall glass of sweet tea!)
All you have to do is remember to grab a few when you’re in the pizza aisle…
But as much as I love pizza (who doesn’t, right?) it just doesn’t feel complete to me without a side of seasonal veggies.
And what a season it is for veggies! Fruit, too. Winter is prime time for hearty greens, cranberries and fresh peak-season citrus, so it’s easy to add a little fresh to your frozen for a well-rounded meal that is easy to serve to a crowd quickly. Because whether you plan a party or it just pops up out of nowhere, who wants to spend the whole time in the kitchen preparing food? You have celebrating to do!
And making it easy on yourself doesn’t mean sacrificing anything in the way of flavor or nutrition. This festive Clementine Basil Vinaigrette is one of my favorite holiday recipes, and it comes together in about 5 minutes. The fruity, herby blend adds just the right fresh and festive touch to a seasonal salad featuring tart cranberries, sharp white cheddar, toasted almond slivers and the zing of red onion.
Toss it all together and serve buffet style so guests can serve themselves. It doesn’t get much easier!
You can bet your friends and family will welcome the pop of fresh flavor after weeks of cookie platters. Pair the whole deal with a seasonal craft beer and your guests just may never leave!
Clementine Basil Vinaigrette
Serve over a merry mix of winter greens (like spinach, romaine, arugula and baby kale) topped with cranberries, white cheddar, slivered red onion and warm toasted almonds.
- ¾ cup orange juice
- the pulp and juice of one clementine (slice in half, then use a paring knife to carve pulp out of sections)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a glass jar or container, mix all ingredients except oil. Cover tightly and shake or whisk until well blended.
- Add oil ¼ cup at a time, shaking or whisking until mixture is emulsified. Serve immediately or chill briefly before serving. Store up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator and shake before serving.
Need more holiday inspiration? Click for easy ideas and ways to add more flavorful moments to your holiday entertaining!
What’s your go-to recipe for holiday entertaining? Leave a comment below (the easier the better!)