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Holiday Comfort Dishes with Chef Ina Garten

The author and star of The Barefoot Contessa shares her favorite, simple dishes to try and enjoy this holiday season.

Ina Garten. Photo credit: Quentin Bacon

What exactly is comfort food? It’s food that nourishes not just the body but also the soul. I wrote my latest book, Modern Comfort Food, amid a global pandemic that’s changing how we live our lives. I can’t tell you how many people have mentioned lately that they’d purchased the ingredients for my outrageous brownies from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Everyone I know has stocked their pantries with ingredients that last. More people than ever find solace in preparing meals in the warmth of their own kitchens. That’s why I’m glad to share these recipes—comfort foods—perfect for your holiday table.

The term roulade originates from the French word rouler, which means “to roll.” This beautiful turkey roulade is actually better if you assemble it in advance, because the distinct flavors—prosciutto, fennel seeds, garlic, fresh sage and rosemary—start to permeate the turkey even before cooking. For me, turkey roulade is classic comfort food with the volume turned up.

For a savory side dish, try my roasted broccolini with Cheddar. In the 1950s, cooks hid frozen vegetables under some mystery “cheese” sauce.

The combination was a good idea, but in my opinion the good idea ended there. I prefer roasting broccolini, which is sweeter and more tender than broccoli. Instead of a sauce, I simply melt a good sharp Cheddar on top.

On my Food Network cooking shows you’ll hear me say, “How easy is that?” The phrase has become my trademark, and it really is my goal with all of my recipes for home cooks. I like to share simple-to-make dishes using fresh, basic ingredients. For me, that’s what modern entertaining (or any home-cooked meal) is about—taking the time to enjoy good food and good conversation with the people we love.

Try Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies at home!

Story excerpted from and recipes courtesy of Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Copyright © 2020 by Ina Garten. Published by Clarkson Potter, An imprint of Penguin Random House.

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