Whether you’re going for a casual or formal menu this Christmas, these festive starter & side dishes will carry you through the festivities in style.

Australian Christmases can go from laid back barbies to formal, glittering affairs but great food is always at the heart of it. Kick off your festive feast with this simple but impressive pastry stars starter, then garnish your meat with mixed beans & peas with sesame, and BBQ potato & asparagus salad.

Pastry Stars with Beetroot & Goat’s Cheese



  • 2 sheets butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly whisked
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 150g beetroot dip
  • 50g marinated goat’s cheese, drained
  • Chopped dill, to serve
  • Lemon zest, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place the pastry on a clean work surface. Combine the egg yolk and milk in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg mixture evenly over the pastry sheets. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  2. Use a 6.5cm star pastry cutter to cut star shapes from the pastry. Arrange the pastry stars on the lined trays. Bake for 10-12 mins or until golden and puffed. Set aside to cool.
  3. Top the pastry stars with beetroot dip and goat’s cheese. Sprinkle with dill. Decorate with lemon zest.

Mixed Beans & Peas with Sesame

festive starter & side dishes mixed beans



  • 200g green beans, ends trimmed
  • 100g yellow beans, ends trimmed
  • 200g sugar snap peas, ends trimmed, halved lengthways
  • 1½ cups (180g) frozen peas
  • 1 cup (150g) frozen broad beans, thawed, peeled
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs mirin
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 5cm-piece ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • Thinly sliced green onion, to serve
  • Toasted sesame seeds, to serve


  1. Cook the combined beans, sugar snap peas, peas and broad beans in a large saucepan of boiling water for 3 mins or until al dente. Drain well.
  2. Whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, sugar, ginger and oil in a small bowl.
  3. Place the bean mixture in a serving dish. Drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle with green onion and sesame seeds.

BBQ Potato & Asparagus Salad

festive starter & side dishes BBQ potato


Salad Ingredients

  • 750g kipfler potatoes
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bunches asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 150g snow peas, ends trimmed
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges

Honey Mustard Dressing

  • 1 lemon, zested, juiced
  • 1 tbs wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbs finely chopped chives
  • 120g baby rocket leaves


  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Cook for 10 mins or until just tender. Drain. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Heat a chargrill pan on high. Use a sharp knife to cut each potato in half lengthways. Brush with a little of the oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook potatoes for 2-3 mins or until lightly charred. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Cook the asparagus, snow peas and onion on the grill for 2 mins or until just tender. Transfer to a plate.
  4. To make the honey mustard dressing, whisk the lemon zest and juice, mustard, honey, chives and remaining oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Arrange rocket, potato, asparagus, snow peas and onion on a serving platter. Drizzle with the dressing.
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Recipe Name
Festive Starter & Side Dishes to Kick Off Christmas
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3 Replies to “Festive Starter & Side Dishes to Kick Off Christmas”

  1. 3 very goodlooking recipes and might try all three (but will use heart cutters instead of stars LOL)

    1. Great idea! We love how versatile these three recipes are – perfect for year-round entertaining!

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