Gracious entertaining is not incompatible with a healthy lifestyle (although it sometimes feels that way). In fact, a meal that’s nutritious and delicious might just be the best holiday gift of all. In our annual special food section, you’ll find main courses that are robust crowd-pleasers, appetizers that pack big taste into little bites, side dishes that deserve to be at center stage, and desserts that are beyond decadent. Plus, we got the experts to reveal some of their best-kept secrets—we call them tasty tricks for making good food great. Best of all, you can use these techniques year-round to make every meal a reason to celebrate.
Photo: Taran Z/Food styling: Suzanne Springer