’Tis the season for gathering around the table with family and friends. But sometimes fixing that festive feast can be a little overwhelming. To make things easier for cooks who aren’t master chefs, we at Monthly have put together this simple but elegant meal that’s perfect for holiday entertaining.

“Easy” can be misleading. Yes, these festive recipes have fewer ingredients and steps than, say, a holiday meal of ham, turkey, duck or roasts with two or three side dishes and elaborate desserts, but that does not in any way mean that they are any less delicious or fall short of a pleasing presentation.

THIS TASTY ACORN SQUASH RECIPE SATISFIES EVERYONE’S DIET

Nov. 1 is World Vegan Day. It also kicks off World Vegan Month, which came to fruition in 1994 thanks to the efforts of Louise Wallace, then-president of The Vegan Society. The initial movement took root in 1944, when the Vegan Society was formed as an offshoot of The Vegetarian Society to highlight the differences between the two. Vegetarians don’t eat meat, while vegans take it a step further and do not consume — or often use or wear — food and products derived from animal products, such as milk, eggs and leather. Thanks to a rise in “ethical veganism,” it is no longer unusual to see vegan dishes offered on most restaurant menus or vegan products stocked on grocery store shelves.

By Carrie Hirsch

Serves 4 as a side dish

4 small Asian eggplants or 1 large globe eggplant
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey

Recipe by Carrie Hirsch

My friend gave me some truffle salt but if you don’t have the truffle salt don’t worry but if you happen to have a little truffle oil. It’ll be a fine substitute. Serves two.

RED ONION JAM

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, finally diced
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon unfiltered raw apple cider
Black pepper