I had every intention of posting another holiday-themed recipe before Christmas. I had the recipe ready to go – lightly toasted hazelnuts, chocolate. Something slightly sweet, with a touch of saltiness. But as things go this time of year everything got too busy and I didn’t get round to making and shooting it, so instead I thought I would leave you with somewhat of a wrap-up of some of my favorite recipes doing the rounds at the moment.
Growing up our Christmas lunch was either an Italian feast with my mother’s family, or a traditional roast with my Dad’s. More often than not, we would go to my paternal grandparents for dinner, and lunch was spent with my mother’s family. Nan (with the help of my mother and aunt) would spend days preparing an incredible amount of food. First course would sometimes be seafood – crayfish if we could get it, or prawns, as a modern Australian addition to an otherwise very Italian menu. Next off we would have some simple soup that consisted of a stock flavoured with chicken, vegetables, a few herbs, splash of oil, and homemade pasta pieces. This would be followed by the creme de la creme of all lasagnas, which my Nan would spend days preparing and everyone would fight over who got the corner piece. Following this would be meat and roasted vegetables, plus a simple green salad. Then fruit for dessert with espresso, and perhaps some grappa for the adults.
Unfortunately as grandparents get old, marriages dissolve, children grow up and people move away, I don’t see my Italian family on Christmas days anymore, and even if I did, the majority of the food I would no longer be able to eat as a non-meat eater. But the memory of this decadent meal cooked from scratch with home-grown ingredients and recipes passed through the generations is what great cooking is about. Good food does not need to be fancy, and though this particular feast took days to prepare, good food doesn’t necessarily have to be time consuming to prepare either. That said, as someone who loves cooking, I quite like the idea of preparing a decadent feast for my family. So this menu below is perhaps something like what I would like to feed my future family for our Christmas lunch. A mix of wholesome, nourishing dishes, all seasonal and for the most part simple yet impressive. A few dishes that are quite healthy, with a few treats snuck in, and all deliciously mouthwatering.
With Christmas only a few short days away, presumably you have all got your menus planned already, but just in case – or maybe one to bookmark for next year – these recipes all deserved to be checked out.
Homemade baked ricotta – to her core
Baked brie with boozy fig spread and pecans – the Roasted Root
Ginger, pear and goat cheese endive appetizer – Naturally Ella
Fig, rosemary and goat cheese tartines – Will Cook For Friends
Salted rosemary and honey roasted walnuts – to her core
Cranberry-sage goat cheese crostini – Dishing Up the Dirt
The main event
Cauliflower avocado salad with pomegranate – the Smoothie Lover
Sweet potato gratin – Whole Nourishment
Sorghum pilaf with roasted brussel sprouts, cranberries and grapes – Golubka Kitchen
Chili + coconut brussel sprout slaw – What’s Cooking Good Looking
Winter vegetable and gorgonzola galette - Happyolks
Hazelnut chocolate cake – Rohkost
Pecan Crumble Pears – Renee Kemps
Satsuma + rosemary pignoli nut cookies – Dolly + Oatmeal
Dark chocolate pistachio torte – Laura’s Mess
Rosewater shortbread – 101 cookbooks
A wee little tipple
Spiced Christmas kombucha – to her core
Fig and rosemary tini – A House in the Hills
Berry ginger cocktail – Sprouted Kitchen
Party season pear cinnamon Earl Grey tea fizz – The Holistic Ingredient
Chai hot chocolate – Tasty Yummies