Crafting a Holiday Menu and Seasonal Tabletop

This is, of course, an incredibly special time of year, and has us motivated to put a bit more care into preparing delicious and comforting foods to treat our family, friends, and loved ones. One of our favorite ways to acknowledge the season of giving and togetherness is to host get-togethers; what better opportunity than the holidays to pull out all the stops for an extra virgin olive oil feast complete with festive decor and a seasonal tabletop? The vegetable-focused menu we’ve put together combines recipes from a handful of amazing food bloggers, and covers much of late fall’s peak produce. We tested these recipes at our own holiday-themed feast, and can personally attest to how delicious they are.

We love all the different textures and flavors in this Roasted Delicata Squash and Pomegranate Salad from Cookie and Kate. If you can get the timing right, serve the salad when the squash is still a little warm.

Roasting Brussels sprouts makes an under-appreciated vegetable a sure crowd-pleaser! Especially with the addition of nuts and cheese. We love this Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino and Pecans recipe from A Couple Cooks. We used the parmesan cheese that we had on hand instead of pecorino, and it was still perfect.

This comforting Mushroom and Leek Risotto from Minimalist Baker can hold its own as the center of a vegetarian meal. The mushrooms add a heartiness to the dish, and though the recipe calls for non-dairy substitutes, regular butter and parmesan can easily be used in this recipe for anyone without dietary restrictions.

One of the more creative dessert recipes we’ve tried comes in the form of a Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake from Adventures in Cooking. Start by making a caramel sauce from scratch in which you poach the apples, then add an olive oil batter, bake, and flip upside down to serve. The smell of this cake while cooking in the oven is incredible, not to mention how delicious it tasted. We decided a cup of coffee would be an ideal pairing!

Our table decorations of choice mirrored our focus on fresh produce and earth tones. Seasonal greens, winter lemons, and purple hydrangeas set our color scheme; small candles and hints of gold made the table feel warm and festive. We loved this idea from Sunset Magazine to tie bundles of fresh herbs together for each place setting.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and are able to take the time to make beautiful meals and table settings, but prioritize the most important thing – spending quality time with friends and loved ones.