As in recent years past, once during the holiday season I depart from serving traditional fare. Thanksgiving is so deeply tied to the tradition of the particular dishes that represented early America that it feels somehow non-negotiable to prepare anything else. Not so Christmas.
I love the simple elegance of lightly prepared or roasted vegetable dishes, although I chose to make a linguine-poached chicken dish the center of the meal. It’s easy to take the basic format of a fortified poaching broth and reduce/enrich it to tie the ingredients of your choice together. Hence, the menu:
- Linguine with poached chicken, roasted red peppers, sage, capers
- Roasted fennel, leeks, zucchini
- Haricot vert with roasted shallots, pine nuts, black truffle oil
- Marinated olives
- Simple green salad
- Spelt, 9-grain wheat breads
- Fresh fruit tray of raspberries, strawberries, grapes, pears
- Pagliacci’s cheesecake with lemon curd, hazelnut toffee crunch
Simple elegance, any day of the year. Merry Christmas.