The Non-Traditional Christmas

Traditional setting.


Non-traditional meal.

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.

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