December 21, 2021

The Perfect Holiday Dinner From Your Organic Garden

The Perfect Holiday Dinner From Your Organic Garden

Whatever you’re celebrating this season, here’s our guide to a holiday table created right from your organic garden.

The joys of cooking from your own garden are endless. Is it the fresh flavor that you love most about garden-to-table meals? The ease of grabbing ingredients right outside your back door? Nutrient-packed organic food for your family and friends? Getting creative in the kitchen with what you have in your weekly harvest?

We’ll go first: All of the above!


Sautéed Greens

Leafy greens are a Fall and Winter favorite and may be able to grow throughout the cold season, depending on your climate. Any mixture of greens works for a simple but succulent, sautéed green dish — always a favorite side dish at any holiday meal.

Try a mix of greens, such as spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, chard, or kale. Every variety of greens works well, and the different colors and textures of leaves can add a pleasing visual aesthetic to your holiday table.

Cooking Tips for Sautéed Greens:

The best part about making sautéed greens is that they’re hard to mess up! Especially when picked fresh from your own garden and full of flavor. Maybe you prepped your greens this Fall with seabird guano for an extra lush harvest!

It’s easy to overcook sautéed greens, so be sure to cook this dish when you’re ready to pay full attention to the stovetop for a few minutes.

The other big difference between mediocre sautéed greens and fantastic sautéed greens is seasoning. You don’t need to do anything fancy to get great flavor in this dish, but you do need to do something to those leafy greens.

The best flavors enhancers for sautéed greens:

  • Garlic (chopped or powder)
  • Coarse salt (not too much!)
  • Lemon
  • Shallot
  • Slivered almonds
  • Sherry vinegar

Follow this Easy Sautéed Mixed Greens recipe from The Spruce Eats for a quick and simple preparation.



Roasted Root Vegetables

The versatility of roasted veggies makes it another easy dish for the holiday cook — and the tastiness makes it a go-to favorite for everyone at the table.

Not only are root veggies going to add an incredible rainbow of color and flavor to your holiday feast, but they’ll also provide a huge boost of nutrition to the meal. Some people are hesitant about the prep and cooking time for roasted vegetables, but we guarantee it’s worth it.

Preparing root vegetables, such as beets and potatoes, can take a good dose of elbow grease to peel and cut, . Which can be followed by a seemingly long time to roast these pieces into tasty morsels. However, they can be chopped and prepared ahead of time, and they won’t suffer from being reheated briefly in the oven before serving if timing is a concern.

One of the best things about any roasted veggie dish is how simple it is to combine whatever root vegetables you have on hand. Beets, carrots, red potatoes, and sweet potatoes make a tip-top roasting combo.

Ready to roast?

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Peel beets and carrots, and remove any scars or eyes from potatoes
  • Chop into 2-inch cubes
  • Peel, chop, and add a few garlic cloves (to taste)
  • In a big bowl, toss in a light coating of olive oil
  • Add sea salt and ground black pepper
  • Spread evenly on baking sheet
  • Cook for 45-60 minutes or until tender
  • Toss some sage and rosemary leaves on the pan about 10 minutes before cooking is complete for extra zest and crunch

For more flavors, try parsnips, sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes), golden beets, and red onions. And try adding just one of the following: a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, a dusting of paprika, or a drizzle of truffle oil right out of the oven.



Winter Squash

There’s such a wide variety of Fall and Winter squashes, each with its own unique character, flavor, and color. Their unique beauty makes them delightful for holiday celebration menus, and their versatility fits into any meal.

We’re partial to delicata squash for holiday meals because it’s quick-cooking and doesn’t need to be skinned. Delicata is also a bit more flavorful than the super-popular butternut and tends to be more tender than its tougher cousin, the acorn squash.

The oblong delicata squash is also the perfect boat-shaped bowl for your favorite stuffing — making it the meal’s star entrée.

Try out this mouth-watering Sausage-Stuffed Delicata Squash Recipe from Southern Living (you can use pork sausage, as suggested, or a turkey or plant-based sausage if preferred).



Don’t Forget The Centerpiece

Displaying cut flowers from your own garden can make the holiday table atmosphere more special to you and those gathered there.

Gardening in a climate that’s too cold for fresh flowers in Winter? Try snipping sprigs of holly or other cold-loving shrubs, evergreen branches, or decorative ornamental grasses like yellow Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans).

Pine cones from around the yard make gorgeous table decorations, as do any squashes or gourds that you didn’t use for the meal. If these options aren’t available to you, try creating a new holiday tradition by bringing some lush indoor potted plants to the table.

Get creative — your table is your masterpiece! The winter holidays are a time to cherish hearth, home, and health. Taking a few moments to decorate, share gratitude, and appreciate the comforts of home and garden are what this season is all about.

Dig in!