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Local Food, Organic, Recipes, Seasonal Produce

Holiday Party Recipes

It’s holiday party time and it’s a great time to experiment with yummy dishes that will hopefully leave us feeling fantastic (rather than bloated and exhausted!) Here are a three recipe suggestions from two local chefs, local organic caterer Gerry Herrfurth (formerly of Organic Connection) and Ed Giobbi (author of Italian Family Cooking, Eat Right, Eat Well The Italian Way and Pleasures of the Good Earth). Thanks Gerry and Ed!
All of these ingredients are available organic in local stores.
Stuffed Mushroom Caps
I asked Ed for a recipe for something to take to a holiday party that is easy to make, easy to serve, yummy and healthy.
from Ed Giobbi

(this is the basic method. you determine proportions according to how many of these you want to make)
  • white mushrooms, smaller
  • spinach, blanched
  • finely chopped red pepper
  • garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • parsley or other fresh herbs like oregano or chives
  • parmesan
  • salt, pepper
  • binder: ricotta or egg white (beaten)
Wash and remove stems from 1 lb smaller white mushroom caps. Set in baking pan, bottom up.
Chop up blanched spinach and mix with red pepper, garlic, herbs, and seasonings. Add in ricotta or egg white to bind the mixture. Fill mushroom caps, put parmesan on top, and bake until start to brown on top.
Note: I will be making these with local goat cheese.

Raw Kale and Vegetable Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Gerry says he likes to make this now because it’s the right season for kale in the northeast, and he always tries to feature in-season produce. He says that people raved about this dish at a recent holiday party he catered. It’s simple, healthy and delicious. The secret is in the process of tenderizing the kale.

Serves 12 – 15

  • 2 Bunches Lacinato or Curly Kale, cut into fine ribbons (chiffodade)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Julienne
  • ½ Red Onion, Julienne
  • 1 Carrot, Julienne
  • ½ Cup Dried Cranberries (optional)
  • 1 Pound Mixed Salad Greens
  • ½ Cup Green Onion, Chopped (garnish)
  • 2 Tomatoes, Chopped (garnish)
For the Dressing:

  • ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley or Dill, Chopped
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic, Minced with Sea Salt
  • Fresh Black Pepper
  • Juice of 3 Lemons
  • Tamari to Taste (wheat-free)
  • Honey or Agave to Taste
  • Olive Oil to Taste
Wash and dry kale, remove ribs and chiffonade (cut into fine ribbons).
Make dressing by starting with garlic, dill, black pepper and lemon juice in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil, tamari and choice of sweetener.
Place kale pieces in bowl and tenderize kale by working in ½ the amount of dressing and massaging and squeezing the kale until fibers are broken down. Kale should eventually feel limp and be tender. Add remaining dressing, cut vegetables, mixed greens and dried cranberries. Gently toss, taste, adjust seasoning and serve.
Orange-Fennel Salad
from Ed Giobbi

Ed says for Christmas he will be serving this pretty salad. I’d love to see his holiday table!

  • Fresh oranges, sliced ¼ inch thick (in Italy the leave the peels on, but they are sweeter there)
  • Fresh fennel, thinly sliced
  • Oil cured olives (yes, there are pits in these so caution your guests. Otherwise you can pit them first, but they won’t be quite so pretty…)
Toss the oranges and fennel with olive oil and fresh black pepper. When ready to serve add in the olives. If you add them in earlier they will stain the oranges.
Finding Ingredients

Fresh fennel: Mrs. Green’s, Nature’s Temptations

Oil-cured olives: Italian specialty shop in Mt. Kisco, Ed says the A&P has them too. Here is a source for wonderful, organic, small-farmed from Living Tree Community Foods in CA:

Ricotta: Mrs. Greens, Nature’s Temptations

Take along a bottle of organic, sulfite-free wine to your holiday party. You’ll be a hero to those sensitive to sulfites! For a listing of local wine shops that carry these, check out my Where to Find list in the sidebar.
Have fun, be well!

About Heather Flournoy

I am a writer, social media connoisseur, environmentalist and professional marketer. My personal blog is and my professional website is I love people's stories, and a passionate cultivator of connections, both for myself and helping others to connect. Tell me who you are, what your story is, and I'll tell you who you should talk to. In my own view, I know some of the most interesting, colorful and profound people in the world. You know who you are. Besides all the above, I am proud to say I am a working class single mother who raised a beautiful daughter. I connect deeply with animals, especially horses. I love music, coffee shops, farmer's markets, growing my own food, sustainable agriculture, broad thinkers, the healing arts, and dive diners.


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