Have a gourmet Christmas and New Year with creative recipes and fresh fuit and vegetables in every dish a healthy revolution for the festive meals!

And finally December is here, with the sounds, colours, perfume and tastes of Christmas. 

Christmas Day lunch and New Year’s Eve dinner are the most eagerly-awaited moments of the holidays.

This year let’s season them with lots of taste, but above all with creativity.

Cheeses accompanied with fruit jams, risottos, main courses, winter salads and delicious desserts.

And then canapés, skewers, sushi and exquisite side dishes.

And why not ignore tradition and indulge yourself in preparing new and original dishes made with fruit and vegetables, from appetizers to desserts.

The “I love fruit and veg from Europe” project revolutionizes your table with taste, in the name of well-being and seasonal products, making it possible to create festive lunches and dinners with fresh fruit and vegetables present in every dish.

Let’s not forget that in this season we have so many fresh, seasonal products available to use for inventive recipes to amaze our guests during the holidays.

These gourmet holiday dishes have been created thinking of the well-being of mind and body.

“It is important to be gratified at the table during the holidays – explains the nutritional biologist Maurizio Gallo – but you don’t have to binge.

You can also celebrate by eating a little bit of everything, maybe with lots of small bites.

We try to favour the use of fresh and seasonal fruit and vegetables in the kitchen and not to overdo it with condiments”.

In short, Christmas and New Year’s menus can be healthy and tasty, because festive meals do not necessarily have to mean extra pounds.

Christmas Day lunch and New Year’s Eve dinner

Let’s keep the balance right and get in the kitchen with the aim of surprising friends and relatives with healthy and appetising food.

Let’s start with the festive aperitif: white sangria for Christmas, red sangria for New Year’s Eve.

The first is made with: 5 mandarin wedges, 2 blond oranges, 50 cl of Cointreau, 25 cl of lime, 2 bottles of sparkling wine, 1 green apple and 1 red apple.

Cut the apples into cubes, place in a container immersed in a little lime juice.

In the meantime, slice the oranges into small pieces and dip them in the remaining lime and Cointreau and put them in the fridge in a second container.

When ready to serve, pour everything into a transparent jug, adding the very cold sparkling wine and stir vigorously.

Decorate with mint leaves and with some orange slices kept aside.


The second sangria is made with: 1 lime, 2 oranges, 1 bottle of red wine, 1 apple, 50 ml of brandy, 50 ml of port, sugar and 2 cinnamon sticks.

Pour the wine, port, brandy, sugar into a transparent jug and mix.

Add the cinnamon and the chopped fruit, mix vigorously and put in the fridge to cool for at least three hours.

Let’s move on to a tasty and light appetizer given that the first and main courses will be more substantial: for example, cherry tomatoes stuffed with turmeric-flavoured yogurt and peas or skewers of ricotta and spinach meatballs baked in the oven with sesame seeds.

Let’s have fun with the first course: perhaps lasagnette pasta with artichokes, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil or why not a risotto with chestnuts and speck, burrata and figs or with pomegranate and leek cream.

And for the main course there is only an embarrassment of choice between a classic duck with orange, an unusual salad of mango and prawns, roast pork with apples and chestnuts, sea bass with lime and honey, grilled fish with guacamole, octopus salad with potatoes accompanied by tzatziki sauce.

Christmas Day lunch and New Year’s Eve dinner

For the side dishes start with grilled vegetables, here you can never go wrong, always prepared with seasonal products and seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, mint or parsley and garlic.

Or a mixed salad with orange wedges and thinly sliced raw onion, black olives and capers.

Let’s not forget the legumes, of course lentils are the right choice and potato chips, cooked in the oven, seasoned with salt, pepper, a little breadcrumbs and extra virgin olive oil.

And for dessert? Let’s unleash the taste buds of our guests, but first pamper them with a fresh fruit skewer to refresh the palate.

Or perhaps revisit a tiramisu and make it more creative and modern.

Use dry biscuits instead of sponge fingers, soak them in milk instead of coffee and add coarsely cut figs and top with
mascarpone cream.

To serve our dessert more elegantly, pour the mixture into individual bowls lined with biscuits, crumbled and mixed with chopped figs.

And how about a pear and ricotta or pear and chocolate cake for the table?

A Christmas log with chestnuts, fruit tarts, also topped with dried fruit and for children a hazelnut cream dessert is a must.

Enjoy your gourmet Christmas and New Year’s Eve meals in the name of “I love fruit and veg from Europe”!

Federica Riccio

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