Posted on December 18, 2009 - by

Holiday Recipes from the FRESH team

It might be winter, but you’d be surprised at how simple it can be to cook a locally sourced meal this holiday season. We encourage you to hit up your local farmers’ market for some seasonal bounty. We know how easy it is to get overwhelmed this time of year, so we gathered some of our favorite seasonal dishes that together make up a tasty, sustainable holiday feast.

Wheatberry Salad with Apples and Mint
Recipe By: Lorna Sass

from her cookbook entitled WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY that won the prestigious James Beard Award in the “healthy focus” category. To learn more about Lorna and find more of her flavor-packed, healthy recipes, visit

Serves 4 to 6

Photo by: David Prince

Photo by: David Prince

Wheatberries develops a juicy “squish” when marinated briefly in dressing. A citrus dressing is a particularly good complement to the tart green apple and vibrant mint tossed into the mix. You may be able to find “winter” wheat berries at your local farmers market along the apples and mint.
Vu Manh Thang – I Am Superman


1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3/4 cup tightly packed mint leaves
2 cups cooked wheatberries
2 teaspoons grated orange zest (from 2 juice oranges)
1 small green apple
1 small red apple
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped


  • First prepare the dressing: Blend the orange juice, oil, vinegar, salt, and 1/2 cup of the mint in a food processor or blender.
  • Set the wheatberries in a medium bowl. Pour the dressing over them and toss to coat. Stir in the orange zest. Set aside for at least 15 minutes. Toss occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, core the apples and cut them into 1/4-inch dice. Stack the remaining mint leaves and roll them into a log. Slice them as thinly as you can. Toss them into the salad along with the apple, and hazelnuts. Add more salt, if needed.

Copyright © 2009 Lorna Sass, adapted from WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY

Root Vegetable & Chestnut Ragout
A Fresh Favorite


chestnuts1 ½ pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 1/4 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 1/4 pounds baby golden beets (2 bunches), stems trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large shallot, minced
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped thyme
1 ½ cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
2 cup roasted peeled chestnuts
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons organic butter, at room temperature


To Roast Chestnuts

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Find the flat side of each chestnut and cut a large X with a sharp paring knife all the way through the skin.
  • Place chestnuts on a shallow baking pan and place in the oven to roast for about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on size of nuts. Shake pan several times to rotate chestnuts so they will cook evenly. If you just want them cooked enough to peel, roast for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Peel roasted chestnuts as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Once they cool completely, they are difficult to peel. However, they may be reheated briefly to aid in peeling.
  • You can also try using a gas stove. Place on top of a flame-tamer and cover with a deep lid. Roast over low heat until done, about 10 minutes, turning often to cook evenly.
  • Once you have the chestnuts going. Prepare to blanch veggies by placing the saucepan on a high heat and fill it with about with 2 litres of water. Now add the salt and bring it to a strong rapid boil. Use 30 grams / 1 oz of salt for every litre / 1.5 pt of water. The salt creates a barrier on the surface of the vegetables and also raises the temperature of the water, sealing in the nutrients.
  • Add the celery root and blanch for about 6 minutes.
  • With a slotted spoon, transfer to a large baking sheet.
  • Add the turnips to the pot and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to the baking sheet.
  • Add the beets to the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Drain the beets and transfer to a large plate.
  • Let cool slightly, then peel and quarter the beets.
  • Return the pot to the stove.
  • Add the olive oil, and when it’s hot, add the garlic, shallot and thyme and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the stock and boil over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the celery root, and turnips cover and cook over moderately high heat, folding gently a few times with a heat-proof rubber spatula, until heated through.
  • Add the beets and chestnuts and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  • Gently stir in the butter, transfer the ragout to a bowl and serve.
  • The ragout (without the butter) can be refrigerated overnight.
  • Reheat gently, and then stir in the butter.

Aunt Bea’s Squash Pudding
Recipe by: Bea Schlot

Courtesy of Sustainable Table

Courtesy of Sustainable Table


6 medium yellow squash, organic or locally grown
1 cage-free egg, beaten well
3/4 cup organic milk or half and half
3 heaping tablespoons flour, locally sourced
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 to 1 cup pure cane sugar can be substitute for 1/3 – ½ cup of agave nectar.


  • Peel and cube squash and boil until soft. Mash well. You can also take the easier route and bake halved squash in oven at 350 degrees until soft and scrape out and mash when cool.
  • Mix flour, milk, vanilla, sugar and egg.
  • Pour over mashed cooked squash mixture and bake at 350 degrees 30-45 minutes until set.

Hope you enjoy sharing one or more of these recipes with your loved ones this season!


The FRESH Team
ana Sofia joanes
Lisa Madison
Lisa Amadeo



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