Today I want to share with you some pictures from our Christmas table. This year I used a linen runner with burgundy designs over my grandmother’s white linen tablecloth. Tavola Bianca with a Christmas twist. I tied the napkins with a dark red velvet ribbon, and I added two glass red peppers that I found in a small shop in Chinatown (San Francisco)
Instead of one centerpiece, I made two and placed them symmetrically along the table. On glass cake pedestals. I placed two wreaths that I made from a bunch of evergreen branches from the neighborhood nursery. Then I added some candles, a large pomegranate a sprig of holly and a few cumquats for more color.
After my guests sat down and admired them (enough to make me smile from joy and satisfaction) I removed them to make space for the platters and I lit small individual candles.
The glass table in the next room hosts the deserts. The classic Greek Christmas cookies are called “melomakarona” and ” kourabiedes” . The melomakarona are made with olive oil, orange juice and peel, sugar, spices and flour or a combination of flour and cream of wheat. Once baked and cooled they are dipped in honey syrup until the outside becomes soft and the heart still holds the cookie texture. Chopped walnuts mixed with sugar and cinnamon on top of them are the finishing touches. The kourabiedes are made with sweet butter, flour, sugar and roasted almonds. When they come out of the oven we dust them with powdered sugar and we arrange them in a pile looking like a mountain with snow.
You can see both melomakarona and kourabiedes on my glass table.
The Christmas menu this year was a potato soup with crispy bacon crumbles n top, my traditional cheese pie (made with feta cheese) served with a “Christmas Salad” (recipe below). Then I served Coq au vin with russian potato salad. Finally I do something that I really like and my guests like too. After bringing a platter with cheeses, I start peeling and slicing seasonal fruit such as pears (the bosco were incredible) apples and tangerines.
We usually move in the family room for coffee and sweets. I hope next Christmas finds everyone in good health and surrounded by loved ones. Until then have a Happy New Year.
Christmas salad (serves 8-10)
One and a half heads radicchio thinly sliced
two Belgian endives thinly sliced crosswise
about 60 gr. baby arugula leaves ( this is approximately half the box you find in the stores)
100 gr. coarsely chopped candied pecans.
a handful of dried cranberries.
a cup of fresh pomegranate seeds.
Mix everything together and add salt to tour taste.
For the dressing mix in a jar, 1/3 cap extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar and shake well before dressing your salad.