bg header

Sustainable Christmas lunch: ideas for an eco-friendly menu

Tiziana Colombo: per voi, Nonnapaperina

Recipe proposed by
Tiziana Colombo

albero di Natale
Recipes for Intolerants, Italian Cuisine, Recipes for Christmas
Gluten-free recipes
Lactose-free recipes
Preparation: 01 ore 00 min
Cooking: 01 ore 00 min
Ingredients for: 4 people
5/5 (1 Review)

An amazing idea: a Christmas tree appetiser

Christmas is synonymous with creativity in the kitchen. For the sustainable Christmas lunch, I thought of a new appetiser that could visually recall one of the symbols of the Christmas holidays, so I created a Christmas tree out of vegetables, cheeses, and cured meats.

It is a combination that pleases the eyes before the tongue, and it is a veritable explosion of flavours and colours. A recipe that takes only a few minutes to prepare, even though it looks complicated. You just need to secure the contents using toothpicks and use a polystyrene cone as a structure. Moreover, you can remove one ingredient at a time while dining in luxury as if it were a buffet.

If placed in the centre of a table to showcase its magnificence, the Christmas tree can serve as a lovely display for a group appetiser. The Christmas tree, of course, is very customisable, so feel free to add or subtract items. Here’s the recipe, though!

Recipe sustainable Christmas lunch

Preparation sustainable Christmas lunch

  • To prepare the Christmas tree, cover the polystyrene cone with baking paper, fixing it with a bit of adhesive tape.
  • Then stick the toothpicks into the cone, thus creating the structure of the tree and the supports for the ingredients.
  • Thread the ingredients onto toothpicks.
  • Garnish with rosemary sprigs to add some green colour to the Christmas tree. Serve, and enjoy the holidays!

Ingredients sustainable Christmas lunch

  • 1 polystyrene cone of your preferred size
  • 1 sheet of baking paper to cover the cone
  • toothpicks
  • red or yellow cherry tomatoes
  • salami
  • Frankfurtersfresh rosemary sprigs
  • stuffed green olives
  • black olives
  • some mozzarella
  • parmesan cheese
  • Emmenthal cheese.

Sustainable Christmas lunch ideas and delectable meals that seamlessly blend work and play

With Christmas quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to consider the menu and organise an inclusive and sustainable Christmas lunch. When discussing a Christmas lunch, without betraying the expectations of those who want to eat a lot, I have to take into consideration environmental issues. In short, a genuine Christmas lunch with high value is not only gourment but also ethical.

None of this implies putting a negative spin on Christmas or even being choosy. Sustainable practices are inextricably linked to the ideas of enjoyment, cheerfulness, fun, and all the positive things that surround December 25th. It’s possible for a sustainable Christmas lunch to evolve into one that incorporates unique ideas while adhering to tradition.

Therefore, I think it’s helpful and enjoyable to offer suggestions, guidance, and “tricks” to those who wish to give back to the environment over the holiday season in addition to helping themselves and their loved ones.

The choice of a sustainable menu

Making a sustainable Christmas lunch menu is, of course, the first step. Making the decision is also the most enjoyable part, as everyone who typically handles the Christmas meal already knows. Immediately, December 25th flashes across our minds, and we daydream about the preparations. With the tree and the nativity scene in the background, we see ourselves gathered around a meal.

What goes into creating an inclusive, environmentally friendly menu? It’s really quite simple. In most cases, it is enough to aim for the truest and most popular traditional recipes. The explanation makes sense: seasonal ingredients were the only ones accessible when customs were created in the past. It so happens that in-season ingredients are the most environmentally friendly!

Uncertainties around the notion of inclusivity still need to be cleared out. This is especially important for first courses and second courses that can also satisfy people who follow a different diet. I’m talking about those who are vegans, vegetarians, lactose intolerant, and celiacs. There are two pointers. First, accept that there are many needs. In the kitchen, variety and the quest to find new flavours are highly valued.

The second piece of advice is to become well-versed in meals, particularly those that are not conventional, in order to turn research into a chance for experimentation rather than a last-ditch effort to appease everyone. It is only through this method that dishes that provide a fine dining experience for all may be prepared. Many of the dishes on this website are suitable for vegans, intolerant people, and people who follow a “classical diet.” Wellington, a delectable vegetarian dish, is one example!

Creating a Wellington fillet, one of the best beef second courses, that can accommodate vegetarians and those who don’t often eat meat is a creative and excellent idea. Here, the beef is swapped out for a variety of flavor-enhancing veggies, including carrots, leeks, and pumpkin, which are delicate and sweet, and black cabbage, which has a tinge of bitterness. We locate the boiled chestnuts and cream cheese to finish everything. Finally, everything is covered with the inevitable puff pastry!

Filetto alla Wellington vegetariano

The menu for a sustainable Christmas lunch? I’ve got you covered! Let’s start with the appetisers.

You can rely on the recipes I’ve included below if you wish to be inspired by individuals who have previously considered what to serve for a sustainable Christmas lunch. Delicious recipes that are perfect for Christmas! They start with simple ingredients and tradition to create attractive, filling, and delicious dishes! Kindly click the links to view the entire recipe.

Tomino in crosta

I suggest the crusted tomino as an appetiser; it’s like a gourmet rotisserie piece. The flavour of the speck brings out the sweetness of the cheese, and the crumbly puff pastry contrasts with the softness of the tomino. I think it’s a good idea to tell the visitors that they can expect an amazing Christmas meal to get things started.

tortino di zucca su crema di stracciatella

The combination of pumpkin pie and stracciatella cream is an even more elegant solution. Don’t get me wrong, this is an easy recipe to make! To make the dough, simply combine the precooked pumpkin pulp, egg yolks, cream, shredded cheese, salt, and pepper. After that, pour this mixture into moulds and bake them. Then comes the plating: start with a bed of stracciatella in each portion, then put the pumpkin pie on top after seasoning with salt and oil.

The appetiser version of the fortifying salad and thepuff pastry tree with pesto Genovese  are two more intriguing concepts.

The first courses for a sustainable Christmas lunch

Let’s move on to the heart of every Christmas lunch, namely the first courses. Here, Italian tradition is at its best. However, I wanted to revisit it (just a little) with delicious escarole cannelloni, salmon, and vegetable lasagna.

Cannelloni di scarole

The escarole cannelloni will amaze you with their originality and innovative use of vegetables. The escarole in this dish is transformed into a delicate filling casing, more than worthily replacing the classic egg pasta cannelloni. As for the filling, it is made up of more escarole (chopped and cooked on a sauté of onions), sultanas, and mozzarella. To garnish everything, we find the classic grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Similar to traditional cannelloni, it is baked for only fifteen minutes.

Lasagne con salmone e verdure

A sort of waltz between the sea and the mountains, salmon and vegetable lasagna is well-known for its profusion of ingredients. It will tantalise your taste buds. The filling consists of sautéed onions, salmon, prawns, peas, and aromatic herbs. There’s also an abundance of bechamel, which enhances the lasagna sheets according to custom. But it’s a special kind of bechamel enhanced with fish broth. The goal is to offer a fish and vegetable version of the well-known Bolognese lasagna, a dish that pays homage to the original while also incorporating a great deal of innovation.

Take a look at the filled mezze sleeves pasta if you’re searching for something even more traditional. Instead, try the broccoli timbale with veggies if you want to concentrate on a more upscale meal. Lastly, a delicious risotto with Parmesan cream can be a light and easy first course.

Second courses for a sustainable Christmas lunch

For the second course, I give you two suggestions that appeal to both meat and fish lovers: baked capon and John Dory fish with potatoes and lemon.

Cappone al forno con patate
A great holiday favourite is baked capon. We value the meat’s quantity in this dish and its capacity to hold its tenderness during the lengthy baking process. The stuffing, which is made mostly of carrots, celery, and onions, and the body of the capon work in perfect harmony to preserve its softness.

It’s not too difficult to prepare baked capon, although there are a few “tricks” involved. For instance, it is ideal to lower the temperature by roughly twenty degrees in the middle of the cooking process. At the same time, it is necessary to often wet the capon with vegetable broth and wine in order to preserve its softness.

San Pietro con patate

John Dory fish with potatoes and lemon is a light second course, although it also incorporates the side dish. The latter is composed of thinly sliced yellow potatoes that are deep-fried in a lot of seed oil. The taste is similar to homemade chips, while the appearance is similar to bagged chips. The fish is cooked in a mixture of white wine, aromatic herbs, and chopped lemon. It will gain flavour in this way without sacrificing the aforementioned delicacy.

Another second fish dish to take into consideration, but closer to the concept of finger food, are scallop and radicchio skewers. Equally “practical” and delicious is the cod and artichoke strudel, which stands out for its flavour and the full-bodied filling.

Side dishes for a sustainable Christmas lunch

For the side dish, I propose two dishes in particular, one traditional but revisited and one “foreign”: pumpkin caponata and Jansson’s temptation.

Caponata di zucca

The traditional caponata serves as the model for the pumpkin caponata, although the ingredient list is somewhat altered. In actuality, what we find are potatoes and pumpkin instead of aubergines and peppers. To please the taste buds with a more robust, less acidic, and sweeter version is the obvious goal. I suggest selecting a sweet pumpkin for this occasion, such as Hokkaido pumpkin, which has a taste similar to chestnuts. The traditional snow olives and vinegar make up the remainder, and these should be used to deglaze the sauce.

La tentazione di Jansson

What about Jansson’s temptation? Such a unique name can only hide an equally unique dish. In fact, it is a Swedish cuisine that can be considered a kind of gratin with potatoes, herring, and anchovies. The potatoes act as both the base and the last layer, while the herring (together with the stewed onions) forms the filling. The gratin is instead entrusted to breadcrumbs and flaked butter. The result is an extremely rich gratin for strong palates or for those who see Christmas lunch as an opportunity to eat well and lots of it.

If Jansson’s temptation is too “exotic” for your tastes, you can follow the tradition of classic baked potatoes. Here, I propose a more delicious version: puffed potatoes. Finally, try baked Jerusalem artichokes if you want to highlight exotic yet rustic components.

Desserts for a sustainable Christmas lunch

We now come to dessert, which for many represents the highlight. On the other hand, Christmas desserts are a highly debated and important gastronomic topic for the way Italians understand Christmas cuisine. Here I present to you some solutions that are not exactly traditional, in the sense that they do not refer to local cuisines but somehow use seasonal ingredients. In fact, we must not forget that the purpose of this menu is to bring sustainability to the table.

Budino di castagne

We start with a chestnut custard that will blow you away with its flavour—rustic and intensely aromatic. In reality, a lengthy process in the blender is used to combine chestnuts, dark chocolate, butter, and cognac to make the custard mixture. A topping of whipped cream and chocolate powder makes the chestnut custard visually appealing as well.

The stunning scenographic effect is already apparent: the cream’s white colour creates a pleasing contrast with the dark tones of the custard and chocolate.

Bisquit con gianduia e pistacchio

The bisque with gianduia and pistachios is equally lovely. Don’t let the name deceive you; bisque is actually a much more elastic dough that resembles sponge cake than a biscuit. The layers of a filled cake with an incredibly tender and delicious filling are formed by the bisque in this recipe. The filling is composed of gianduia cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar, and starch; it has a custard-like consistency to it. Chopped pistachios are used as the garnish, adding more flavour and crunchiness. Naturally, the only chocolate that is really suitable for making creams is dark chocolate—roughly 75% cocoa.

Additionally, I suggest that you “give in” to the allure of composite desserts. Any instances? Apart from the traditional filled pandoro, there’s the generously portioned pandoro topped with mascarpone cream and the inventive chocolate-covered Christmas tree.

5/5 (1 Review)
All rights reserved

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You can use HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Foie gras on toasted bread, an elegant appetiser...

Why is using a baguette preferable? Which bread is best to use for foie gras on toasted bread? We are talking about a French specialty, so the baguette is an absolute necessity. Among other things,...

Pandoro a stella farcito

Stuffed pandoro stars, a delicious dessert for Christmas

An exquisite filling for the stuffed pandoro stars It's worth talking about the filling, which is the real strong point of these stuffed pandoro stars. Merely consisting of two delightful...