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Where to Begin: Experimenting with Color on your Spring Holiday Table

Alright…Spring Holidays are upon us and a lot of the old favorites are expected on the family gathering table. Deviled eggs, ham, potato casseroles and other creamy (and yes, delicious ) dishes that have so much nostalgia attached to them get set out for all to enjoy.
I am not saying to disappoint everyone and change the familiar family holiday table…but we can add a few new things to try in keeping with the ‘eating in color’ theme we have been practicing lately.

Here are just a few recipes I found here and there that I really like. You may peruse a cookbook or two and find one or two of your own. Let’s simply offer a few fresh options. A new pop of color to add to our already beautiful tables.


From The Culinary Institute of America’s cookbook

Artichoke Ceviche in Belgian Endive (A very nice appetizer)

4 Artichokes
1 Lemon
1 cup diced plum tomato
½ cup red onion julienne
1 scallion thinly sliced on diagonal
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp finely minced jalapeno or to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lime juice
12 Belgian endive spears

1) Trim stems, outer leaves, cut in half and cut out chokes from artichokes, cover with water and in a small pot and add lemon slices and salt. Simmer over high heat until tender and then cool and slice. (takes about 15-20 minutes)
2) Toss artichokes, red onions, tomato, scallions, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno together. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss until evenly coated and refrigerate for 2 to 12 hours. (Overnight is easiest and most delicious)
3) After it has marinated for a while or overnight, taste and season accordingly and then spoon onto endive spears.

Beautiful, colorful and light! Just enough to tease the palate, but not so heavy that guests are too full for dinner!


Another favorite of mine to place on the Holiday table is quick pickled beets. Seriously, on a big white platter, they glisten like big Garnets or some other gem!
And it could not be any easier…….

Quick Pickled Beets

6 medium beets washed and stems trimmed
1/3 cup Cider vinegar (I happen to love Bragg’s Apple cider Vinegar)
1/3 cup olive oil
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Peel beets and place in a pot of cold water. Cover and bring to a boil…throw and bit of salt in the pot (about 2 teaspoons)
Reduce heat to maintain a nice rolling boil and cook until beets are tender. About 30 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, slice into ¼ inch slices and arrange or fan out onto a plate.
Whisk together vinegar and olive oil and season to taste.
Drizzle dressing over beets and set whole beautiful thing on the table.


I am a sucker for fresh green beans and they always add that wonderful snap of new green color to the table if they haven’t been overcooked or covered in sauce.

We are all familiar with the ‘green bean casserole’ covered in crispy canned onions, and I am not saying we don’t offer what everyone is waiting for. But maybe just a small bowl of bright green beans can be offered also, for those who may want to try something a bit more light.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy green beans is to melt some Ghee (clarified butter available at any health food store or Asian market)…..and allow two or three chopped shallots to cook gently over a medium heat.
Once they begin to become translucent and make the house smell incredible, throw your washed and trimmed fresh green beans in the pan and toss often to coat beans with the shallots and Ghee. Salt and pepper taste.
Cook until beans are a bright, vibrant green and are still snappy when you bite into them. Yummy!

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