Welcome family and friends to the Christmas table with a showstopping feast that captures the magic of the season. Here, we share an inspired menu that’s made for a special occasion, plus our best tips for pulling off a memorable meal.
Nothing marks the beginning of a celebration quite like raw oysters. Our Oysters on the Half Shell with Tarragon Mignonette are served on crushed ice with a zesty, herbal accompaniment. For another elegant hors d’oeuvre, serve these refreshing Crab and Cucumber Canapes.
Bring color and freshness to the meal with a hearty salad that’s perfect for crisp winter evenings. This Endive Salad with Persimmon and Pomegranate stars some of the season’s best ingredients: pleasantly bitter greens, sweet persimmon and bright pomegranate seeds.
A special occasion calls for an impressive centerpiece, and an Herb-Crusted Prime Rib Roast is as awe-inspiring as it is delicious. On the side, serve an Herbed Potato and Celery Root Puree — the addition of celery root gives the smooth potatoes a fresh, interesting flavor. A dish of Sauteed Spinach with Currants and Pine Nuts offers a range of tastes and textures but comes together quickly.
Dessert showcases another of the season’s best ingredients: pears. This Winter Pear Trifle combines the rich, deep flavors of chocolate cake, vanilla-poached pears and decadent whipped mascarpone. Plus, it creates a dramatic ending to an unforgettable night.
- 1 to 2 days ahead: Make the mignonette sauce for the oysters. Season the prime rib with the herb mixture, cover and refrigerate. Make the cake and poach the pears for the trifle.
- Day of: Finish the dessert; cover and refrigerate. Make the potato-celery root puree; reheat before serving.
- Before serving: Roast the prime rib. Assemble the canapes. Make the salad and the sauteed spinach. Shuck and prepare the oysters.
Not sure what wines to serve with the meal? See our Holiday Wine Guide for ideas — this Chateau d’Agel Caudios, a French Syrah, shows dark black fruits and a herbaceous richness that complement prime rib to perfection.
To create a lively and festive table, mix and match patterns, but keep it cohesive by staying in the same color family. Here, we layer berry-printed plates and napkins over larger tartan plates and a tartan tablecloth. Etched highball glasses with wintry scenes add even more cheer.
Special touches are what bring holidays to life and give them a permanent place in our memories. Bells tied on ribbons or Christmas crackers — choose something that speaks to your own family traditions.
A warm and inviting table is full of natural elements that make us feel at home. Instead of a grand centerpiece, arrange painted pine cones down the length of the table, or place a sprig of holly at each place setting. Combine antler candle holders with regular taper candles for a variety of heights and shapes. It’s the perfect time of year to be a bit playful and whimsical with your decor.