9 Crowd-Pleasing Recipes to Create the Perfect Holiday Feast

While gifts can often be the centre of attention during the holiday season, as far as we’re concerned food comes a very close second. And regardless of how your festive celebrations might look this year, if you’ve been asked to bring a plate, or you’re taking on the responsibility of playing host, there’s no need to panic - because we’ve got all your recipe bases covered.

But instead of whipping out the same repertoire of dishes you use every year, why not have some fun and opt for a summery, Italian-inspired affair with beautiful summers fruits and produce on show? 

From delicious starters (think homemade focaccia), to memorable desserts (hello pavlova), keep reading for the recipes your guests won't forget and that you’ll happily eat the leftovers of for weeks to come and 

9 Recipes You Need to Create the Perfect Holiday Feast

Starters

1. Focaccia with leeks, ricotta and honey

A tried and (very well) tested classic, this homemade focaccia looks seriously impressive. It's actually super easy to execute, making it the perfect fail-safe starter.

2. The ultimate cheese board

A cheese board is a definite crowdpleaser and a great way to start or end a meal. They are easy to prepare and can be done so in advance, and there's no cooking involved! However, there are some tricks involved with creating beautiful and delicious cheeseboard and Lia Townsend has them down pat. 

 

3. Seared Stone Fruit Salad With Goat Cheese, Mint and Pistachios

This fresh dish is incredibly simple to throw together and serve but will really level up your salad game. The sweetness from the apricot and peach, spice from the peppery rocket, creaminess from the goat cheese, crunch from the almonds and pistachios, freshness from the mint, and a subtle punch from the zesty vinaigrette creates the perfect balance of textures and flavours. 

Mains

4. Cavatelli With Green Sauce, Pangrattato and Burrata

Not only is this spectacular pasta dish delicious, it looks the part too. Leeks are softened in melted butter, combined with vibrant vegetables and a splash of white wine to create a luxurious, silky sauce. And if that wasn't enough, it's topped with creamy burrata and golden pangrattato. We're confident this will become a go-to pasta dish of yours well after the festive season.

5. Fettuccine With Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Eggplant and Burrata

Sian Redgrave's take on a simple tomato-based pasta is the recipe you didn't know you needed this festive season. The bright cherry tomatoes give it a decidedly festive look and the delightfully creamy burrata will have guests tucking in for seconds. 

 

6. Classic Italian Peperoni Ripieni

This flavourful vegetarian recipe is one that meat-lovers will also get excited about. Tender capsicums are filled with black olives, eggplant, tomatoes, mozzarella and capers and are topped with fresh basil and Italian parsley so that each mouthful is like a taste of Italy - buon appetito!

Dessert

7. Tiramisu With Amaretto and Toasted Hazelnuts

There's a reason this Italian coffee dessert is so loved. The very definition of 'Tiramisu' is 'pick me up', and this lovely take on the classic dessert will do just that. With luxuriously rich cream layers, hints of espresso, bursts of rum and Amaretto, delicately soaked ladyfingers, crunchy hazelnuts and a light dusting of chocolate — what's not to love?

8. Pavlova With Crème Fraiche, Plums and Almond Flakes

Pavlova is a true staple in many Australian and New Zealander's dessert repertoires. This meringue-based dish is light and fluffy but feels perfectly decadent. Anastasia Zolotarev's delicious rendition of the classic sweet is topped with crème fraiche, plums, and almond flakes - We promise you'll be back for seconds.

9.  Strawberry Shortcake

It's pretty difficult to be disappointed by one of cake queen Katherine Sabbath's divine recipes, and this strawberry shortcake practically screams the holiday season with its red and white look. It's delightfully crumbly and topped with freshly whipped vanilla bean cream and juicy marinated strawberries.

 

Enjoyed this? 6 Entertaining Mistakes to Avoid During the Festive Season.

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