by Julia Howard
Enjoying a festive meal with family and friends is at the heart of every holiday celebration. But before serving up a crowd-pleasing feast, planning is required, and the Saratoga Farmers’ Market can help.
Local farms and businesses have delicious, flavorful products to consider when brainstorming dinner ideas. We recommend finding fresh ingredients at the farmers’ market before gathering recipes so that your meal comes together quickly and effortlessly. Let’s begin with the main course.
The main course should be a show-stopping dish, and local farms have various options. Grass-fed and finished beef roasts, brisket, and classic cuts like NY strip steak and ribeye are available, as well as veal cutlets, steaks, and roasts. Beefitswhatsfordinner.com has many recipes, like a maple-glazed rib roast, round roast with chocolate-port sauce, and classic braised beef brisket.
Goat roasts, rib roasts, riblets, chops, and shanks are available at the farmers’ market, making goat another delicious main course option.
For poultry, whole turkeys are available, half turkeys, and parts for smaller gatherings. Farms bring whole chickens for roasting, and seasoned chickens are available from King Creek Farms. Squash Villa Farm brings fresh ducks, and they recommend preordering. Ask the farmer for the best cooking methods and cooking time per pound.
Pork makes an excellent holiday main course, and pasture-raised pork tenderloin, roasts, and chops are available from Pork and Greens and Jireh Farm.
For mouth-watering side dishes, we look to healthful, locally-grown produce packed with flavor. Farms are bringing everything from fresh salad greens and herbs to root vegetables, and options are boundless if you create a menu from what’s available at the farmers’ market.
You can make latkes with russet potatoes or sweet potatoes and onions. Roasted carrots are easy to prepare and pair well with any main course. Parsnips and rutabagas make creamy purees that can be enhanced with garlic and fresh herbs. A tray of crispy, savory smashed potatoes is easy to make and a holiday favorite. Even local apples and honey can make a sweet rice kugel side dish.
Shaved carrots or Brussels sprouts sing with simple vinaigrettes for light side dishes. Salads with bitter greens balance rich meats and starches. And microgreens and shoots offer a refreshing burst of flavor to holiday foods.
Other must-haves for the holiday table are kimchi and pak dong from Puckers Pickles, artisan sourdough bread from Night Work Bread, and applesauce from Saratoga Apple, just to name a few.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Wilton Mall Food Court. Find us online at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org, where you can sign