The Best Holiday Recipes From Some Of Our Favorite Farmers
As the holiday season unfolds, it’s the perfect time to indulge in some of the flavors that make the Golden State remarkable. Here at California Grown, we’re thrilled to share a selection of holiday recipes that celebrate the state’s bountiful harvests. These recipes aren’t just about delicious food; they’re a tribute to the diverse produce and dedicated farmers who form the backbone of California’s agricultural scene. From the sprawling olive groves to the sun-kissed avocado farms, these dishes bring a taste of California’s farming heritage to your holiday table.
1. The DeLeonardis Family’s Cowboy Caviar
Olives reimagined in what will surely be a family favorite in your house, too!
Introducing the DeLeonardis family – olive farmers and enthusiasts who have crafted a unique twist on the traditional Cowboy Caviar recipe. This dish is a vibrant mix of olives, tomatoes, and corn, showcasing the unique and bold flavors that California olives add to your holiday spread.
2. The Bruce Family’s California Avocado and Smoked Salmon on Homemade Bagel Chips With Wasabi Cream
A truly delightful and easy appetizer your guests will love this holiday season.
Meet Mark and Linda Bruce, whose love for avocados is evident in this recipe combining the smooth texture of avocados with the refined taste of smoked salmon. This dish is perfect for an elegant holiday appetizer or a festive family brunch.
3. Classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from California Raisin Growers
The ultimate holiday cookie recipe with raisins!
Enjoy the natural sweetness of California raisins in these incredible oatmeal raisin cookies. These treats are a nod to the sunny vineyards and the hardworking raisin growers of California, bringing a special touch to your holiday table.
4. Fiscalini Family’s Gourmet Three-Cheese Mac & Cheese
A childhood classic side dish reimagined.
5. Renae DeJager’s Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cake)
Buttery bliss in every almond-loaded bite!
6. Areias Family’s Queijadas de Limao (Portuguese Cupcakes)
A lemony Portuguese delight that is perfect for the holiday season.
7. Margaret’s Special Grape Pie
A grape masterpiece for your holiday dessert table.
8. Roasted Figs with Brussels Sprouts
A sensational holiday side dish with figs!
This recipe from the Schafer family brings the seasonal charm of California-grown figs to your holiday table. Fresh figs from California are in season from June through the first frost, so this dish is perfect for Thanksgiving and in California can even be served during December holidays too!
9. Temecula Olive Oil Company’s Lemon Olive Oil Cake
A lemon-laced slice of perfection, literally.
This dessert is undeniably moist yet perfectly crumbly, and each bite greets your taste buds with an intense but refined burst of citrus, followed by the subtle, intricate notes of world-class California olive oil. This is not just any run-of-the-mill lemon cake recipe; this is Temecula Olive Oil Company’s
D’Luscious Lemon Lavender Berry Bundt recipe, and it’s about to change the way you think about cake.
10. Pistachio + White Chocolate Chip Cookies from Keenan Farms
A perfectly crunchy pistachio cookie for the holiday season.
Keenan Farms in Kettleman City, California is a family-owned farm that has been in business since 1972. Today, they are the oldest and one of the largest pistachio processors in the United States. So you can be sure that they know a thing or two about pistachios. Their famous recipe for Pistachio White Chocolate Chip Cookies is irresistible! They’re crisp on the edges, tender in the middle, and have plenty of crunch from 2 whole cups of California pistachios.
11. Old-fashioned Prune Cake from the Mitchell Family.
It is an irresistible classic that you’ll love at first bite!
If you think you don’t like prunes, we dare you to try the Mitchell Family‘s Old-Fashioned Prune Cake recipe. A soft, prune-studded spice cake covered in a buttery-sweet glaze that has everyone going back for another slice (or two.) Not convinced? What if we told you that it’s the Pioneer Woman‘s favorite too! It’s time to get on the bandwagon.
12. Ultimate Sweetpotato and Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
These are the things that holiday breakfast dreams are made of!
For many people, Christmas morning is synonymous with cinnamon rolls, either on their own or as part of a decadent brunch spread.
Sweet potatoes may tantalize your taste buds, but how well do you understand them? There are some myths surrounding this root vegetable. First, it’s essential to note that a sweet potato is NOT the same as a yam. It also differs from its standard potato counterparts, which are tubers. And get this: the word is actually sweetpotato. According to California Sweetpotatoes, “sweetpotato” is correct because their product is not, in fact, a sweet potato – it’s an entirely different vegetable.
13. Holiday Seasoned Walnuts from California Walnuts
An easy appetizer, snack, or DIY gift for a fellow foodie.
Over 99% of walnuts grown in the United States come from California! Our fertile soils and temperate weather allow these trees to really thrive. Walnuts are available year-round in California. They’re one of the many commodities always in season in the Golden State. This means you can make this delicious, seasoned walnut recipe all year long!
14. Apple Cheddar Hand Pies with California Apples
A portable dessert that everyone will rave about!
This pocket-sized holiday dessert has everything you could want in a slice of apple pie – a tender, flaky crust, warm cinnamon apple filling, and no need for a fork or plate.
Apples are grown in orchards throughout the Golden State, but need cooler nighttime temperatures to really thrive. For this reason, many of California’s apple orchards are located near the coast or at higher foothill elevations. The exception is San Joaquin County, where the apple orchards benefit from the cooling Delta breeze.
Are you looking for a celebratory sipper for the holidays? Apple cider from the Golden State is a celebration staple for many families, and can easily be found nationwide.
15. California Artichoke and Spinach Dip
A classic appetizer your friends and family will rave about!
The Golden State is responsible for 99% of the nation’s commercially grown artichokes. While fresh artichokes are only available from March to May and in October. Frozen artichoke hearts and jarred artichokes are available year-round, which means you can still make this delightful dish all year long.
This classic, creamy dip recipe is loaded with spinach, canned artichokes, sautéed onion, garlic, and a mix of creamy, cheesy ingredients that will make you weak in the knees.
16. California Artichoke and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts
An epic main dish that is incredibly easy and impressive too!
“Cook once and eat twice” is a motto we can really stand behind! This Spinach Artichoke Dip is a great appetizer, but it’s also great for other recipes like these stuffed chicken breasts.
17. California Olive and Wild Rice Salad
The perfect side dish for any occasion all year long!
Packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and a unique flavor profile, California wild rice is an ancient grain that is a versatile and delicious addition to any meal.
This olive and wild rice salad is chock full of always-in-season ingredients like jarred peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and canned artichokes, as well as both green and black California Ripe Olives.
18. The Easiest Hot Honey Recipe with honey from California
Spice up holiday cheeseboards and charcuterie platters with just a drizzle.
Once a year, over half of all commercial beehives in the United States undergo the largest pollination event in the world – in California! In each of these 1 million beehives live 30,000-60,000 worker bees tasked with pollinating the vast acreage of almond orchards in the Central Valley. This results in some of the most delicious honey in the world!
19. California 75 Cocktail from Discover California Wines
A cocktail that celebrates the Golden State.
California’s fertile soils and temperate climate allow wine grapes to thrive throughout most of the state.
This sensational wine cocktail with lemons is as bright and effervescent as the ocean views you’ll see driving down California SR75 to sunny San Diego. If you are a fan of a classic French 75, you will love our SoCal-inspired spin. This lemon cocktail calls for sparkling wine and dry vermouth from California in place of the gin called for in the classic version.
These holiday recipes represent more than culinary creations; they celebrate the families who nurture the produce and the traditions that create holiday memories. As you prepare and savor these delicious recipes, remember the dedication and care that go into every aspect of California’s agricultural produce.
Did you find a few new holiday recipes that you want to try? Check out our Pinterest page and follow us on social (@cagrown) for many other amazing recipes starring California Grown produce, fun facts, and awesome giveaways!
Be sure to use #CAGROWN when you make these holiday recipes and post a photo so we can celebrate the season with you too!