A holiday table set with seven fish dishes is a glorious sight to behold. Especially if you’re a lover of seafood but also enjoy the Italian holiday tradition, Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Why seven fish dishes? The Italian tradition began as a religious observance when fish was served for Christmas Eve dinner. Some say the seven fish dishes were served to represent the seven sacraments or the seven virtues. Over the years however, Feast of the Seven Fishes has become a holiday celebration enjoyed by many here in the U.S., including my family.
I read about Feast of the Seven Fishes years ago when studying culinary history and cultural food traditions. I found it so fascinating that I decided to implement something similar for my family’s celebrations of the holiday season.
I started out strong the first year. I put my heart and soul into that event – although I can’t quite remember all the dishes I prepared. I just remember how fun and delicious the evening had been. Each year since, I’ve continued the tradition of fish on Christmas Eve. Some years I go all out with an impressive spread of seafood dishes and other years it’s as simple as a Lobster alla Arribiata with braised Chard and homemade Focaccia or a large pot of seafood stew.
I have to admit, I was thrilled. Not only was I going to have the opportunity to play with food (which is a favorite part of my job) and create gorgeous, mouth-watering recipes, but because I have a giant heartfelt adoration and deep attachment to everyone involved in creating this approachable yet lush wine. I feel like part of the DaVinci family.
To begin, I created two sumptuous starters to set the festive mood and tantalize the palate.
The first appetizer is a simple crab stuffed mushrooms recipe filled with a fluffy and flavorful mixture of cream cheese, crab, fresh herbs, garlic, lemon and Parmesan cheese. Then topped with breadcrumbs for a slightly crisp finish.
The second seafood dish is another lovely nibble prepared with smoked salmon lox and an herb and lemon ricotta on garlic crostini. The creamy herb ricotta creates a gorgeous backdrop for the smoked salmon and of course pairs beautifully with the crisp, clean flavors of DaVinci Pinot Grigio.
For the next course, I created a gorgeous Insalata Frutti de Mare (an Italian seafood salad) filled with marinated and poached baby octopus along with additional treasures from the sea and paired with the fresh and distinct flavors of fennel and orange – two of my favorite combinations to pair with seafood.
This lovely seafood salad reaches absolute perfection when served with DaVinci Pinot Grigio.
The last two dishes we paired with the crisp, clean flavors of the DaVinci Pinot Grigio is the Seafood Risotto and Pesce all’ Acqua Pazza (Fish in Crazy Water).
The Fish in Crazy Water is not only tantalizing in flavor but a gorgeous and impressive dish to serve your guests.
A whole fish, pan seared and then poached in flavorful aromatics, creating a lush entrée for your holiday celebration.
These four fish recipes served with DaVinci Pinot Grigio will captivate your guests and create a memorable holiday celebration.
Wishing you and your family a most joyous and delicious holiday season!
Loads of Love,