During the holidays there is always an onslaught of meat and fish, roasted and stuffed. We thought that the vegetables in our vegetable gardens also deserve a place on the dinner tables of special occasions.

The base we started with is a simple radicchio and pomegranate salad: other than being delicious and in season, the purple and red colours inspire merriment, even in a salad.

We asked our dear chef Cristina what we needed to do to make this ordinary salad into something fit for a grand dinner occasion. Here are 3 easy ways to enhance the flavours and impress your guests.

  • Rosemary flavoured croutons

Dice about 150g (for 4 people) of stale bread and moisten with Prime Gocce extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle some chopped rosemary over the bread and bake your croutons on an oven tray lined with baking paper for about 5-6 minutes. Dress your radicchio and pomegranate salad with oil, salt and pepper, add the hot croutons and serve immediately.

  • Pan toasted bread with ricotta, thyme and lemon zest

Slice some bread (at least 5mm thick) and toast in a non-stick pan. Mix 15g ricotta (sheep ricotta if possible) with chopped thyme, lemon zest, salt, pepper and a drizzle of EVO oil and spread onto your toasts. Rest the toasts on top of your dressed salad.

  • Orange, caprino and walnuts

To the usual radicchio and pomegranate salad, we add a peeled and pithed orange, 50g walnuts and 150g of mature caprino cheese. Dress it all with salt, oil and balsamic vinegar.

We hope you like these simple ideas and we wish you happy holidays.