3 ideas for a fish-based Christmas menu

Christmas Eve dinner? Christmas Day lunch? In Italy, up until a few decades ago, the traditions were set in stone: Christmas Day lunch was an absolute must in the north, while in central and southern Italy most people kicked off the festivities with a special dinner on Christmas Eve.
Yet as time passes, these traditions evolve and pick up outside influences, leaving us with something better described as a body of memories, customs and family habits which provide us with some of the most delicious food of the year.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing better than having all the family together around the table for the most special meal of the year.

In this article, we're going to discover a fish-based Christmas menu which we hope will inspire you to make the big day even more special.
The table is a meeting place, a source of sustenance and nourishment, a forum for festivity, safety and satisfaction. A cook is somebody who gives: even the simplest food is a gift.

Fish-based Christmas menu idea number one: Crispy anchovies with scamorza cheese

In search of a delicious antipasti dish which is simple to make yet will wow all your guests?

Our crispy anchovies with scamorza cheese are the perfect way to kick off a fish-based Christmas lunch.

First off, blitz 100g of white sandwich bread to make breadcrumbs. Next, blitz 100g of smoked scamorza cheese and mix with 100g of robiola cheese and a good grind of pepper. Transfer this mixture into a piping bag. Take around 24 anchovies, which should be cleaned and butterflied, and pipe some of the mixture down the middle of each one. Next, dip each anchovy into beaten egg and then into the breadcrumbs.

Fry in lots of Olive Oil for a few minutes, then remove from the pan and allow the oil to drain off. Season with salt and serve!
The secret to good fried dishes is in the raw ingredients, particularly the oil you use for frying. Our Olive Oil, for example, is made from refined olive oil and around 30% extra virgin olive oil, which is much higher than the average percentage for regular olive oils.

Fish-based Christmas menu idea number two: Risotto with citrus and prawns

Bored of the same old pasta and risotto dishes? Well, it’s your lucky day. We’ve got a fresh new idea packed with bold flavor – but that is really simple to make.

To prepare this aromatic risotto with citrus and prawns, first finely chop half an onion and sauté off with a bit of our Olive Oil. Add 240g of risotto rice to the onion and toast for a few minutes. Add a glass of dry white wine to the rice and stir, then add the juice from the citrus fruit. Add one ladle of stock at a time, along with the juice of one orange and one lemon, until the rice is cooked to your liking. When the dish has about 5 minutes of cooking remaining, add 10 cleaned, shelled and chopped prawns.
Next, prepare your garnish. Take around 12 cleaned prawns and sauté in another pan with some garlic and a drizzle of our Olive Oil.

Once the rice is cooked, add plenty of grated citrus zest, then remove from the heat and finish with a drizzle of our Extra Virgin Olive Oil Delicato. Plate up and garnish with the sautéed prawns and a few citrus slices.
By presenting a dish in a stylish and creative manner, you engage all the senses.

Fish-based Christmas menu idea number three: Sea bass with sundried tomatoes and pine nuts

The universally popular sea bass is a versatile fish with delicate white flesh. In this recipe, it’s served with sundried tomatoes and pine nuts.
First of all, clean and fillet the fish. Lay the fillets on a non-stick baking tray and season with salt, rosemary, thyme, garlic and a drizzle of Olive Oil. Bake in the oven at 160°C for around 20 minutes, watching carefully to make sure the fish doesn’t dry out. If necessary, you can add half a glass of water to the tray.

Next, drain half a jar of our Sundried Tomatoes. Roughly chop them and place them in a non-stick pan along with 20g of pine nuts and some thyme. Caramelize over a low heat. Remove the sea bass from the oven, cover with the sundried tomato and pine nut mixture and bake for a further 5-10 minutes. When ready, serve hot!
Whether you prefer a Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day lunch, the most important thing is that you make special memories with your families.
If you’d like some more ideas or recommendations for festive menus, check out the recipe section of our magazine.