This year, challenge yourself to make Christmas dinner using as much produce and products made locally as possible. If you’re unfamiliar with the farm-to-table concept, eating locally has many benefits: It provides a boost for Bermuda’s economy and support for local farmers and helps limit our carbon footprint as produce grown here doesn’t have far to travel to your dinner plate. With that in mind, a farm-to-table Christmas dinner is a great idea and a throwback to bygone days when Bermudian families had to create Christmas feasts using what they had available to them locally. We’ve put together a farm-to-table menu using local produce and products available from various farm on the island, which we invite you to use for your own farm-to-table Christmas dinner.
Turkey and Cassava Harvested from Wadson’s Farm
For the freshest Christmas turkey there is only one choice: Wadson’s Farm. Their turkeys are fed only organic feed and they receive plenty of fresh air and sunshine up on Wadson’s Farm in Southampton. The birds are $10 per lb and are still happily nibbling away on feed, getting plump for a Christmas feast!
And while you’re at Wadson’s Farm collecting your fresh turkey, pick up some frozen cassava too. Grown and harvested in Southampton, you’ll be hard up to find more delicious cassava available for pie-making. If you’ve never made cassava pie before, check out these Cassava Recipes from Four Well-Known Bermudians.
Fresh Broccoli Available from Amaral Farms
The fresh broccoli crowns at Amaral’s in Devonshire simply can’t be beat! We love the idea of making a Christmas wreath from the florets to serve as a crudite at a Christmas party or Boxing Day open house. The recipe is an easy one: Cut broccoli into small florets. Tightly pack florets into a ring mold with stems facing in. Add a small handful of cherry tomatoes, placing each tomato decoratively throughout the “wreath”. In the centre, add a small bowl and fill with either BermyFresh hummus or a dip of your choosing. You can make a red bow using red pepper, if you’d like.
Sweet Potatoes and Carrots from J&J Produce
J&J Produce’s sweet potatoes are delicious and when roasted, make for the perfect side dish for Christmas. Our favourite recipe is for a Sweet Potato Casserole that is both vegan and gluten-free and includes a crunchy pecan topping.
Vegan and Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole
4 to 5 large sweet potatoes
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
For the Crunchy Pecan Topping:
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 1/3 cups chopped pecans
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
Peel and roughly chop sweet potatoes into large chunks. Place into a large pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and gently boil for 10 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray 9×11 casserole dish or use one that is non-stick.
Prepare the crunchy nut topping: Pour oats into a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. In a mixing bowl, add the chopped pecans, oats, cinnamon, salt and stir to combine. Pour in the maple syrup. Mix until combined, using your hands if needed. Set aside.
Drain the cooked sweet potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl and mash until smooth.
Stir in the maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Adjust to taste if needed. Dump into casserole dish and evenly smooth out.
Sprinkle the crunch nut topping all over the sweet potato mixture, evenly.
Bake, uncovered, at 375°F for 20 minutes, until the dish is hot throughout. Plate and serve immediately.
J&J Produce also have fresh carrots available for Christmas, and as every Bermudian knows, our island’s carrot crop is the best in the world! Crunchy, sweet and full of carotene, fresh carrots can be enjoyed any way but for our Christmas table, our carrots are honey glazed and oven roasted.
Honey Glazed Oven Roasted Carrots
1 lb fresh carrots carrots, peeled, washed and patted dry
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 400.
In a small bowl, add carrots, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of salt & pepper.
Drizzle with Olive oil and toss to coat evenly.
Spread carrots out on a sheet pan.
Drizzle with honey.
Roast for 15 minutes or until carrots become tender and start to caramelize.
BermyFresh Microgreens and Tucker’s Farm Goats Cheese
The Tucker Brothers: Scott and James are farming aficionados, each one working hard year-round to yield a delicious and nutritious crop for their thousands of hungry customers. Scott’s BermyFresh Farm specializes in locally grown and harvested microgreens, which are small in size but pack a powerful punch when it comes to health benefits (some varieties pack up to 6 times the nutrients of their mature counterparts) and are the perfect addition to soups, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and more. Tucker’s Farm Goats Cheese, owned and run by James is an island favourite. With several varieties of soft, creamy and flavorful cheeses, it’s not uncommon for Tucker’s products to sell out of stores completely. This recipe for Warm Goats Cheese Dip includes both Tucker’s Farm Goats Cheese and BermyFresh microgreens and is sure to be a hit at your holiday gathering.
Warm Goats Cheese and Microgreen Dip
10 ounces goat cheese (crumbled)
4 ounces cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
4 ounces greek yogurt (softened to room temperature)
1/2 cup gruyere cheese (finely grated)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pesto (store-bought)
1 package of crackers for dipping
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and spray a 1-quart baking dish with a non-stick spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the goat cheese, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, Gruyere cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pesto and a dash of salt and black pepper. Fold the ingredients together until combined and smooth.
3. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let rest for just a minute and then top with fresh microgreens.
4. Serve immediately.