Edible Holidays: Our Favorite Recipes from the West

By Amy Capetta | December 15, 2014
Photo by Kelsey Skiver

From San Francisco to San Luis Obispo, there’s nothing quite like catching your own holiday meal during Dungeness crab season. In Portland, this time of year is about a different shellfish – meaty Pacific oysters.  In Vancouver, Canada, we found a gingerbread recipe shared for generations that's perfect for your holiday table. Check out these and other recipes from the pages of Edible magazines that evoke the spirit of the season throughout the West. Did your go-to meal make the list? Scroll down to find a region near you and tell us about your must-make local holiday recipe on our Facebook page.

Edible Aspen — Rustic Bread
Aspen, CO
What could be more comforting on a cold day than a loaf of rustic, homemade bread right out of the oven? This local recipe from Linda Romero Criswell of Carbondale is sure to be habit-forming.


Edible Baja Arizona — Four Course Meal Featuring Mole Negro Tamales 
Tucson & the Borderlands, Arizona

Nothing says holidays in this southwest region quite like steaming tamales and a mug of hot atole. This four-course meal is not only rich in tradition but includes a number of native and local ingredients, such as fresh mole and pecans. 

Edible East Bay — Salt-Cured Ahi Tuna Tataki
Alameda & Contra Costa Counties, CA
This Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes appetizer comes from Chef Rick Hackett of Bocanova in Oakland, CA. Chef Hackett says to sear the tuna in a light flavorless oil such as grape seed oil, so as not to detract from the flavor of the salt cure or tuna itself.


Edible Front Range (Colorado) — Chocolate en Fuego
Front Range, CO

The Beverage Director at Boulder’s SALT the Bistro has given the classic hot cocoa an over-21 twist, thanks to Reposado Tequila and Peppermint Schnapps.

Edible Hawaiian Islands — Tropical Rocky Road Bread Pudding
Hawaiian Islands

This holiday comfort food is made with a variety of local island ingredients, including King’s Hawaiian Bread, as well as tropical fruits and nuts. 

Edible Idaho South — Pork Solomo
Southern Idaho

While pork is the meat that’s traditionally used in this hearty, spicy dish, it could easily be swapped for local bear. 

Edible Marin & Wine Country — Gluten-free Chocolate and Almond Cake with Poached Pears and Fresh Cranberries
Marin, Napa & Sonoma Counties, CA

Inspired by French yogurt style cakes, Heather Hardcastle of San Anselmo’s Flour Craft Bakery says this dessert could also be served during breakfast. 

Edible Monterey Bay — Pepper Jam
Monterey, Santa Cruz & San Benito Counties, CA

Jordan Champagne, co-owner and founder of Happy Girl Kitchen Co. in Pacific Grove, shares this hot and sweet four-ingredient recipe that she received from an east coast friend. 

Edible Ojai & Ventura County — Balsamic Roasted Figs with Vegetables
Ventura County, CA

Turn fresh figs into a savory holiday side dish with this easy recipe. The earthy flavors of the figs pair perfectly with the sweet acidity of the balsamic vinegar.

Edible Orange County — Butternut Squash Soup
Orange County, CA

The three main ingredients in this savory soup—butternut squash, tomatoes and red bell peppers—can be found at local farms and markets throughout the OC.

Edible Phoenix — Sourdough Bread
Phoenix, AZ

This detailed recipe for a beloved holiday comfort food comes from Chef Molly Beverly, a creative food activist and teacher at Prescott College.

Edible Portland — Oysters
Portland, OR

Whether served raw, gently simmered, fried or baked, one of the most treasured foods in the state is this shellfish, particularly the meaty Pacific Oysters of Netarts Bay and Yaquina Bay. 

Edible Reno-Tahoe — Pahranagat Punch 
Reno & Lake Tahoe, NV

This modern day, 11-ingredient punch recipe, which comes from 1864 Tavern, celebrates Nevada’s diverse agriculture and authentic wildlife. 

Edible Sacramento — Herbed Pork Involtini with Pecorino
Sacramento, CA

Pork cutlets spread with a filling and rolled is a favorite Italian dish. Try a luxury filling for the holidays like white trues or fresh porcini mushrooms.

Edible San Diego — Pumpking Bisque with Cinnamon Crema 
San Diego, CA

This thick and creamy seasonal soup can be given an authentic flair by using fresh pumpkin from a local farmers market. 

Edible San Francisco — Bucatini with Crab, Pepperoncini and Créme Fraiche 
San Francisco, CA

There’s nothing like catching your own dinner during the Dungeness crab season in the Bay Area, says a local recipe developer who pairs a pickled pepper flavor with this pasta shellfish dish.

Edible San Luis Obispo — Dungeness Crabs Two Ways
San Luis Obispo County, CA

Whether boiled or steamed, both recipes call for live crabs, a popular local line fresh catch throughout the holiday season. 

Edible Santa Barbara — Pascale’s Local Red Rock Crab Salad
Santa Barbara, CA

A recipe created by Pascale Beale, owner of Santa Barbara’s culinary online boutique, this seafood salad is served with shaved fennel and avocado vinaigrette. 

Edible Santa Fe — Green Chile Blue Corn Posole 
North Central New Mexico

Posole, a beloved New Mexico winter comfort food made from dried corn, is the main ingredient in this simple-to-create appetizer or side dish. 

Edible Seattle — Holiest Holiday Shortbread
Seattle, WA

What makes this buttery shortbread unique is the emmer flour, a summer-staple at numerous farmers markets in the Seattle area, which gives this treat an earthy flavor. 

Edible Shasta-Butte (Chico, California) — Chico Chai Tea 
Butte County, CA

Local brewmistress Sarah Adams’ offers her version of Indian chai masala at the Chico Farmers Market—a blend of warm spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger and many more. 

Edible Silicon Valley — Fiji Crab Curry
Silicon Valley, CA

A flavorful Christmas Eve dish that combines south Asian spices with local Dungeness crab, this recipe was shared by the food forager at Whole Foods in Fremont. 

Edible Vancouver & Wine Country—Gingerbread (Mom Skanes' Recipe)
Vancouver, Canada
This local family recipe for gingerbread, handed down for generations, is as moist as it is rich. Its fine texture and strong ginger flavor make it a standout addition to the table.


Edible Wasatch (Salt Lake City, Utah) — Braised Lamb with Jewel Vegetables and Celeriac & Russet Puree
Salt Lake City, UT

Jim Light, Executive Chef at Viking Cooking School, braises a local lamb with a bounty of ingredients—from the thyme sprigs to the root veggies—that can be found at local farmers' markets.