Holiday Recipes that can Take your Gathering to the Next Level

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 It can be easy to impress your holiday guests without overdoing it in the kitchen by putting to use recipes that require little time to prep. After all, those precious moments with loved ones are meant for reflection and conversation, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for lesser dishes.

Appetizers like Beet Carpaccio Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts and Caprese Avocado Toast provide aesthetic appeal and taste to tide appetites. As one of the key ingredients, Filippo Berio Classic Balsamic Glaze adds tanginess and artistic flair for flavorful small bites.

Go above and beyond with a main course that’s prepped in 10 minutes and ready in less than two hours like this Rosemary and Raspberry Balsamic Roasted Leg of Lamb, which can be the center of attention as guests dig in for a delightful meal.

Finally, for a nightcap worth celebrating, this Dark Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake can serve a crowd thanks to ingredients like Filippo Berio Raspberry Balsamic glaze, providing tangy, fruity flavor with its rich, smooth blend of raspberry juice and balsamic vinegar of Modena.

Find more holiday recipes that can take your gathering to the next level at

Rosemary and Raspberry Balsamic Roasted Leg of Lamb
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Roasted Leg of Lamb:
3          tablespoons Filippo Berio Olive Oil
2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Raspberry Balsamic Glaze
1          tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
4          teaspoons grainy mustard
1          bone-in leg of lamb (about 6 pounds)
2          cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1          teaspoon salt 
1          teaspoon pepper
3          onions, quartered
1          cup water

3          tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2       cup dry red wine
4          cups chicken stock
2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Raspberry Balsamic Glaze
1          sprig fresh rosemary
1/2       teaspoon salt
1/4       teaspoon pepper

To make Roasted Leg of Lamb: Heat oven to 400 F. In bowl, whisk olive oil, raspberry balsamic glaze, rosemary and mustard; set aside.

Make small incisions in lamb and insert garlic slices. Rub olive oil mixture over lamb. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to roasting pan fitted with rack. Add onions; pour water into bottom of pan.

Roast 80-90 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145 F for medium-rare, adding water to pan as needed to avoid scorching and onions drying out.

Transfer lamb to carving board and tent with foil.

To make Gravy: Place roasting pan on stovetop over medium-high heat; stir in flour. Whisk in wine; boil 1-2 minutes, or until reduced by half. Whisk in chicken stock and raspberry balsamic glaze. Add rosemary; bring to boil and simmer 8-10 minutes, or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with lamb.

Dark Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Servings: 12

1 1/2    cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3       cup Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil
1/4       cup packed brown sugar

3/4       cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1          tablespoon Filippo Berio Classic Balsamic Glaze
3          packages (8 ounces each) brick-style cream cheese, room temperature
1          cup granulated sugar
3          eggs
1          cup sour cream
1          teaspoon vanilla

Cherry Topping:
3          cups frozen cherries
3/4       cup packed brown sugar
1          tablespoon Filippo Berio Olive Oil
1/2       cup water, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
2          tablespoons cornstarch
2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Classic Balsamic Glaze

To make Crust: Heat oven to 350 F.

Mix graham wafer crumbs, oil and sugar; press into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 minutes; let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F.

To make Filling: In heatproof bowl set over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in balsamic glaze. Let cool slightly.

Using electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, sugar and melted chocolate mixture until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in sour cream and vanilla; pour over crust.

Wrap outside of springform pan in heavy-duty foil. Set inside roasting pan and pour in boiling water until halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake 90-100 minutes, or until sides are set and center is still slightly jiggly; cool 5 minutes. Run knife between cheesecake and pan; cool completely. Refrigerate 24 hours.

To make Cherry Topping: In small saucepan over medium heat, bring cherries, sugar, olive oil and 1/2 cup water to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5-6 minutes, or until sugar dissolves.

Whisk cornstarch with remaining water; whisk into mixture. Cook about 3 minutes, or until thickened.

Transfer to bowl; cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to one day. Spoon over cheesecake; drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Beet Carpaccio Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts
Prep time: 10 min
Servings: 4

1 1/2    pounds roasted beets
2          cups microgreens
4          ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/4       cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Classic Balsamic Glaze
1/4       teaspoon flaked sea salt
1/4       teaspoon cracked pepper

Heat oven to 400 F.

Using chef’s knife or mandoline, thinly slice beets; arrange on platter.

Arrange microgreens over beets; scatter with goat cheese. Sprinkle hazelnuts over top and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Caprese Avocado Toast with Balsamic Glaze
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Robusto Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4          slices rustic Italian bread, about 3/4-inch thick
1          large clove garlic, halved
2          small ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1          tablespoon lemon juice
1/4       cup torn fresh basil, divided
1/2       teaspoon salt, divided
1/2       teaspoon pepper, divided
1          large ripe tomato, sliced
8          ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/4       teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1/4       cup Filippo Berio Classic Balsamic Glaze

Heat oven to broil; position rack at highest level. Brush olive oil over both sides of each slice of bread; broil, turning once, 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Rub cut side of garlic clove over bread while still hot.

Mash together avocados, lemon juice, 1/8 cup basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; spread over one side of each slice of bread. Top with tomato slices; season with remaining salt and pepper. Top with mozzarella slices; sprinkle with hot pepper flakes.

Drizzle each slice of bread with balsamic glaze. Sprinkle with remaining basil; serve immediately.

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