Oregon’s Holiday Table

December 7, 2015 (Updated November 10, 2018)

Oregon offers a rich store of raw ingredients from all corners of the state. From grass-fed beef on the Eastern plains to wild mushrooms in the Coast range and wine from the Willamette Valley, we’ve got what you need to create the perfect locavore holiday meal. So what’s on the menu? Here’s what we’ll be dishing up.

Tom VanVoorhees, Rogue Creamery shop manager, recommends everything you’ll need for an Oregon holiday cheese plate. (Photo credit: Jared Cruce)

Cheese plate

Here’s what Tom VanVoorhees, shop manager of Central Point-based Rogue Creamery, is a big fan of River’s Edge chevre from Three Ring Farm in Lebanon; Portland-based Ancient Heritage Dairy’s firm sheep cheese; aged gouda from Willamette Valley Cheese Company in Salem; and Rogue’s Caveman Blue and Mount Mazama.

Take your pick of the freshest winter vegetables at the year-round Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University. (Photo credit: Susan Seubert)


Oregon chanterelles are a beloved part of fall and winter in Oregon, a classy way to liven up any wintry dish. Oregon black truffles are another kind of fungi all together, and come into season for a short time typically in January. Keep your eyes peeled for the annual Oregon Truffle Festival events in January in Portland and the Willamette Valley, but know that you may become addicted.


One way to choose your favorite wine for the table is to head out and taste for yourself. That’s easy to do in cellar season in the Willamette Valley — when the cooler months mean fewer crowds in the tasting rooms. The same goes for tasting rooms across the state. The bold reds in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, in particular, complement any hearty dish. For a festive touch, pick up a bottle (or two) of the brand new 2014 Sparkling Brut Rose from Adelsheim Vineyard in Newberg, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of their first harvest in 2018. This is their first ever vintage of sparkling wine — a bright and bubbly affair with the freshness of Mt. Hood strawberries, Ranier cherries and wild apple blossoms. 


The centerpiece of our table is a grassfed four-bone rib roast on hay and herbs from Lynne Curry, a food writer and cookbook author from Eastern Oregon. (Don’t worry if you’re short on hay; it’s optional, but admittedly inspiring!)

Find more inspiration for meat, seafood and plenty of vegetarian dishes in any of these top Oregon-based cookbooks.


Seasonal sides

Take your pick of the freshest winter vegetables and a crusty baguette at the year-round Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University. And courtesy of Justin Wills at Restaurant Beck, try this wild mushroom dish.

Chanterelle mushrooms with pear, shallot confit, and vanilla bean
2 pounds chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and hand torn
1 pound bosc pears, peeled and diced
8 ounces shallot confit
½ vanilla bean, scraped and seeds reserved
2 ounces unsalted butter
2 ounces oil reserved from shallot confit

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter and reserved oil from confit. Add confit and cook until fragrant. Add vanilla bean seeds and scraped pod. Add mushrooms and pears and cook until lightly caramelized. Remove vanilla bean pod before serving.



Megan Davis, owner of Hood River’s Pine Street Bakery, offers a traditional apple pie made with heirloom apples from Pasch Orchards.

Pine Street Bakery Apple Pie
2 rounds of your favorite all-butter piecrust
2.5 pounds apples (a mix of tart Granny Smiths and sweeter gala or Jonathan)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
¼ teaspoon clove
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Peel, core and slice the apples, toss 1 cup of apples in lemon juice and set aside.
Simmer apples in a saucepan with sugars, spices and salt on low heat until tender. Drain off juice and reduce juice over low heat until slightly thick. Add thicken juice back to apple mixture. Add apples that have been soaking in lemon juice to cooked apples and chill. (Don’t put warm filling into a cold piecrust.)

Place one piecrust round in a pie pan, fill with chilled filling, dot with butter and cover with second piecrust. Turn edges under and crimp. Cut vents in the top of the pie. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes then rotate the pie and turn the oven down to 350 degrees for 30 or 40 minutes until the crust is golden and the filling is starting to bubble.

About The

Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.