Woodstock and Hippy Food

On this forty-second anniversary of Woodstock, we wish you peace, love, and lots of granola. To celebrate, we offer up these hippy food recipes beloved by those tie dye-wearing, tree-hugging concertgoers. (And we do, too!)

A Woodstock poster with a guitar, peace sign, and a dove
: Lisa Fischer

Woodstock, otherwise known as an orgy of music, mayhem, and mud, took place 42 years ago this weekend on a bucolic upstate New York farm. Like everyone else whose spent time wishing they’d been there—or rather, wishing they’d been born in time to be there—I imagine it was a weekend of hippiness, flower power, and peace signs.

A slice of butternut squash and Parmesan tart on a white plate with a fork and knife, garnished with microgreens.
This butternut squash and Parmesan tart is made with a tender spelt crust and a creamy squash, egg, red onion, and cheese filling. It’s an elegant brunch or lunch that will earn you endless accolades.

I also sort of assume, given all the weed that was no doubt exchanging hands in that puddly field, that there was a lot of hoppy food like homemade granola, not to mention hashish brownies, being passed among concertgoers with the munchies. (Those of you who were there, am I wrong?)

Banana bread granola tipped out of a glass jar onto a marble surface with a wooden scoop beside it.
This banana bread granola has all the goodness of whole-grain granola, yet tastes like old-fashioned banana bread.

Peace. Love. Granola. How forward-thinking those tie-dye wearing, tree-hugging peaceniks were. Joni Mitchell once commented that the kids at Woodstock “saw that they were part of a greater organism.” And not just in terms of international politics. Long before eating locally, seasonally, and organically became a contemporary mantra, many of these folks were practicing these very principles, one batch of homemade granola at a time.

Three bowls of beef, cabbage, and tofu soup
This warming soup with Korean flavors will fill you up with protein from both beef and tofu, a remarkable amount of cabbage and mushrooms, plus supporting brown rice and a sprout-scallion topping.

Lo some four decades later, much of what that weekend—and that way of thinking—stood for has finally sunk in and become commonplace in our food politics—not to mention our everyday food practices. We’ve come a long way, baby.

So yes, I like to think that this love-fest mentality extended beyond the revelers’ sit-ins and into their kitchens. Though hippy food, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder. To some, that means tofu and quinoa and sprouts and other such things that made health food stores in the ’60s smell so funky. (Um, that’s not for us at LC, at least if Fatty Daddy has anything to say about it.)

Two jars of peach and rhubarb jam with some peaches in the background and a plate with a piece of bread topped with the jam.
This peach and rhubarb jam preserves the flavor of ripe, juicy peaches and tart rhubarb, which means you can be reminded of summer even on the coldest winter day.

To others it means putting up their own preserves or minding the seasons at the greenmarket. And to a few upstanding farmers it means respecting nature’s biorhythms and raising chickens, hogs, and cows the old-fashioned, responsible way.

Skillet on a grill filled with eggplant caponata--chopped eggplant, onions, fennel, onions, almonds, basil
This eggplant caponata is a classic Italian dish made with eggplant, celery, fennel, zucchini, garlic, onion, tomatoes, and olives and is finished with almonds and pine nuts.

Mostly, though, it means anything that brings a more mindful sort of mojo to your kitchen. Rather than observe a moment of silence out of respect for all that Woodstock stood for, a far more appropriate tribute is to slip on your Birkenstocks, saunter into the kitchen, belt out some classic Hendrix or Sweetwater or Joplin or The Dead, and take a cue from these recipes, each hippy dippy in its own inimitable way.

renee Schettler Rossi's signature



  1. I love reading the Woodstock memories of those who were too young to have been there. Seriously, so much of the event has entered the realm of Camelot and Shangri-La that everyone has memories of it, whether they were there or not.

    I have many memories of the event — many of them, alas, olfactory — but the only food I remember was the free food distributed by Wavy Gravy (Hugh Romney) and the Hog Farm. They cooked massive amounts of brown rice and vegetables (a lot of zucchini, it was after all August in the Catskills), served with tamari from little wooden casks.

  2. All of the formerly counter-culture foods you describe are not just hippie, but hip now! It’s funny to think how weird tofu and sprouts were considered in the 1970s. Nice collection of recipes–can’t wait to try them!

    1. You’re completely right, Suzanne. I remember the first time I encountered tofu in a health food store in the ’70s. It looked like some sort whale blubber floating in water. And now you can’t walk a block in NYC without tripping over cases of it.

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