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First off, please let's not turn this into an argument. Serious, helpful responses would be appreciated - leave your amusing alter egos out of this.

I have a good friend coming to visit who is a vegetarian. I plan to cook a really good meal for about 8 of us; the rest will be eating foie gras with Sauternes and either lamb (rack or tenderloin) or filet mignon with parsnip & potato gratin with Napa Cabernet.

I want to be able to offer the vegetarian something that will pair well with the wines and will hopefully be something special.

I'm thinking about wild mushrooms wrapped in phyllo pastry for the main dish, but I'm open to better suggestions.
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Spo: Vegans are the radical ones - no eggs or dairy products.
She'll happily eat cheese and free range eggs.
We can do stuffed portabello mushrooms, but for me that's just an ordinary midweek meal and I'm trying to do something memorable. She's come a long way to visit and it's a special occasion.

Gigond Ass: I've served her gelatin before now and got away with it, but for the most part I'm quite prepared to go along with her decision. Pasta is an option, though the phyllo dish is still my favourite.

Still can't think of anything to pair with Sauternes though. I can do a nice heirloom tomato salad with fresh mozarella, basil, olive oil and balsamic, but I would normally pair that with a dry white; Sauternes would probably ruin it.
As an alternative to pasta, you could get creative with polenta. I'm thinking something along the lines of making a batch of chessy, buttery polenta, letting it cool and set, then cutting the polenta into cakes / squares so they can be grilled. Then, top the polenta with some sort of tomato / mushroomo sauce to better match it with the wine. Polenta and red sauce marry beautifully.
One local restaurant that we visit offers a pretty good dish along the lines of Matt's suggestion - a hearty wild mushroom risotto with tons of parmesan.

Or perhaps a sauteed mushroom/eggplant type mix over the polenta cakes mentioned - we've done something similar for dinner, but it's been served with a sauce started with beef/veal stock Wink
I shall attempt to ping him. Shame that this board has no message facility, but I'm pretty sure I've seen him on VC.

As far as polenta goes, personally I've never been a huge fan and thus have never cooked it.

The other thing is that she can eat the potato & parsnip gratin, so I don't need to cook a completely seperate meal for her, just a nice substitute for the meat.

What kinds of truffle are in season right now? I've never cooked with them either, but as I said it is a special occasion.
Originally posted by Sweet Melissa:
Well Dave, until you've sprung the magic polenta from your own hands a few times and a few ways, you shouldn't dismiss it so readily.

Polenta is a canvas that can be painted in so many different ways. You're missing out.

I've tried it a few times, but it's just not for me. I figure that if a chef in a top restaurant can't cook polenta in a way that makes me want to eat it, what chance do I have?

How about a pastry with the Sauternes, maybe filled with earthy fruits like figs and plums, with fresh herbs like rosemary. Then for the main, a stuffed portabello cap. Maybe a mixture of exotic mushrooms, eggplant, olives, etc. Grill the portabello ahead of time, then finish under the broiler topped with cheese.

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