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I am starting to plan a 5 course tasting dinner and we will be inviting some of our vegitarian friends.

I was wondering if anyone has any sugestions or reccomendations on vegitarian dishs and wine pairings.

Our vegitarian friends does eat dairy, cheese and eggs, just not meat.

Any sugestions, recipies and pairings would be appreciated.


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I've never made this before but I had one at a restaurant (Toba)and it was pretty effin' tasty. If this doesn't look right to you, try Googling for "Portobello Napoleon Vegetable". Good luck.

Portobello Napoleon of Grilled Vegetables

Marinated vegetables:
1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 T. finely chopped fresh basil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
16 (3-inch diameter) portobello mushrooms, stemmed (see note)
1 large green zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 large yellow zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and halved

Port wine reduction:
2 C. Tawny Port

Basil oil:
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
1/2 bunch fresh parsley leaves
1 C. extra-virgin olive oil
6 oz. goat cheese
4 oz. cream cheese

To make marinated vegetables:
Combine olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper; mix well. Add portobellos, green and yellow zucchini and bell pepper halves. Marinate at least 1 hour. Meanwhile make the port reduction and basil oil.

To make port wine reduction:
Pour wine into stainless-steel saucepan and simmer slowly until it has reduced to 1/2 cup or a syrup-like consistency. This should take about 20 to 30 minutes.

To make basil oil:
Blanch herbs quickly in boiling water. Immediately remove and plunge into ice water. drain herbs well. Combine herbs and oil in blender. Blend on high speed about 20 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or several layers of cheesecloth. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. Will keep for up to 1 month. Makes 1 cup.

To assemble the napoleon:
Lightly grill vegetables until tender, but not soft. Set aside to cool. Combine goat cheese and cream cheese in a mixer; beat until smooth. Using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter, cut mushrooms and peppers into rounds. Cut squash into 2 1/2-inch segments. Layer vegetables and cheese into 2 1/2-inch round ring molds in the following order: portobello, cheese, green zucchini, cheese, bell pepper, cheese, yellow zucchini, cheese, and portobello. Refrigerate napoleons until well chilled. Unmold onto serving plates just before serving. Drizzle basil oil and port wine reduction around napoleons.

If you can't find 3-inch portobellos, you can use larger ones. Instead of cutting all the vegetables and molding them, stack them and cut the napoleons into quarters, using toothpicks to hold the wedges together.

Makes 8 servings.
Originally posted by epml:
we will be inviting some of our vegitarian friends.

Our vegitarian friends does eat dairy, cheese and eggs, just not meat.

Chop ham finely and lace every dish you serve to them. Sit down and enjoy the show. Strike a conversation on benefits of meatless living and mention the fact you might be interested in switching teams.
When thinking vegetarian(rarely), I always look to India/Asia. Mapo Tofu is an all time favorite of mine. It should be fiery hot, and also relies somewhat on sichuan peppercorns, though you can get by without them. It's also a highly variable dish, depending on who makes it, but the heat should be(though it isn't) ubiquitous. Heh, additionally the dish is usually prepared with a bit of ground pork. I've had it with and without, I recommend with, the vegheads will never notice.
Here's 5 to start with. I'll give you the recipes if you like, or I'll give you more ideas if you prefer something else.

Ravioli Nudi in Tomato Sauce
Tomatoes require a high-acid wine, while earthy spinach is best with one that has bright, uncomplicated fruit. Sounds like barbera, but no oak please.

Eggplant, Pesto, and Goat-Cheese Pizza
Sauvignon blanc is a remarkably versatile wine, and it's particularly delicious with goat cheese and basil.

Artichoke-Heart, Spinach, and Mozzarella Bread Pudding
For a delicious partner to this rich bread pudding, see if you can find an unoaked chardonnay example from the Alto Adige or Trentino.

Mushroom, Zucchini, and Swiss-Cheese Pizza
You can enjoy its complex mushroom, spice, rose-petal, and strawberry flavors in a much less expensive Nebbiolo delle Langhe or Nebbiolo d'Alba.

Eggplant and Goat-Cheese Sandwiches with Tomato Tarragon Sauce
A northern Italian merlot. Fresh, light-bodied, tart, and aromatic, the wine has plum and herb flavors that will be perfect here. Favor one from Friuli over the richer, often barrel-aged, versions from Tuscany.
Let me know if anything sounds good to you. Here's one I didn't list before:

Phyllo Rice Torte

olive oil spray
1 1/2 cups wild-rice blend, rinsed well
3 cups water
* I almost always use stock or broth for making rice.
3 plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
4 Portobello mushrooms, no stems
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium sweet onions thinly sliced
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 cup golden seedless raisins
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped parsley
10 sheets phyllo dough, plus extra to fix tears
4 large eggs, beaten
* you could use an egg substitute here and never know the difference
1/4 cup toasted and chopped almonds

Preheat to 350°. Spray a springform pan generously with olive oil. Cook the rice to just tender, drain well. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side down, and the Portobellos, stemmed side down, season generously with salt and pepper and bake until tender. When cool, peel the tomatoes and thinly slice the mushrooms. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan. Add the onions, cover and cook low until softened, uncover and cook over high until brown. Add the cinnamon and garam masala, cook and stir. Remove from heat. Add the rice, raisins and dried apricots, season again. I was joking about seedless raisins. I wanted to see if anyone was going to read this. Stir in half of the sliced Portobellos and 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley.
Layer 5 sheets of the phyllo dough on a work surface, turning each successive one a quarter turn so that the stack forms a large round. Spray the top layer with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Repeat 5x's, spraying the last sheet with olive oil. Fit the stack into the pan, pressing it into the corners. Scatter some of the parsley over the bottom. Gently pack the rice mixture into the cake pan and smooth the surface. Top the rice mixture with the remaining Portobellos and the tomatoes. Pour the beaten eggs evenly over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the chopped almonds and the remaining 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley. Trim the phyllo overhang if you want.
Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for about 1 hour, or until the phyllo is deep golden and the filling is set in the middle. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove and slide onto a large serving plate. Cut and serve.

A robust Zinfandel is well-suited to the sweet, slightly acidic and nutty notes in this torte.

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