For most, the Christmas dinner menu is based around a giant piece of meat large enough to sink the titanic. However, I feel the need to spend some time writing on behalf of vegetarians as they so often miss out ending up with some crap after thought from the host. For me, December is still an exciting time when it comes to interesting, seasonal vegetables that can be used for either a main course or to accompany the traditional roast.
I’m going to give you a couple of simple, tasty vegetarian alternatives we’ve cooked at some Blend events this year that fit the bill. The first one is a great burger, made with mushroom, spinach, walnut and some cheese.
Mushroom, spinach and walnut burger
These burgers are really tasty and will put a smile on the face of most vegetarians. You can make them the day before and take no more than 15 minutes to prep and cook.
Make the polenta by boiling 1 cup of vegetable stock, adding the polenta and mixing well till you have a smooth paste. Cook the polenta for 5 minutes over a low heat, grating in the parmesan and adding salt, pepper and an optional knob of butter. Mix the cooked mushroom mix and polenta together, taste and season really well again and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Shape the cooled polenta mixture into burgers, pan fry for 3 minutes on each side or till they are golden brown and heated all the way through. I like to serve them with a nice tomato sauce with some chilli through it.
Beetroot tarte tatin
Tarte tatin doesn’t always need to be a dessert. This dish is another one you can prepare ahead of time and is something a bit different for the vegetarians in our lives. The finished dish is pretty stunning when you turn it out too.