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ISO Inspiration for Vegetarian Dinner Guests

I'm cooking for a vegetarian couple tomorrow evening and I've had such a crazy week that I'm just starting to think about the menu now. I can think of some simple/good salads and sides but I'm feeling a bit uninspired for the main course. I have a nice recipe for a polenta tart topped with goat's cheese and sliced zucchini that makes for a pretty presentation. Any other ideas? Thanks.

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  1. Some one mentioned chickpeas and smoked paprika, and I love chickpeas slowly fried so they get crispy on the outside.
    May be you could go easy on yourself and get together more of a meze style thing going. Get some nice pita for a tapanade, scordalia, steamed marinaded veggies, sauteed greens and/or a salad. Grilled sardines if they eat fish. Some nice cheeses.
    of course a lot of this stuff could be purchased.
    All with some chilled Prosecco.
    I love to get away from meat but the problem is that then you're left with mainly carby options.
    Oh, I've been looking at The Complete Book of Greek Cooking and they have recipes for Pumpkin Patties with Sesame Sauce and also Spinach Balls, which I have made before with a tomato cumin sauce. Tons of recipes like this must be out there on the internet. Patties like those two items are always a crowd pleaser for vegetarians.

    1. I thought Boy Meets Grill, of all shows, at some really inspiring veg options the other day. Here's the link to the episode: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_... The portabello stacks looked especially good.
      I think make-your-own vegetarian pizzas could be really fun. We often put roasted corn on our pizzas, caramelized red onions, goat cheese, sage, etc., etc.

      1. If you have access to a bbq, I would just grill squash slices, tofu, veggies, etc. I like Ida Red's tapas idea too.

        Otherwise, a souffle is always nice if they're not vegan. Vegetarian lasagne or stuffed pasta. Root vegetable stew with good chewy bread. Vegetarian fajitas are always fun. Quick stir fry and brown rice (a la Fresh by Juice for Life).

        1. As a long-ago vegetarian, I always found that one of the nice things about eating/cooking that way was the balance of the meals felt different. It no longer felt necessary to have a main and sides, elements of the meal could be more evenly weighted. In that vein, and considering that it's summer and light, lively foods are desirable, how about serving three or four easy to make salads? Something like a lentil, shallot, parsley and goat cheese; green bean with mint and a lemon vinaigrette; snap peas and shelled peas, maybe tossed with sliced mushrooms, in light dressing of choice (if you're mixing your metaphors, a sesame oil/soy/rice vinegar thing would be good. If not, a champagne vinegar based vinaigrette), and roasted, quartered beets made into a salad of some sort. The possibilities are endless. It's a great vehicle for condiments: mustards, capers, chutneys, etc. Serve with bread, maybe cheese, end with a beautiful fruit tart.

          1. you could do a baked ricotta or ricotta pie- many options for filling. I recently did a wonderful one with asparagus, roasted red pepper, spinach, and mushroom.

            Also, gnudi or gnocchi would be nice- several options

            (I've been experimenting with ricotta ever since I posted about it once, thanks hounds!)