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Request for make-ahead recipes for serving room temp, buffet style...

Hello!

I'm trying to do food for my wedding...only 26 people, so it should not be insane. Also, only a light lunch.

I want to do it vegetarian, simple, and things that can be served at room temperature...Any thoughts?
What kind of veggie dips have people had good luck with in the past? [dips for veggies or dips for chips...]
Also, anyone have a fool proof baba ghanouj recipe? I've tried 3 or 4, and have failed each time sadly...
Or a truly amazing chickpea or somesuch salad?

Thanks in advance =)
Karen

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  1. frittatas and/or quiches with a variety of veggie fillings are terrific make-ahead room temp dishes

    some grain salads (e.g. quinoa, tabbouleh, barley) are also good at room temp

    my black bean dip recipe has garnered a stamp of approval from many fellow CHers:
    http://www.chow.com/recipes/24426

    and there have been tons of discussions here on CH about baba ghannouj. you might want to read through some of these threads to see if any of the recipes appeal to you:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/610862
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/374829
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/425016
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/595195
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/307559
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/358597

    oh, and congrats on the upcoming nuptials!

    1. Something simple - grill up a bunch of veggies such as zucchini, different colored peppers, shrooms, even slices of potato. Brush with a good quality olive oil, sprinkle with salt and grill either on a BBQ grill or on a grill pan on the stove.
      Another thing I make big batches of is hummus . . . my only ingredients are cooked garbanzo beans, lots of fresh lemon juice and good olive oil with any type of herb, a fair amount of salt. A cuisinart makes short work of it, but I blend a LOT and use Lots of lemon and oil - comes out fluffy and delicious.

      1. kiarrith,

        loubieh is a mid-eastern dish of green beans in olive oil, with tomato, garlic and onion. it is very savory and perfectly vegetarian. if you can use "pole beans" instead of just regular green beans, you'll be very happy. but regular green beans are very good, too. i just like the texture and heft of pole beans in this dish.

        here's the recipe: http://almashriq.hiof.no/general/600/...

        note: you don't have to use a pressure cooker, just cook till soft -- like southern beans ;-).

        it's best at room temp, and there's nothing to spoil if it is out for a while! plus, it is better if made ahead. you can't do any better than that. ;-).

        ratatouille would be good, as well.

        1. The Thomas Keller Biyaldi (the base for the dish in the movie Ratatouille) is beautiful, vegetarian, and holds well at room temp. You can get various various versions off Google. It's a pain to make without a mandoline, though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Richard L

            keller uses a mandoline for "biyaldi"? i guess then i don't know what "bayildi" is...

            i know imam bayidi is stuffed eggplant.

          2. Marinate cooked or canned rinsed chickpeas in a garlicky vinaigrette overnight, then add A TON of chopped flat leaf parsley, really lots. You can add halved cherry or grape tomatoes or chopped black olives if they are not redundant with the rest of your meal but not necessary. Sounds too simple to be good but it always goes fast.

            1 Reply
            1. re: GretchenS

              a lemony, garlicky vinaigrette. the mid-east spice sumac is a nice addition, too.