Jewishy- Italiany Vegetarian Holiday menu feedback please!
This year, for the first time ever, we will be hosting my parents, brother and sister in law for Christmas luncheon. Since dear hubby and I are a couple of hippie pagans, this is a pretty big deal. As is my family's tradition, we will have at late lunch then spend the evening with relatives for Dom Deluise (remember the commercial with the giant antipasto? "Do you think it's enough?") inspired cocktails. Since that will be a cured pork products feast, I think a vegetarian dinner will be a good balance.
This is the menu so far
App: Potato Pancakes with Sour Cream and Applesauce (nod to hubby's Jewish heritage)
Salad: Mesclun with Clementines, Walnuts and Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
(kale, celeriac, carrot, leeks, fennel hash with butternut squash puree)
Fresh Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower with garlic, romano and pine nuts
Vegetarian Lasagna with winter veg
Dessert: Fig and Walnut Tart, Cookies
I'm pretty nervous about this. Any and all suggestions are welcome!
The absence of protein and the high sugar/starch load jumped out at me, too. I'd make an effort to fill that lasagna with some protein rich cheeses for a little more balance. Or you could consider making the shepherd's pie with some Eden black soybeans and/or tempeh, perhaps? The soybeans are virtually all fiber and protein.
Sounds tasty, though!
Thanks for your suggestions! Here is the updated menu:
Fried Artichoke Hearts with Sour Cream & Horseradish
Arugula with Blood Oranges, Walnuts and Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Butternut Squash Lasagna
Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Pine Nuts
Assorted Cookies and Bishop's Bread (fruitcake with cherries, nuts, dates, chocolates)
Italians have lots of non-meat dishes that are holdovers from meatless Fridays. If you really want something traditional, consider these:
Canneloni or Manicotti or Large Shells stuffed with ricotta cheese (classic holiday food with red or pink sauce)
Linguine with cauliflower in a thin red sauce (clear red, thinned out and seasoned with basil)
Pasta fagioli or Escarole with white beans -- a thick hearty soup for a winter night
Are you deliberately ignoring seafood and fish? You can easily make a light appetizer of shrimp scampi under the broiler or stove top with garlic, oil, red pepper, lemon juice and oregano. You can serve that over pasta alia oglie (oil and garlic) if you wish.
I have the Jewish - Italian thing going on too, and I can tell you that if you are pulling meat off the menu, compensate with pasta, veggies and cheese. That will be accepted by all.
Christmas Eve is a major fish feast. My mother hosts a buffet for 16 that includes a seafood lasagna, zuppa di pesce, baccala salad, another salad with octopus, scugille, calamari and shrimp, broiled shrimp...etc. Trying to add a bit of variety to the 48 hours of Christmas feasting.....