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Impressive Vegetarian Entree?

c
CathleenH May 4, 2010 04:42 PM

Any thoughts on a beautiful and delicious vegetarian entree that would be suitable for entertaining?

  1. mamachef Aug 23, 2010 06:02 PM

    A roasted butternut squash tarte or galette with herbed goat cheese, maybe with a ratatouille, a simple green salad w/ vinaigrette, rough bread - all served room temp. - or a roasted vegetable napoleon (eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, portobellas, onion, artichoke hearts, asparagus), vegies "sauced" with a spoonful of baked black pepper brie done 'til it's runny, served with a cold soup; pea/mint, spinach/yogurt, cucumber/dill/yogurt, tomato/basil.

    1. k
      kookiegoddess Aug 23, 2010 03:15 PM

      Jamie Oliver does a Cauliflower and Broccoli Cannelloni - and every time I make them, for meat eaters or veggies, people wolf them down. You can make the stuffing in advance and the rest is just basic stirring and assembly.

      I would also agree that a good vegetarian lasagne is fab. The Delia Smith one is delicious and uses unusual ingredients which add a lot of depth of flavour.

      Otherwise, I would do a range of indian vegetarian dishes. I find them much more satisfying than western vegetarian food because I am not really a big cheese or mushroom fan.

      1. j
        jakelegs Jun 19, 2010 06:58 AM

        My favorite vegetarian dishes are tofu and tempeh based. The more vegetables the better like curry, stirfry, etc.
        Barbeque tempeh is delicious although not beautiful.
        Vegetarian sushi is visually stunning!

        1 Reply
        1. re: jakelegs
          mamachef Aug 23, 2010 05:55 PM

          True sushi doesn't contain fish anyway: only Americanized versions. Sashimi is the fish product most people mean when they reference sushi.

        2. n
          noya May 8, 2010 07:50 AM

          Thanks for this post--what great ideas!

          1. g
            gwendolynmarie May 5, 2010 02:36 PM

            As wonderful and inventive as pasta dishes and risotto can be, it's nice to have a change from those ubiquitous vegetarian options. Particularly unusual preparations, however, like smoked spaetzle, toasted absorption pasta, gnudi, sweet/spicy/savory ravioli & sauce pairings, giant ravioli with whole egg in the filling, are exceptions to that.

            Have you ever made, or considered making seitan? If so, some nice options open up for you.

            Otherwise:
            Vegetable napoleons
            Veggie terrines
            Galettes or savory tars/tartlettes - with buckwheat dough, phyllo, or homemade puff pastry using compound butters for an extra oomph
            Savory tarte-tatin- with
            Vegetable paella
            Vegetarian tagine
            Phyllo purses
            Crepes, or a savory crepe cake
            Moussaka
            Tamales
            A range of vegetables stuffed with grains (farro, barley, quinoa, rice, etc.), and baked, grilled, or fried
            Homemade sushi
            Curries

            I also completely agree about souffles!

            1. l
              laliz May 5, 2010 01:33 PM

              I'd make a Gruyere Asparagus Quiche and serve it with stuffed artichokes and a green salad with home made blue cheese dressing.

              1. r
                Rasam May 5, 2010 07:45 AM

                How about a mushroom wellington? Not very spring-y or summery, but very delish.

                For e.g.:

                http://www.nadineabensur.com/vegetari...

                1. eLizard May 5, 2010 06:42 AM

                  pasta with garlic and olive oil. green salad. bread. wine. i could eat it for breakfast.

                  does the veg in question do fish/seafood?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: eLizard
                    v
                    VikingKvinna Jun 16, 2010 07:16 PM

                    Well, technically if they eat fish or seafood, they're not a vegetarian. They are just someone who doesn't eat meat, but who eats fish and seafood. With all due respect, I don't think a lot of people enjoy pasta, salad and bread for breakfast...those seem like they would get tired, fast. Unless of course there is a LOT of wine.

                    1. re: VikingKvinna
                      eLizard Jun 17, 2010 04:08 PM

                      some vegetarians identify as pescatarian. some as ovo/lacto. it doesn't make a lot of sense to me, either.

                      the aglio olio suggestion was not for breakfast.....although i've been known to eat it cold for my morning meal. :o)

                  2. r
                    relizabeth May 5, 2010 04:40 AM

                    My husband is veggie, so I cook that way. We've had amazing successes with souffles. So easy, so immediately impressive. Also, on a more casual side of things, we had people over for homemade veggie burgers and served them with an impressive array of toppings, buns, etc. That was a phenomenal hit.

                    1. m
                      mountaincachers May 5, 2010 04:16 AM

                      The January Bon Appetit had a recipe in their RSVP section for wild mushroom cakes with avocado pesto and red pepper coulis. The recipe was from Cuvee World Bistro in Tuscon. In terms of elegance, I would put them on par with something like crab cakes. I kept the recipe because I think it's nice to have a vegetarian entree for entertaining that doesn't either look like a side dish or a casserole. As the recipe was written, the mushroom cakes and coulis were delicious. The avocado pesto was a little bland and could use some tweaking.

                      1. c
                        cathyeats May 5, 2010 03:41 AM

                        What about this wild mushroom ragout, which i served on soft polenta? I think my guests were pretty impressed by this! I did a fat-free version of polenta, with no cream or cheese, but you could certainly make it more decadent. The ragout was delicious - albeit on the expensive side with all those wild mushrooms. You an see the photo here: http://whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010/02/...

                        Herbed Mushroom Ragout with Soft Polenta

                        ½ oz. dried porcini mushrooms
                        1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
                        2 pounds wild mushrooms (any combination of shiitake, oyster, hen of the woods and chanterelle), sliced
                        8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
                        4 shallots, minced
                        5 cloves garlic, minced
                        1 T. chopped fresh sage
                        1 T. chopped fresh thyme
                        1 t. finely chopped fresh rosemary
                        1 c. red wine
                        Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
                        Put the dried porcinis in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover and let sit for about 25 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth, and reserve the liquid. Rinse and chop the porcinis.

                        Heat the olive oil in a large skillet – or use two pans if necessary – over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Raise the heat to medium high and add the fresh mushrooms along with a light sprinkling of salt, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Add the porcinis, herbs and wine. Cook until wine is reduced by half. Add ½ cup of mushroom soaking liquid. Reduce heat and simmer gently until the liquid is again reduced by about half. Add salt & pepper to taste. Serve on soft polenta.

                        1. s
                          sufunsified May 5, 2010 03:12 AM

                          I second the gnocchi suggestion. I made this a few weeks ago:
                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                          It was one of the best things I've ever eaten. Since you pan-fry everything at the end, you don't really need to be careful about amounts or about what type of mushrooms you use. Mmmm. Make double the gnocchi so you can freeze the rest.

                          1. greedygirl May 4, 2010 11:17 PM

                            I am not a vegetarian but some of my friends are, and to be honest they get a bit fed up with veggie lasagne often being the ubiquitous option, so I'd avoid that.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: greedygirl
                              The Dairy Queen May 5, 2010 01:40 PM

                              I think the problem with lasagne, and pasta in general, is that it's a dish that omnivores eat, even though it often has no meat in it. So, they think, "What do I know how to cook that doesn't have meat," and, voila, pasta.

                              I like some of those ideas out of Ottolenghi's new Vegetarian option you linked. Lots of really lovely ideas in there. (Which I will try as soon as my darn book arrives!)

                              ~TDQ

                            2. Emme May 4, 2010 10:55 PM

                              gnocchi with mushroom ragout and carrot purée
                              http://nymag.com/restaurants/articles...

                              wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil

                              eggplant Parmesan

                              1. h
                                harryharry May 4, 2010 06:46 PM

                                Two particular things I've made -
                                Butternut squash lasagna or cannelloni - let me know if you want the recipe - it's really rich and decadent and yummy
                                Quinoa and goat cheese stuffed veggies (I used med. sized patty pan squash) - there isn't much of a recipe - but let me know... I'll put it together as much as possible. I was surprised that even the meat eaters gobbled these up.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: harryharry
                                  o
                                  ohvikery May 4, 2010 06:54 PM

                                  a salad ,or vegetarian speghetti,a pasta salad,bake potatoes w/ parsley flakes on them or vegetarian pizza

                                  1. re: harryharry
                                    c
                                    CathleenH May 5, 2010 07:05 PM

                                    I've got a good squash lasagna recipe, but I'd gladly take your approximation of the stuffed veggies. They sound like they would be pretty and delicious. Thanks!

                                    1. re: CathleenH
                                      h
                                      harryharry May 6, 2010 04:27 AM

                                      After writing this out - I realize that it's probably not much help because I can't remember the flavor much beyond the quinoa and cumin - because I don't like cheese - so someone else was doing most of the tasting! - so sorry!

                                      Ok, Let's see what I can remember -
                                      The squash were medium sized - carved a hole out of the top and hollowed them out a bit - left most of the flesh though - keep the tops and the stuff you carved out
                                      Make quinoa - make sure it's slightly (only a little) underdone -
                                      Saute
                                      chopped
                                      onion
                                      carrots
                                      garlic
                                      red peppers
                                      squash (from the inside of the ones you carved out)
                                      Any other veg you like.
                                      maybe some toasted pine nuts too...
                                      Mix with cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt & pepper to taste - I might have added a little cinnamon too -

                                      Miix with goat cheese - actually, this might have been feta...
                                      Salt and pepper the inside of the squash
                                      pack the quinoa into the squash - drizzle with oil or rub with oil prior to stuffing - place the squash top on the squash - place all in a roasting pan and roast for about 30 minutes.

                                  2. greedygirl May 4, 2010 06:45 PM

                                    Have a look at some of these recipes, or indeed any of Ottolenghi's recipes from The Guardian newspapaper. He specialises in imaginative vegetarian food. The Very Full Tart or Vegetable Paella might fit the bill.

                                    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: greedygirl
                                      c
                                      CathleenH May 5, 2010 07:03 PM

                                      The puy lentil galettes look creative and wonderful, but I'll have to give them a test run before serving to guests.

                                    2. visciole May 4, 2010 06:38 PM

                                      Pumpkin-stuffed tortellini with sage and butter.

                                      Or anything in a truffle sauce.

                                      1. enbell May 4, 2010 06:36 PM

                                        What do you mean by elegant? How many people do you plan to host?
                                        Would a mushroom wellington do?
                                        Perhaps individual pot pies?
                                        Stuffed baked acorn squash?
                                        Crepes?
                                        Vegetable napoleans?

                                        1. Den May 4, 2010 05:40 PM

                                          How about a vegetarian lasagna?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Den
                                            JerryMe May 4, 2010 06:11 PM

                                            Vegetarian lasagna has been a huge hit at my house even for meat lovers. Otherwise I go w/ quiche or quesadillas w/ sides. Depending on who you're trying to impress.

                                            Maybe soup but I always think of that as a family meal.

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