Appetizer challenge: vegetarian, no cheese, no bread or pastry, no dips
So here's my challenge -- I need to round out an appetizer menu with something that fits the above description. This is to go with cocktails prior to a full dinner, so I really don't want anything heavy.
The current lineup includes:
- pickled carrots and cauliflower
- caramelized spiced nuts
- cheese puffs
- demi-tasse cups of roasted cauliflower soup (not vegetarian)
Some guests are vegetarian, others are lactose intolerant, so the above list is a 50/50 split as to who can eat what. I'd like one more finger food to add to the menu that both can eat. I don't want a dip (too fussy for a large party) and I don't want anything with bread or pastry (too heavy). There's already one cheesy app and I don't want the vegetarians to feel like everything I'm giving them is cheese based, plus I find too much cheese is too heavy.
I'm thinking stuffed cherry tomatoes would be light and pretty, but all my usual ideas involve cheese. Any other thoughts as to what I could stuff them with?
Help me Chowbi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!
Wow, I leave for bed and find all these amazing responses waiting for me in the morning! I love you guys.
To answer enbell's question, the dinner is pretty formal and large (20 people). So my goal is to keep the apps simple (for my own sanity), but elegant.
I think I'm going to do cherry tomatoes with a bean dip of some sort (I've actually done them with guac and loved them, but guac doesn't feel right for a Thanksgiving dinner -- hmm, that was probably my bad for not mentioning that this was for a big Thanksgiving party!). I'm also going to add cucumber cups or broiled mushrooms with a sundried tomato and mushroom tapenade.
And thanks for contributing to yet another appetizer thread. Believe me, I've read through what feels like dozens of the previous ones and really appreciate y'all jumping in to yet another.
you've gotten a lot of terrific ideas here!
- in addition to guac, you can also stuff cherry tomatoes with pesto, baba ghannouj, white bean dip, or quinoa salad
- peppadews are great for stuffing as well
- black bean dip would be terrific on polenta rounds
- almond-stuffed dates
- also second Emme's deviled egg suggestion
- you could also serve spiced, roasted chickpeas or spiced mixed nuts in mini cups
I stumbled across this recipe a few weeks ago when I was in a similar predicament. Polenta pizza. Although it may not be as light as you need it to be, it's very adaptable to most diets because you choose the toppings.
And they're also mighty tasty too!
stuff cherry tomatoes with guacamole
My favourite light appy is slices of cucumber topped with lemon and dilled cream cheese and a slice of lox. Paper thin slice of red onion and a caper or two to top it off. Yum. And every lactose intolerant person I know can have goat cheese so you could try a goat cream cheese. Mix it with fresh dill and lemon zest.
Have you considered grilled or broiled artichokes?
Grilled or roasted asparagus (although will be pricey because it is very much out of season?)
Asian lettuce wraps with tofu instead of chicken
Spring rolls wrapped in rice paper instead of normal pastry
Mini crustless quiches/fritattas (you could bake in a large pan, cool, cut into bite-sized pieces and have on the end of a toothpick
Before I got too pedestrian, how formal is the occasion in question?
What about kale chips? I like this recipe. You can make them as is or add almost any combo of spices and/or lemon juice or soy sauce and they are delicious!
You can also stuff the tomatoes with a tabbouli or quinoa salad.
This is my favourite tabbouli recipe.
Also, would you do something with eggs or do your veg. guests not eat them?
A layered vegetable terrine cut into squares & handled with a toothpick. You can use roasted red peppers, portabella mushrooms, eggplant, etc.
Another idea is to grill off your favorite veggies (I suggest the same veggies as above) and make veggie roll ups..You grill large red bells, peel and divide each one into six pieces...top with a grilled portabella slice, then a piece of eggplant, then whatever else you want to use. These are really good with fresh basil between the layers of veggies. Roll them up (short side) and tie with a piece of chive (wind it around a couple of times to hold it) or even some grilled scallion strips. Stick a toothpick in them and serve. They're pretty on a tray (try it with orange & yellow bells also) and you can grill the veggies a day ahead, just let them come to room temp before serving.
There was a vegan pate recipe in my most recent issue of Food and Wine - something like that might be nice piped into either cherry tomatoes or hollowed out cucumber slices (slice out rounds about 3/4" thick and use a melon baller to take out some of the center, making a little cup.
I've had that vegan pate done in little purple plum tomatoes and it was very tasty.
What about spicy sweet potato chips? You can make them or you can buy them at the nearest organic foods market...although they'd be better with a dip.
I've had this before, requires some specialty products like vegan pepperoni and I recommend vegan pepper jack, not mozzarella, but they were pretty tasty. http://www.vegancoach.com/vegan-appetizer.html#%20anchor-rollups Don't buy cheap vegan cheese or pepperoni.
You said no bread so no crostini or bruschetta. Maybe Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade served on endive?
* 1 4 ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained (reserve the oil
) * 1 cup good pitted brine-cured black olives
* 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
* 3 cloves garlic
* 1/2 cup capers
* 1 1/2 tsp vegan Parmesan substitute (optional)
* salt and pepper to taste
Just food process and it is ready.
Samosas are yummy but do have some bread. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUA4g874WUs I've made Manjula's and they are so tasty. If you think Indian might be well received, check out her website. I've had very good luck with all her recipes.
http://www.manjulaskitchen.com/2010/01/12/sabudana-khichdi-spicy-tapioca/ <<that one is my favorite, but it probably won't suit for an appetizer very well because it is very filling.
Spring rolls would be a nice make-ahead perhaps?
Avocado Caprese sounds light and tasty. http://www.happycow.net/recipes.php?i...