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Dec 15, 2010 11:56 AM

Vegetable Dishes for Holiday Party

I'll be hosting a Christmas/holiday party on Saturday. We have plenty of fatty gut-sticking stuff, like rolls and ham and cheese, but I'm interested in providing some kind of cooked veggies, not just a platter of raw celery and carrots. It would be great if the dish could be prepared ahead, but not necessary, and being vegan would be a big plus as well (although I could do two versions of it; it's a big party).

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    1. You can make a huge platter of roasted vegetables, which can be served at room temperature or warm. Hits all the points - prepared ahead of time, and vegan! Just be aware that vegetables shrink when roasted, so make lots. :)

      1. Think about a vegetarian antipasti plate - marinated mushrooms, artichokes, pepperoncinis, garlic, roasted peppers, olives, etc. etc.

        1. Fresh green beans, lightly roasted then bundled and tied with chives or roasted red bell pepper strips...a drizzle of walnut oil vinaigrette, garnish with toasted walnuts is delicious and make an elegant presentation. Can be served warm or room temp.

          Carrots are a much under utilized veggie but can be great. Try peeling and roasting them in chunks with some onion or shallot and a drizzle of olive oil then dust with a little five spice powder. If you want to fancy them up, roughly mash the mixture and form it into small cakes (think mini crabcake fashion). Pat the mix into panko breadcrumbs and bake on a parchment lined sheet pan until golden. Top with a little creme fraiche or sour cream mixed with a bit of brown sugar and ginger. The carrot mix can be cooked a couple days ahead if you're making the cakes; bread crumb them right before baking.

          1. For my annual christmas party, I've done a variety of veggies but the ones that were the biggest hits:
            roasted cauliflower with lemon (toss cauliflower with olive oil and salt, roast till edges brown and then juice a lemon or two over it)
            chestnut and pearl onion confit (could probably sub the butter for oil and the chicken stock for veggie stock to make vegan -
            )roasted brussel sprouts, mushrooms and chestnuts
            roasted fennel, potatoes and onions

            I find doing a hearty vegetable, roasted, with citrus is my go to when in doubt. It stays well on a buffet (I feel zucchini and egglplant get soggy), tastes good at room temp, and is a nice contrast to my often heavier main courses. And they are very forgiving and can go in the oven on any temp, so I just put them in with whatever else is in there.