Spectacular vegetarian Christmas entree?
I've been veg for 20 years, so have been around the block, but would love any suggestions for something decadent and lovely. This will accompany a traditional Xmas dinner spread (stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, turkey, etc.) at my parents' house and be an additional course for 4 vegetarians and 2 carnivores. Two of the four are my kids, but they are relatively adventurous and also we don't really worry that much about them anyway--there will be plenty on the table.
In the past I've done spanakopita and butternut squash lasagna. Something with a tart crust or some other lovely buttery substrate is always nice. ;) Calories no concern. Not looking to go vegan here--we eat dairy and eggs. No pasta maker at that house, or I'd do a fresh ravioli.
I am a very experienced cook and pretty willing to tackle anything. This is also a nice time for something with pricey ingredients that I might not normally spring for.
I adore this mushroom bourguignon; it is wonderfully decadent, gorgeous and special.
It might be too simple for you, but really it is marvelous!
Also, this wild mushroom and stilton galette is a winner:
I have served both at holidays to rave reviews. You can of course sub other cheese if someone is silly enough to not adore stilton!
In my not so humble opinion, the best vegetarian recipes on the web are at www.vegsoc.org. This is the website of the British Vegetarian Society. They are unafraid of cream and nuts, which is what make vegetarian main courses really rich and delicious. Of course, you can find recipes without those ingredients, but they will all be imaginative, decadent and really delicious. Just click on the Christmas Recipes tab and look thru their archives for past Christmases.
I made this wild mushroom bread pudding for my vegetarian friends at Thanksgiving, and it was received with oohing, aahing raves:
I used a stale baguette with the crusts on, doubled the mushrooms (and included chanterelles), increased the cheese and baked it in a 4 quart enameled cast iron dutch oven. It looked beautiful served right in the dutch oven and tasted even better. I made a rich mushroom gravy to go with it, and though it was gilding the lily, my friends loved it.
If you want to make it even more special, you could bake it in a pumpkin, a la Dorie Greenspan's stuffed pumpkin: