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Mar 21, 2012 06:00 AM

Vegetarian accompaniment to leg of lamb?

We are celebrating a birthday with friends later this week, and the main course will be roasted leg of lamb. I am the lone vegetarian in the group, but my friend is quite understanding and told me to bring anything I wanted to "supplement" for myself. There will be a few vegetable sides (green beans, potatoes), but I do think I need to being something so I don't eat all the green beans!

I was initially thinking of something like cous cous with roasted veggies and chickpeas, because "lamb" and "Mediterranean" seem complimentary to me (I don't have a lot of experience with lamb). But, given what's she's preparing, I don't know if this will seem out of place. Can anyone comment on that, and/or make suggestions on what would be a better dish to bring?

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  1. your friend is understanding in"letting" you bring something? S/he could at least make darn sure there are enough veggies to serve as your main course!
    anyway, your couscous idea seems good to me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: magiesmom

      As this is a birthday dinner she's preparing for her husband, and I am the only one with an issue that prevents me from eating his favorite meal, I do find it very understanding to let me "crash" their party with my own food and don't think she should be focused on making lots of extra dishes just for me when everyone else is happy with the primary meal. I'm often the only vegetarian in group eating, and I don't like to have other people feel put out by my eating decisions. I have absolutely no problem prepping/bringing my own food, which is why I always offer to bring something extra.

    2. Couscous goes with lamb, but they are cooked together, with vegetables. Also, your host is serving potatoes. Ask your host if the potatoes will be vegetarian or roasted with the lamb fat (preferable for everyone but you) and, if so, make some Italian-style roast potatoes -- cut in largish dice and roasted with olive oil, garlic, and fresh rosemary (there is actually a pretty good recipe somewhere on Chowhound). Make enough for the others because they are fabulous with roast lamb. Then, I always serve sauteed artichoke wedges with roast lamb, or even lamb chops. You have to trim the artichokes painstakingly in the Roman way, which I can explain if you decide to take this further, then cut in wedges (at which point the choke is easy to remove). Put the wedges in a pan with oil, sprinkle with salt, cover and turn up the heat till they start to sizzle, then lower the heat immediately and cook very gently till tender. You probably don't need any water, but keep an eye on them and at teensy bits at a time if needed.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mbfant

        I like the idea but don't think I'm going to find any fresh artichokes here. Thanks for the suggestion though.

      2. What you are suggesting sounds reasonable, but why not ask the host if it sounds ok too? That way there's no guesswork. If she or he gives it the ok, you could also bring a simple yoghurt salad (something tzatziki-ish or maybe even just yoghurt with garlic and mint) to go with it (so you're not just eating dry couscous - of course couscous dishes are nice but they call out for a moist accompaniment, IMO!), which would also be nice for the others to have with lamb.

        I definitely think you want something with some kind of pulse like chickpeas, white beans, etc. so that you have something a bit more substantial than just veg to eat.

        1. You could bring some pita bread along with the tzatziki, then you could make veggie sandwiches and the others could make gyros if they wished.

          Also quinoa would be a fun addition, I make it with feta, cucumbers, tomatoes and olives, and a Greek style dressing. That would go with lamb, to me anyway.

          1. What about some kind of eggplant casserole?

            3 Replies
            1. re: wyogal

              My thought exactly,

              I think it would be optimal to have a hearty dish that can be served as one component rather than something like a cous-cous, which is generally topped with something other (like roasted veggies). But either way, deliciousness awaits.

              Another idea: frittata/Spanish omelet, or quiche.

              I agree with those who suggest communications with the host, who might step up and do something his- or herself, too.

              1. re: Bada Bing

                Thanks for the eggplant suggestions! I don't know why I didn't think of that. I'm thinking I can do an eggplant rollitini type thing, which will veer a little more in the Italian direction, but I think that is ok.

                Also, I definitely will communicate with the hosts, they eat everything so it's really just about me having something I can eat.

              2. re: wyogal

                Before I even read this thread, for some reason I thought ratatouille-- or something along those lines.