I hosted Cooking Club this past month and decided on a vegetarian theme.
I am always looking for a vegetarian option at home and when I am entertaining.
I have a good number of vegetarians in my life so I like to have an arsenal of recipes on hand that will impress them and still satisfy the others at the table who are not.
I also try to have our family eat a vegetarian diet a couple of days a week and I was bored with my usual recipes, and needed some inspiration.
I knew my Cooking Club gals would turn it out and would introduce some delicious new recipes that I could put into rotation.
They did not disappoint.
I think it may have been one of the top meals we have cooked.
The host makes the main dish so I decided to make a couple of tarts.
Always a crowd pleaser and filling.
The first was a Corn and Heirloom Tomato Tart recipe by Daniel Boulud published in Elle Decor a few months back.
Perfect for the last days of summer sweet corn and juicy tomato’s.
The other, a wild mushroom tart from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.
I am a wild mushroom fanatic and this recipe satiated that obsession.
An added bonus was that it was super easy.
Either tart is perfect for a light lunch or dinner party.
Make one for the family and dine on the left overs all week.
I’ll come clean and will admit to owning the cookbook.
I have actually found numberous recipes that are not short on flavor and healthy to boot.
Of course there are the annoying “Gwyneth” bits to the book.
But I will give credit where credit is due.
Sally raised the bar with this Burnt Eggplant and Tahini recipe from the “Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi” Cookbook.
Normally not a huge fan of the eggplant, but this had such depth of flavor, the smokiness of the blackened eggplant and sweet pop of pomegranate made it a winner.
I hoarded the left overs and hid it from my husband.
On a side note, member Heather was unable to attend, but she swears by Plenty’s
Another hit was Jessica’s Carrot Soup with Lime Creme Fraiche.
A recipe from a family friend and it rocked.
It’s officially my new go to soup recipe.
Carrot Ginger Soup w/ lime crème fraiche
1 c. canola oil
2 T ground ginger
1-1/2 T ground turmeric
2-1/2 T olive oil
1 white onion, thinly sliced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 small jalapeno, seeded & thinly sliced
1 t peeled grated fresh ginger
4 large carrots (~1 pound), peeled & sliced
4 c. chicken or veg broth
salt & cayenne pepper
Lime Crème Fraiche:
1/2 c. crème fraiche
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 T minced fresh cilantro
Salt & Garnish w/ Sprigs of cilantro
Freshly cracked black pepper
To make the Ginger Oil:
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Carefully whisk together &
pour into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over med-hi heat & return to
the bowl. Refrigerate overnight to infuse the oil w/ flavor. The following
day, carefully ladle off the yellow ginger oil & store in a bottle or other
airtight container. Discard the solids. The oil will keep in the
refrigerator almost indefinitely.
We finished off the night with Lentils from Lulu,Heirloom Tomato with Basil Yogurt Drizzle from Megan, Truffled Israeli Cous Cous with Meyer Lemon and Basil and Zucchini Parmesan Crisps from Nicki. For dessert Stacy made her family’s Zucchini Bread recipe (not only perfect for dessert but also with a cup of coffee the next morning) and my hero Vanessa who rallied despite being 38 weeks pregnant (I was couch surfing at that stage in my pregnancy) with her delicious and complex Chocolate Thai Green Curry Cake.
Seriously good stuff.
Try out the recipes and let me know which is your favorite.
Bring more vegetarian dishes to your diet.
Healthy, flavorful, delicious.
So my dear readers kick that pork chop to the curb and get cooking!
Food Photos: Sally Horchow, Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi and Whole Foods.