The Perfect Vegetarian Christmas
The annual Christmas blow-out ought to be a feast rich both in stodge and protein, swimming in tasty grease and gravy and naturally featuring the best of local and seasonal produce. For the vegetarians and vegans amongst us, it can be a potentially tricky one. Christmas doesn't have to be all about meat, vegetarians and vegans can enjoy a lavish meal too. Some traditions are worth keeping.
The challenge here, especially on these occasions when the great platters of butchered barnyard are wheeled out, is to furnish you and your guests with the sensation that you've eaten well and missed nothing. Unless you're planning one of those nouveau affairs with delicate Italianate flavours, or some kind of a meze-style spread (all of which can work fabulously in the right time and place) you're going to have to get creative with the centrepieces, and work the sauces for all they're worth. It's difficult, but possible.
Don't even think about tofu, because, try as it might, it doesn't taste of anything, and this is the time of year for great big flavours. Think nuts, breadcrumbs, truffle oil, think sage and cinnamon and nutmeg and thyme. Keep it real, keep it fatty and traditional, and you won't hear a single wistful word from the carnivore at your table.
The traditional Christmas dinner has a certain timeworn structure, much like the rest of the yuletide carry-on, it needs a centrepiece, traditionally some big fat bird or a chubby limb, but an organic pumpkin, stuffed to the gills and baked slow, can do nicely in lieu.
For stuffing, simply go for what works:
chopped apples and raisins, a few fat handfuls of fatty nuts such as, pine nuts, walnuts, brazil nuts and macadamias are all good, some mushrooms, some celery, a bit of sage and a lot of juicy breadcrumbs. You'll start by sautéing some onion in plenty of butter or olive oil before adding the mushroom and celery, mix the rest up in a big bowl and throw in a couple of beaten eggs before, Stuff your pumkin and bake slowley untill pumkin is soft.
Enjoy your Christmas pumkin as a pumkin is not just for halloween.