Saturday, January 13, 2007

vegetarain festive dishes

Despite a previous brain melt down I did manage to whip up some transportable vego treats to add to the Christmas table. Along with dips and other store bought goodies, my sister and I managed to throw together a small mountain of cooked dishes that could be dispersed amongst the turkey, ham, salads and baked vegetables that groaned before us. My motto has always been “the simpler, the better” and with only an hour or so to spend in the kitchen before we journeyed over the hill, time and transportability became the deciding factors. The winners in the festive food sweepstakes were tarts and frittatas. Frozen puff pastry is a goddess send when trying to make something seem a little less ordinary and a dozen eggs can always be whipped into an impressive dish.

Tomato Tart

1 sheet of puff pastry (frozen is fine)
4-8 tomatoes
a little olive oil or melted butter to drizzle on top
2-3 tsp caster (superfine) sugar

Heat the oven to 180c.

Arrange the (thawed) pastry sheet on a lightly floured baking sheet and lightly mark a border of about 3cm. Inside the border place slices of tomatoes til pastry is covered. Fold over the border to create a slight rim around the tart. Sprinkle with oil/butter and sugar.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

Before serving scatter some finely chopped green herbs (eg: parsley) for contrast.

Tomato, goats cheese and olive tart (made by Sue)

1 sheet of puff pastry
sliced tomato
pitted Kalamata olives
crumbled sheep or goats cheese
garlic, crushed (optional)
sea salt and crushed black pepper.

Heat the oven to 180c.

Mark out the pastry to form a border as above. Layer tomatoes and then scatter with olives, cheese and garlic. Season with salt (go lightly) and pepper. Form an edge around the tart. Sprinkle with a little olive oil.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

Before serving scatter some rocket (arugula) or torn basil over the tart.

A trio of mini frittatas
(gluten-free, dairy-free )

Line muffin tins with non-stick baking cases or grease well.

The custard
eggs (about half an egg per frittata), beaten with a little salt and pepper

The fillings
slow cooked, or caramelised onion slices cooked with garlic
plus: sliced sun or semi-dried tomatoes
or: crumbled fetta or goats cheese with finely chopped green herbs
or: strips of smoked salmon and capers

Line the muffin pans with the cooked onions and top with your choice of additional fillings. Cover with the egg custard, to about 2 cm from the top of the pan. Cook in a moderate oven (around 170 c) for about 15 minutes. Test with a skewer to check the frittata is cooked.

* this trio worked well suiting the nonlacto vego, the non-cow vego and the meat eaters who loved the smoked salmon.

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