Friday, 20 December 2013

A Merry Veggie Christmas!

If I say the words Christmas Dinner do you think of mouth watering roast potatoes, crunchy roast parsnips, juicy carrots, sprouts (if you must), fragrant stuffing, sweet cranberry sauce and a generous helping of succulent turkey topped off with figgy pudding gently sizzling with flaming brandy? I sound like an M & S advert! Me too sort of, except I hate figgy pudding and I'm a vegetarian so no turkey for me! However, I don't miss out as both mine and Mr P's family (we alternate) cook the veg well away from the turkey and I have a not so secret weapon to ensure I have just as yummy a meal as my meat eating relatives.

This year I'm having a delicious caramelised balsamic and red onion tart with goat's cheese taken from Delia Smith's Vegetarian Collection, which I have to say is the yummiest collection of veggie recipes I've ever seen. I won't recount the whole recipe here as it's quite long but here it is in a nutshell:

You will need...
Enough short crust pastry to make your desired size tart (you can buy it ready made but if you make your own add some mustard powder and cayenne pepper)
A little beaten egg
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
900g sliced red onions (chew gum while you chop them and you should cry less)
2 round goat's cheeses
25g butter
1 dessert spoon of chopped sage and some whole leaves for garnish
A little olive oil and cayenne pepper

To make the tart...
Heat your oven to 180°C or gas mark 4. Roll out your pastry nice and thin and use it to line a greased quiche tin. Lightly prick the base with a fork, cook for around 15 mins in the oven and let it cool.

To make the scrum my onion filling melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onions, balsamic vinegar and hopped sage, season and let it all cook gently for about 30 mins until the excess liquid has evaporated and it has a glazed look.

Brush the cold pastry case with a little beaten egg and pop it back in the oven for 5 mins to stop it going soggy. Spoon the onion mixture into the case and add slices of goat's cheese on top. Finish the tart with a few sage leaves dipped in olive oil and sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper. Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy!

The beauty of this recipe is you can make the pastry case and the onion mixture ahead of time and put them together in a jiffy. That and it tastes amazing, even as leftovers on Boxing Day. I heartily recommend Delia's veggie recipes for any fellow veggies out there and for any meat eaters who think they can handle a meat free meal!

Are you having something non-traditional for your Crimble dinner? 

Picture and recipe credit: Peter Knab for Delia Smith's Vegetarian Collection (BBC Books, 2002)

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