Veggie Christmas dinner

Being in Germany over Christmas, one must have the special meal a few hours earlier than in the UK. Heiligabend is the important time to share food and exchange gifts. So, this year I took a couple of recipes from the Guardian newspaper website and amended them, as one must.

Mushroom_tartFirst is the mushroom tart (left). This one looks a little over-baked, but it was rescued from the oven in time. The creator, Yotam Ottolenghi, admits the recipe is complicated for what is, essentially a stuffed mushroom starter. However, even by my standards it was interesting. The mushrooms are marinated in a hot mixture of fresh thyme, rosemary, vegetable stock, garlic, lemons, cinnamon, butter, salt and freshly ground black pepper! They then sit in a baking tray with pastry and topped with pine nuts and parsley. And to ensure a snug fit, I added grated carrot mixed with honey.

The main course owes its origins to a recipe by Tom Hunt – Fig, chestnut, ricotta, and beetroot-top rotolo.Root_pie Actually, it became a bit of a pie (I used the same pastry that I had used for the starter and I was unable to roll it, not least because Tom Hunt’s recipe uses pasta and not pastry). Mine, therefore, is more of a root pie – grated beetroot, carrot with onions, leek, fennel, dark brassica leaves, chestnuts, figs, red wine and flavoured with fresh mint and black pepper. It was started in a wok before being transferred to a dish and baked for 30 mins at about 150 degrees celsius.

It was complemented with roast potatoes and Quinoa salad containing broccoli and pomegranate seeds.

If there is any thought about it, chestnuts tend to be quite dry, so a sauce of some benign kind might have helped. Again, interesting.

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