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Top five vegetarian recipes for Christmas

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With a focus on turkey, pigs in blankets and bacon-infused cauliflower cheese, veggies often get a rough deal at Christmas, so we've asked food blogger Made by Margie to create five imaginative sweet and savoury dishes for vegetarians this year.

Melt-in-the-mouth whole-roasted cauliflower with spicy yoghurt 

A whole roasted cauliflower is a wondrous thing. It becomes gorgeously soft in the middle and this spicy yoghurt marinade forms a delicious crust. It also makes an epic centrepiece for any table.

cauliflower

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For serving:

  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • ½ lemon, zested

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C° and line a small baking sheet with baking parchment
  • Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem
  • In a bowl, combine the yogurt with the lemon zest and juice, chilli powder, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, salt and pepper
  • Spread the marinade all over the cauliflower so that it is completely covered
  • Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 40-50 minutes, depending on the size
  • Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes, drizzle with some yogurt, a few slices of chilli, and a sprinkling of chopped parsley 
  • Scatter over the zest of one lemon and voilà

Deliciously Garlicky Tomato Tart Tartin

If you haven’t tried making a savoury tart tartin, you should get on it pronto - they are quick, simple and make a lovely dish to serve to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. 

tart tartin

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of store bought puff pastry (gluten-free also available) or if you're feeling extra virtuous, try making your own
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • A couple of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C°
  • Take a heat-proof pan approximately 10 inches wide
  • Roll the puff pastry out and cut a disc about 2cm wider than the pan
  • Prick the pastry round all over with a fork
  • Heat the olive oil in the pan and cook the crushed garlic for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it burn
  • Turn off the heat and then sprinkle in the thyme leaves
  • Arrange the tomatoes in the pan, cut side down (this will form the top of your tart)
  • Lay the pastry disc over the tomatoes, and tuck the edges in like a delicious blanket
  • Pop the whole thing in the oven for about 25 minutes until the pastry has puffed up and is golden
  • Allow to rest for 5 minutes before turning out onto a serving board.

Perfect straight from the oven, but also delicious at room temperature. It can also be made ahead of time and then popped in the oven at the last minute. 

Super sweet potato roulade with lemon ricotta, sundried tomato, pesto and rocket

A savoury roulade is gloriously retro and makes a great Christmas dish as its served at room temperature and can be made ahead of time, so it wont take up precious oven space. Roulades are easy to make and this sweet potato one hits all the right notes.

sweet potato roulade
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 500g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 80g grated parmesan, or goats milk Gouda cheese 
  • An extra 20g grated parmesan for lining
  • 4 tablespoons ricotta
  • 60g buckwheat flour
  • ¼ jar sundried tomatoes
  • handful of rocket
  • 1 lemon zest and zest
  • 2 tablespoons of pesto
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C°
  • Line a 22cm x 32cm shallow baking tin with baking paper
  • Pop the sweet potato in a steamer and cook until really soft and tender, then tip into a food processor and whizz until silky smooth
  • Add the egg yolks, garlic, parmesan, flour, salt and pepper and whizz again to combine and then tip into a large bowl
  • Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then spoon 1/3 of the whisked egg whites into the sweet potato puree and give it a vigorous stir to combine. This is a very important step as it lightens the puree and allows it all to be mixed together
  • Gently fold the rest of the egg whites into the puree and once combined, pour into the prepared tin
  • Cook for 14-15 minutes until it is light and springy to touch, then leave to cool
  • Lay a large piece of baking parchment on the counter and then sprinkle with the 20g of parmesan (this stops it sticking), before tipping the roulade onto the baking parchment and gently peeling off the paper
  • Spread the pesto over the roulade
  • Mix the ricotta with the lemon juice and lemon zest and spread this on top of the pesto, then lay the sundried tomato in a line across the roulade and top with a handful of rocket leaves
  • Cut a line along one of the long lengths about ¾ of the way down - this helps with the rolling - now use the baking parchment to help you roll the roulade up and tip onto a serving board
  • Slice into rounds and serve with boiled new potatoes and a crispy green salad.

Whipped chocolate roulade with red currants

A chocolate log is an essential offering at Christmas and this one is a much lighter, healthier take on the traditional recipe. Prepare for whipped coconut cream to become your latest obsession.

roulade

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 80g ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 50g coconut cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of cacao powder

Filling:

  • About 400ml of Creme fraiche or whipped coconut cream (300ml before whipping) or whipped cream (300ml before whipping ) – whichever tickles your fancy

Topping:

  • 1/3 cup dairy free butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (or almond milk)
  • 2 cups dark chocolate, broken into chunks

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Lightly grease a 33cm x 23cm/13in x 9in Swiss roll tin then line the base and sides of the tin with a large sheet of greaseproof paper, pushing it into the corners
  • Make a small diagonal snip in each corner of the paper as this helps to fit the paper snugly into the corners of the tin
  • Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites together with the coconut sugar until it firm and fluffy and won’t fall out of the bowl when you tip it upside down (but stop beating before they get to meringue stage) I always use a mixer, which my arms thank me for, but feel free to use old-fashioned elbow grease
  • In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks for a minute or so. After a minute of whisking, the egg yolks should be thickened and pale yellow. Now add the coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla
  • Give it a good stir, then bung in the ground almonds and cocoa powder and stir well
  • Now you need to fold the two mixtures together. To do this, add a spoonful of the whipped egg whites to the chocolatey mix and stir well. This lightens the chocolate mixture and makes it easier to fold the two together
  • Fold together gently. Use figure-of-eight motions with your spatula and try to keep as much of the air in the beaten egg whites as you can
  • When you can’t see any specks of egg whites, tip into the prepared tin and gently ensure it’s spread out to the corners
  • Bake for 15 minutes until the roulade has risen and the top feels firm-ish to touch and leave to cool in the tin
  • Once cooled, lay a piece of parchment paper on your worktop and sprinkle with icing sugar, of cocoa powder. Be generous with your sprinkling as this is what will stop the roulade from sticking, so it’s important
  • In one movement, tip the roulade out onto the waiting parchment paper. Peel off the old parchment paper.
  • Now spread with your filling of choice, leaving a border of about 2cm all the way around the edges. The roulade MUST be cool before you do this, or whatever type of cream you are using will melt
  • Now make a cut along one of the long edges with a sharp knife, going about half way through the sponge. This will help to start the rolling up. Now roll this cut edge over tightly to start with and use the paper to help continue the tight rolling, by pulling it away from you as you roll. Don’t worry if the roulade cracks, we are covering it in ganache so no need to panic. Cracking is part of the charm anyway!
  • Now, cut a quarter of the cake off from the end on the diagonal. Transfer the large piece of cake to a serving plate and angle the cut end into the middle of the large cake to make a branch
  • Top with the ganache. Run a fork through it to look like bark. Top with holly leaves and red currants for a festive theme

Hearty and healthy salted caramel apple tart

This warming healthy salted caramel apple tart is a real show stopper. Ridiculously delicious, seriously simple to make, healthy, and just a little bit different to the traditional currant based puddings you get at Christmas.

apple pie

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinammon

For the pastry:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup

Salted Caramel:

  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Pop the apple in a heavy-based saucepan, with a splash of water and the cinnamon. Put the lid on and allow to cook on a very low heat for 10 minutes or so until the apples are deliciously soft, but not completely mushy. Keep checking and add more water as necessary to stop it burning
  • Meanwhile make the pastry. Pop the oats into a food processor and whizz until you have a fine-ish flour, then add the other ingredients and blend until it comes together. Scoop out about ¾ of the mixture and press into an 20cm pie dish. Just use your hands to press it down and also up the edges of the dish. Use a fork to score holes along the base to stop the pastry puffing up in the oven. Cook for about 12-15 minutes until lightly golden
  • With the remaining raw pastry, tip out onto the work surface, and smoosh it out to about 2cm thickness. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to stamp out as many hearts as you can
  • To make the caramel, simply pop everything in a saucepan and heat gently until everything has melted.
  • Once all the elements are done, you can now assemble. Mix half of the salted caramel with the stewed apples and then scoop into the cooked tart tin. Top with the pastry hearts and cook for 15-20 minutes until lovely and golden and bubbling
  • Serve hot from the oven, or it’s still delicious cold, and drizzle with the remaining salted caramel sauce

By Margie Broadhead

Follow Margie on Instagram for more gorgeous food snaps

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