Celebrate the season: this year, bring your family and friends together to enjoy a sumptuous vegetarian holiday buffet that’s a real treat for the senses

Celebrate the season: this year, bring your family and friends together to enjoy a sumptuous vegetarian holiday buffet that’s a real treat for the senses – Recipe

Victoria Abbott Riccardi

HERE’S A PERFECT WAY TO SHARE HOLIday goodwill–invite your loved ones to a winter buffet that serves 16. Our preparation timetable and handy shopping list will help you stay festive, not frazzled. Happy holidays.

Arugula, Fennel, and Blood

Orange Salad

MAKES 20 CUPS

To prepare the ingredients for this

refreshing salad in advance, see

“Party Timetable,” next page. You’ll

need to mix it in two bowls.

2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons grainy mustard

5 tablespoons extra-virgin

olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper

28 ounces arugula leaves, rinsed

and patted dry (about 24 cups)

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed

and sliced very thin (about

1 3/4 cups)

4 blood or regular oranges,

peeled, quartered, and

sliced thin

1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts,

toasted in a dry skillet until

fragrant, and chopped coarse

1/2 cup pitted and sliced

green olives

1. Whisk together lemon juice, balsamic

vinegar, and mustard in small

bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until thickened.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Divide arugula, fennel, and orange

slices between two large salad bowls

and gently toss.

3. Just before serving, drizzle half of

dressing over each salad. Divide nuts

and olives between salads, season each

with salt and pepper, and toss to mix.

PER CUP: 81 CALORIES, 2 G PROTEIN, 6 G FAT,

1 G SATURATED FAT, 6 G CARBOHYDRATES,

1 G FIBER, 158 MG SODIUM, 6% CALCIUM

Golden Phyllo Torte Stuffed

with Greens, Artichoke Hearts,

and Jack “Cheese”

MAKES 2 TORTES

These savory, vegetable-filled tortes

have a beautiful, crisp pastry crust. To

make them in advance, see “Party

Timetable,” next page.

2 pounds firm tofu, drained

2 pounds kale, stems discarded

and leaves chopped (about

24 cups)

2 pounds Swiss chard, stems

discarded and leaves chopped

(about 20 cups)

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

10-12 medium leeks, white and light

green parts only, chopped

(about 6 cups)

2 8-ounce packages frozen

artichoke hearts, thawed,

squeezed almost dry, and

chopped coarse

8 medium garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh

oregano leaves

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly grated

nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

16 ounces Monterey Jack-style

soy cheese, grated

2 cups chopped fresh mint

leaves

32 sheets phyllo dough (about

1 1/3 pounds), thawed in

refrigerator

Nonstick cooking spray or

olive oil in mister

1. Place blocks of tofu in large dish,

Cover tofu with a cutting board and place

a heavy saucepan on top to weigh it

down. Let tofu drain at least 20 minutes.

2. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in

large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add kale,

cover, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Drain and cool. Empty pot, and

repeat with Swiss chard, cooking about

4 minutes. Drain and cool.

3. Wash and dry pot. Heat oil in clean

pot over medium heat. Add leeks, artichoke

hearts, and garlic, and saute until

vegetables are soft, about 12 minutes.

4. Place drained tofu in food processor

fitted with metal blade. Process until

smooth, about 3 minutes. Add oregano,

salt, nutmeg, and cayenne. Pulse until

blended. Transfer mixture to large bowl.

5. Gently squeeze greens to remove

excess water. Add to whipped tofu, along

with leek mixture, grated soy cheese,

and mint. Stir until completely blended.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

7. Create a pinwheel-like circle with

sheets of phyllo dough: To start, lay a

sheet of phyllo over an 11- or 12-inch tart

pan (with a removable bottom) coated

with cooking spray. Gently press in place

and lightly coat with cooking spray. Lay

a second sheet at a slight angle from the

first sheet. Gently press in place and

lightly coat with cooking spray. Repeat

process with 6 more sheets of phyllo.

Spoon half of filling into tart pan and

spread evenly.

8. Lay a sheet of phyllo over filling

and lightly coat with cooking

spray. Use 7 more pieces of

phyllo to create a circular shape

in same manner as for bottom

of torte. Roll overhanging

phyllo edges upward and

inward to form a rim around

edge of pie and mist with

cooking spray. (This doesn’t have

to look perfect–as long as it holds

together, a rustic look is fine.) With sharp

knife, make several small slits in phyllo

to let steam escape. Repeat steps 7 and

8 with remaining 16 sheets of phyllo and

remaining filling, using second tart pan.

9. Bake tortes, reversing their position

in oven after 25 minutes, until crust is

very lightly browned, about 50 minutes.

Let tortes cool on wire racks for 20 minutes.

Remove tart rings and cut each

torte into 10 wedges. Slide them onto

large round serving platters.

PER WEDGE: 267 CALORIES, 19 G PROTEIN, 5 G

FAT, 1 G SATURATED FAT, 41 G CARBOHYDRATES,

6 G FIBER, 695 MG SODIUM, 27% CALCIUM

Roasted Winter Vegetables

with Herbs

MAKES 16 CUPS

These vegetables can be served warm

or at room temperature. To roast them

in advance, see “Party Timetable,”

right, for directions.

1 1/2 pounds parsnips (try to find

medium-size ones)

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts

Nonstick cooking spray

1 1/2 pounds baby carrots

3 medium onions, peeled and

quartered

2 tablespoons extra-virgin

olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh

thyme leaves (or

1 1/2 teaspoons dried)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh

rosemary leaves (or

1 1/2 teaspoons dried)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh

oregano leaves (or

1 1/2 teaspoons dried)

1 teaspoon dried mint

Salt and ground black pepper

1. Place oven racks in middle and

upper-middle positions. Preheat oven

to 400 degrees.

2. Peel parsnips and cut into sticks;

set aside. Trim bottoms from Brussels

sprouts; cut sprouts in half and set aside.

3. Coat two large roasting pans (you

may use disposable heavy foil pans) with

nonstick cooking spray. To each pan, add

half of parsnips, Brussels sprouts, baby

carrots, onion quarters (it’s fine if they

break apart slightly), oil, thyme, rosemary,

oregano, and mint. Toss to coat

vegetables with oil and herbs. Season

vegetables in both pans with salt and

pepper to taste; toss again.

4. Place top pan toward left side of

oven and bottom pan toward right

side. Roast, turning vegetables

often with a spatula and rotating

pans twice during cooking,

until vegetables are soft and

golden, about 50 minutes.

Heap onto serving platters.

PER 3/4 CUP: 69 CALORIES, 2 G PROTEIN,

2 G FAT, <1 G SATURATED FAT, 13 G

CARBOHYDRATES, 4 G FIBER, 23 MG

SODIUM, 4% CALCIUM

Israeli Couscous with

Plumped Cherries and

Caramelized Onions

MAKES 9 CUPS

Israeli couscous is a round semolina

pasta like regular couscous, but its

grains are about in times larger. Israeli

couscous, which is sold in many

gourmet stores and natural food markets,

has an especially nutty flavor. See

“Party Timetable,” previous page, for

advance preparation tips.

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin

olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh chopped

marjoram or oregano leaves

3 medium red onions, peeled

and chopped

Salt and ground black pepper

3/4 cup Ruby port or cherry juice

(available in gourmet and

Middle Eastern stores)

1 cup pitted, dried sweet

cherries

6 cups light-colored vegetable

broth (like Pacific Natural)

3 cups Israeli couscous

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

leaves

1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over

medium-high heat. When hot, add marjoram

and onions and saute until soft,

about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to very low

and cook until golden brown and

caramelized, about 15 minutes. Season

with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. Combine port and cherries in small

saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a

simmer, cover, reduce heat to low, and

cook until liquid is almost absorbed,

about 6 minutes. Set aside.

3. Just before serving, bring broth to

a boil in large saucepan. Stir in

couscous and reduce heat to low.

Cover and simmer until couscous

is tender and liquid has

been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in onion mixture, plumped

cherries, and parsley. Adjust seasonings.

Place couscous in

large, shallow serving bowl and

serve immediately.

PER 1/2 CUP: 176 CALORIES, 4 G PROTEIN,

1 G FAT, <1 G SATURATED FAT, 34 G CARBOHYDRATES,

3 G FIBER, 17 MG SODIUM, 3% CALCIUM

Golden Coconut

Upside-Down Cake

MAKES 20 SQUARES

This lightly spiced cake has a crunchy

coconut bottom. To make it in

advance, see “Party Timetable,” previous

page. Serve with Spiced Pineapple

in Gewurztraminer Syrup

(recipe on next page).

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon nonaluminum baking

powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Nonstick cooking spray

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons

nonhydrogenated vegetable

oil spread, such as Spectrum

Spread

1 cup granulated cane juice

2/3 cup shredded unsweetened

coconut

1 cup low-fat plain soymilk

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1. Adjust oven racks to bottom

and middle positions. Preheat oven to

350 degrees.

2. Whisk flours, baking soda, baking

powder, ginger, nutmeg, and salt

together in large bowl; set aside.

3. Coat bottom and sides of 9- by 13-inch

baking pan with nonstick cooking

spray. Melt 2 tablespoons of nonhydrogenated

spread in small skillet over low

heat. Pour melted spread into baking pan

and tip to evenly coat pan bottom.

4. Combine 1/2 cup granulated cane

juice with coconut in food processor.

Pulse to blend. Sprinkle mixture evenly

over bottom of baking pan.

5. With an electric mixer, beat remaining

1/2 cup granulated cane juice with

remaining 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated

spread on low speed until creamy, about

1 minute. Beat in soymilk until incorporated.

Add maple syrup, almond extract,

and vinegar, and beat until well mixed.

6. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture

and stir until ingredients are mixed.

Carefully pour batter over coconut and

gently smooth top with spatula.

7. Bake for 25 minutes on bottom rack.

Move cake to middle rack and continue

baking for 10 minutes, or until cake is

golden and springs back when gently

pressed. Remove from oven and let cool

in pan to room temperature.

8. Run a sharp knife around outside

edge of pan and cut into 20 squares. Use

metal spatula to remove each piece,

making sure to dig under each piece to

remove sticky coconut topping, Arrange

pieces of cake coconut side up on

decorative platter or cake stand.

PER SERVING: 232 CALORIES, 3 G PROTEIN,

10 G FAT, 5 G SATURATED FAT, 34 G CARBOHYDRATES,

2 G FIBER, 72 MG SODIUM, 3% CALCIUM

Spiced Pineapple

in Gewurztraminer Syrup

with Pomegranate Seeds

MAKES 12 CUPS

Gewurztraminer is a crisp, spicy wine

that makes an excellent after-dinner

drink. You can make the syrup

for this fruit dessert up to 2 days

in advance; see “Party Timetable,”

page 51. Encourage your guests to pair

this dessert with the cake, allowing the

syrup to soak into the cake.

1 750 ml bottle Gewurztraminer

wine

1 1/4 cups pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons finely minced

peeled gingerroot

1 cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

10 cups fresh pineapple chopped

into 1-inch chunks (about

3 pineapples)

Salt and ground black pepper

1 pomegranate, peeled, seeds

reserved

1. Combine Gewurztraminer, maple

syrup, gingerroot, cinnamon, bay leaves,

and nutmeg in medium saucepan. Bring

to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer

until slightly syrupy and reduced to about

2 1/2 cups, about 25 minutes. Cool to room

temperature.

2. Place pineapple in large bowl. Add

syrup (include bay leaves and cinnamon,

which look pretty when serving) and chill

thoroughly, at least several hours.

3. Shortly before serving, transfer

pineapple and syrup to decorative glass

bowl. Stir in pomegranate seeds.

PER 1/2 CUP: 101 CALORIES, <1 G PROTEIN,

<1 G FAT, <1 G SATURATED FAT, 21 G CARBOHYDRATES,

1 G FIBER, 5 MG SODIUM, 2% CALCIUM

Party Timetable

Preparing this impressive buffet isn’t difficult, but it takes some planning. Read the recipes and make sure you have the utensils you’ll need to cook and serve the dishes. Buy the ingredients two or three days before your party. (We’ve provided a shopping list on page 52.) Follow this timetable and you’ll be ready to celebrate when your guests arrive.

Two Days Before

SIDE DISHES: Roast vegetables; refrigerate in containers. Prepare onion mixture and cherries for couscous; refrigerate them separately.

DESSERTS: Make Gewurztraminer syrup and refrigerate.

One Day Before

SALAD: Prepare dressing and ingredients: greens, fennel, oranges, nuts, and olives. Refrigerate each separately.

DESSERTS: Make cake, cool, and wrap. (Leave in pan.)

Morning of the Party

TORTE: Assemble tortes in pans, wrap, and refrigerate.

SIDE DISHES: Measure broth, parsley, and couscous.

DESSERTS: Peel and seed pomegranate and refrigerate. Cut up pineapple, combine with syrup, and refrigerate.

Afternoon of the Party

SALAD: Assemble salad.

TORTE: Bake tortes.

SIDE DISHES: Reheat vegetables in roasting pans at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Prepare couscous.

DESSERTS: Slice Cake and place on tray. Add pomegranate seeds to pineapple.

Shopping List

Staples

All-purpose

flour

Almond extract

Baking powder

Baking soda

Balsamic

vinegar

Bay leaves

Cayenne pepper

Cinnamon stick

Cooking spray

Dried mint

Extra-virgin

olive oil

Grainy mustard

Granulated

cane juice

Ground ginger

Lemon juice

Nutmeg

Rice vinegar

Salt & pepper

Whole-wheat

pastry flour

Produce

Arugula, 28 oz

Baby carrots,

1 1/2 lb

Blood oranges, 4

Brussels

sprouts, 1 1/2 lb

Fennel bulb, 1

Garlic, 8 cloves

Gingerroot,

2-inch piece

Kale, 2 lb

Leeks, medium,

10 to 12

Marjoram,

1 bunch

(optional)

Mint, 1 large

bunch (2 cups)

Onions, red, 3

Onions, white, 3

Oregano, 1

bunch

Parsley, 1 bunch

Parsnips, 1 1/2 lb

Pineapples, 3

Pomegranate, 1

Rosemary,

1 bunch

Swiss chard,

21b

Thyme, 1 bunch

Other

Dried sweet

cherries, 1 cup

Firm tofu, 2 lb

Frozen artichoke

hearts, 16 oz

Frozen phyllo

dough, 2 pkg

Green olives,

1/2 cup

Israeli couscous,

3 cups

Maple syrup,

2 1/4 cups

Pistachio nuts,

1/2 cup

Shredded

unsweetened

coconut, 2/3 cup

Soy jack

cheese, 1 lb

Soymilk, 1 cup

Spectrum

spread, 6 oz

Vegetable broth,

1 1/2 qt

Beverages

Gewurztraminer,

750 ml

Rubyportor

cherry juice,

3/4 cup

Wine, sparkling

drinks, juices,

coffee, tea

Victoria Abbott Riccardi is a food writer in Boston and a regular contributor to Natural Health.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Weider Publications

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group