Skip the standard bland dishes and treat vegetarian guests to hearty fare with fantastic flavor
Vegetarian wedding guests can prove a bit vexing. Instead of serving the meat-free set the same old, same old, take these insider tips for offering a vegetarian meal that’s creative, satisfying and tasty.
Fill Them Up
If you’ll have a number of non-meat-eaters, stations or heavy appetizers may be the way to go, as they will allow you to serve a lot of different options for vegetarians and carnivores alike.
But if you’ve opted for a plated dinner, Elyse Moore, wedding and social events manager for Chicago-based FIG Catering, suggests taking a nod from the season. “In the fall and winter, rich, savory pastries, such as portobello Wellington with mashed potatoes and blackened Brussels sprouts or spinach-and-goat-cheese strudel, make great vegetarian entrées,” Moore says. “In the summer, layering seasonal vegetables with bean or cheese purees (e.g. summer squash and smoked mozzarella gratin with creamy polenta and sautéed green beans), or stuffing them with grains, beans and/or cheese creates a visually stunning, fresh and hearty entrée.”
Forgoing the flesh doesn’t mean you aren’t a foodie. Just check out these epicurean menu suggestions from Emily Brune, a senior event coordinator and co-owner of Eco Caters, which operates in Los Angeles, San Diego and Washington D.C.-based.
Passed hors d’oeuvres:
• Truffled grilled cheese
• Camembert shooters with asparagus
• Fresh bruschetta with tomato concasse, avocado oil and preserved lemon.
Main dishes and sides:
• Butternut squash ravioli with brown butter and crispy sage
• Beet spaghetti with baby broccoli, red onion, Living Tree olive oil and Santa Barbara olives
• Gouda mac and cheese
• Wild mushroom quinoa
For more tasty inspiration, go global. “All cultures have had a historically less-well off class during their gastronomical development, whose cuisine is based on bringing the most flavor out of the least expensive ingredients available,” says Moore. “These are usually grains, legumes and seasonal vegetables.” Indian cuisine is ideal, adds Brune, because the heavy use of cumin and curry imparts the same rich, hearty flavor that you might find more consistently in a meat dish. Other smart go-to’s include Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Mexican and Asian.