Too often the taste buds of vegetarians get overlooked, which is a real shame especially during the festive season, when food plays such a big role. We’ve searched high and low for the best veggie recipes to give you some inspiration. Et voila! Enjoy.

Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese Cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 cooked beetroot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 40g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 40g chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 150g very soft, fresh rindless goat’s cheese (we used Chavroux)
  • 24 mini croustade cups (we used Rahm’s, from Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Ocado)
  • Fresh coriander leaf, to garnish

Method:

  • In a food processor, whizz the beetroot with the garlic clove, Greek yogurt, pomegranate molasses, fresh breadcrumbs, hazelnuts and seasoning to form a coarse paste.
  • Put the goat’s cheese in a piping bag, then half-fill the croustade cups .
  • Top with spoonfuls of the beetroot paste, then garnish each with a fresh coriander leaf. Serve straightaway, or keep the beetroot paste in the fridge, covered, for up to 2 days, then assemble at the last minute.

veggie

Cauliflower Fritters with Spiced Yoghurt

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil, plus extra for deep-frying
  • ½ cauliflower, broken into florets
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 2-3 fresh curry leaves, finely sliced (see tip)
  • 150ml natural yogurt

For the batter:

  • 25g gram (chickpea) flour
  • 12g rice flour
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cumin powder
  • Large pinch of red chilli powder
  • 5 fresh curry leaves, finely chopped (see tip)
  • 75ml sparkling water
 Method:
  • Make the batter by mixing all the dry ingredients and curry leaves in a small bowl. Make a well in the middle, pour in the water and stir until smooth.
  • Heat about 10cm of vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer or deep pan to 180°C or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Coat the cauliflower florets in the batter, then deep-fry in batches for 2½-3 minutes until golden and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper and scatter with the coriander leaves.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds until the seeds start to pop. Remove from the heat and stir into the yogurt. Season. Serve the fritters with the spiced yogurt and mint chutney.

veggie

Warm Cheese and Onion Cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium free-range eggs
  • 4 finely sliced spring onions
  • 150g grated mature cheddar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
  • 30 croustade shells
  • Paprika
 Method:
  • Bring a pan of water to a simmer and lower in the eggs. Boil for 8 minutes, then rinse under cold running water until cooled. Shell and roughly chop.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the chopped eggs, onions, cheddar, mustard and mayonnaise. Taste and season well, then cover and chill until needed.
  • When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
  • Line up 30 croustade shells on a baking tray (available from larger supermarkets – we used Rahms) and fill each with 1 tsp cheese and onion mixture. Bake the cheese and onion cups in the oven for 10 minutes or until the tops are golden. Dust each with a pinch of paprika and serve immediately.

veggie

  • 400 g squash
  • olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 50 g dried apricots
  • 50 g sour cherries or cranberries
  • 2 tesapoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 200 g tinned or vacuum-packed chestnuts
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 100 g shelled pistachios
  • 100 g almonds
  • 100 g cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 2 medium free-range eggs , (or to make it vegan, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds mixed with 6 tablespoons of water and left to soak)
  • 1 pomegranate

Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 fresh red chillies
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • ½ a bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 pinch of turmeric
  • 2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 200g Feta cheese (optional)
  • 1 lemon , optional
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds , optional

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. Grease a 24cm loose-bottomed tart tin with a little olive oil.
  • Peel, deseed and chop the squash into 1cm chunks, then toss onto a baking tray with a drizzle of oil and sea salt and black pepper, and roast for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic, and roughly chop the apricots and cranberries. Bash the cumin and coriander seeds, and zest the lemon. Pick and roughly chop the coriander, then roughly chop the chestnuts.
  • In a frying pan over a medium heat, cook the onion in a little oil for 10 minutes or until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, until beginning to soften, then add all the spices and a little more oil. Cook for a couple more minutes, until it’s all smelling great. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Blitz the pistachios and almonds until they’re ground to a coarse powder with a little texture. Tip into a bowl with the quinoa or rice and dried fruit, then add the lemon zest, coriander and chestnuts. Beat and stir in the eggs (or chia seed mix) and the onion.
  • Take the squash out of the oven and mash half of it with the back of a fork, leaving the other half in chunks, then stir this into the mixture too.
  • Pile the lot into the prepared tin and press down to flatten. Cook in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until set.
  • While it’s cooking, make the tomato sauce. Peel and chop the garlic and onion. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Prick the chillies and add to the pan with a little oil, the cinnamon stick, sprigs of thyme, garlic, onion and turmeric.
  • Cook for a minute or two, then add the plum tomatoes. Fill the tin with water and pour that in too, stirring to break up the tomatoes. Season with salt, stir through the balsamic vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • If using the feta, place it in a bowl, zest over the lemon, add the coriander seeds, some black pepper and a good drizzle of oil and leave it to marinate.
  • Once the sauce is thick and glossy, pick out the chilli, cinnamon and thyme. Set aside.
  • Take the nut roast out of the oven, then carefully remove it from the tin and place it on a serving platter.
  • Scatter the loaf with the feta (if using), and the pomegranate seeds. Serve with the sauce in a side bowl.

veggie

Mushroom and Mozzarella Arancini

Ingredients:

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 200g mixed mushrooms (such as chestnut, girolles), sliced
  • 750ml fresh vegetable stock, hot
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
  • 125g risotto rice (carnaroli)
  • 75ml dry white wine
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 25g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
  • 75g mozzarella (we like Galbani), cut into very small cubes
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 100g crispy breadcrumbs such as panko
  • 50g plain flour
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Method:

  • Heat half the butter in a large frying pan. When sizzling, add the mushrooms and season. Fry, without turning, for 2-3 minutes until golden, then toss and fry until evenly golden and crisp. (You may need to fry in batches – give them space.) Cool on a plate lined with kitchen paper, chop finely and chill.
  • Heat the remaining butter in the frying pan, and put the stock and the bashed garlic cloves in a saucepan over a low heat. Put the rice in the frying pan and toast over a medium heat for 2 minutes, then turn the heat up, pour in the wine and bubble until all the wine has evaporated.
  • Slowly add the stock to the risotto rice, a ladleful at a time, stirring until the liquid is absorbed, before adding the next ladleful. You may not need all the stock, or you may need to add extra water. Once the rice is cooked al dente (15-20 minutes), stir in the thyme leaves and parmesan, season, then spread out on a baking tray to cool, loosely covered with foil. Chill for up to 12 hours.
  • To assemble the arancini, scoop the rice into a bowl, then stir in the mushrooms and mozzarella. Crack the eggs into a bowl, beat with a fork, then put the breadcrumbs and flour in separate bowls. Heat the oil in a large, deep, heavy-based pan to 180°C when tested with a digital probe thermometer.
  • Scoop out tablespoons of the mix (about 20g each) and roll into balls. Dip in the flour, then in the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Put on a board and repeat until you’ve used all the risotto. Fry in the oil, 4-5 at a time, until golden and crisp. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve while still warm.

veggie

Roast Squash with Blue Cheese and Pickled Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large (about 1.2kg) butternut squash
  • 100g vegetarian stilton (or for a non-veggie option, you could use gorgonzola dolce or roquefort)
  • Handful fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
  • 4-5 pickled walnuts (from delis or the condiments section of supermarkets), chopped
  • Squeeze lemon juice
Method: 
  • Heat the oven to 200°/180°C fan/ gas 6. Put the oil in a large, shallow baking tray or casserole and put in the oven to heat up. Deseed and chop the squash into 1.5cm pieces (see tip). When the oil is very hot, add the squash, season and roast for around 1 hour, turning once or twice, until the squash pieces are deep golden and slightly charred.
  • Crumble over the stilton, then return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Sprinkle over the parsley, chopped walnuts and some salt, then squeeze over a drizzle of lemon juice and serve hot or warm.

veggie

Cheesy Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 300g mature Cheddar, grated
  • 150-200g breadcrumbs
  • 2tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, peeled and very finely chopped
  • ¼tsp Cayenne or paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 x 375 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, Gas 6. Mix the filling ingredients in a bowl and season carefully.
  • Roll out the puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Using a teaspoon, place blobs of the filling in a line down the length of the pastry sheet. Cut the pastry down the length of the pastry so that you are left with a strip with the filling blobs on it. Cut off enough pastry in between each filling blob to roll around it.
  • Brush one end with beaten egg and seal the sausage roll. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden and the cheese melted inside. Serve warm.

veggie

Mushroom and Potato Dauphinois Tarts

Ingredients:

  • 10g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 25g butter
  • 40g (½ medium) onion, finely chopped
  • ½ garlic clove, chopped
  • 100g small charlotte potatoes (peeled weight)
  • 80ml whole milk
  • 80ml double cream
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
  • 50g hard, mature cheese such as gruyère or cheddar, grated

For the oatmeal pastry cases:

  • 60g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 20g medium oatmeal (we like Rude Health)
  • 30g chilled butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
  • 25g hard, mature cheese (as for the filling), finely grated

You will also need:

  • Two 3cm deep x 10cm tartlet tins

veggie

Pumpkin, Kale and Feta Filo Pies

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 300g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 leek, white part only (about 50g), sliced (see tip)
  • 75g kale, stems removed, finely sliced
  • 6 medium free-range eggs
  • 200ml skimmed milk
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative
  • 125g feta, crumbled
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 4 large filo pastry sheets, cut into 16 x 14cm squares, kept in a folded damp tea towel in the fridge

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 and grease 4 x 12cm individual tart tins. Put the squash on a baking tray, season well and drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Toss, then roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4.
  • Meanwhile cook the leek in a pan of simmering salted water for 3 minutes. Add the kale leaves and cook for 2 minutes or until softened. Drain well and, when cool, squeeze out any excess liquid with your hands.
  • Beat the eggs, milk, grated parmesan, feta and paprika in a bowl and season well. Brush the filo sheets with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, then stack 4 in each tin, pressing them in well and layering each piece at a slight angle to the previous one to create a star-shaped case. Divide the roasted squash, kale and leek among the pastry cases, then pour over the egg mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set and golden. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and cress, if using, then serve with toasted pumpkin seeds and cress/baby herbs (optional)

veggie

Roast Onion Squash Stuffed With Blue Cheese Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 2 small squash, such as onion squash (about 500g each)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Good knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g risotto rice
  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 250ml vegetable stock, hot
  • 50g baby spinach
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, plus extra whole leaves fried in butter to serve
  • 50g blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola or Stilton, crumbled

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Slice the tops off the squash and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and discard, then place the squash on a baking sheet (slice a bit off the bottoms if they sit unevenly).
  • In a pan, gently fry the onion in the butter and oil for 5 minutes until translucent, then add the risotto rice and stir to coat in buttery onion.
  • Pour in the wine and bubble, stirring, until absorbed. Pour in the stock, then add the baby spinach, stirring until it starts to wilt. Season well, then stir in the chopped sage. Divide the risotto mixture evenly between the squash. Replace the squash tops to form lids and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the risotto is cooked and the squash is tender when pierced with a knife. (Check regularly while the squash is cooking and if it looks like it’s darkening too fast, cover the squash with foil for the remainder of the cooking time.)
  • Remove the squash from the oven, take off the lids and crumble the blue cheese over the risotto. Pop the lids back on and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Remove from the oven, stir the melted cheese into the risotto and serve garnished with whole fried sage leaves.

veggie