How to Host a Vegetarian Dinner Party

vegetarian dinner party

Having just celebrated National Vegetarian Week , now is the perfect time to take a look at some of the many delicious and tempting recipes for a vegetarian dinner party. Vegetarians used to dread dinner parties as they ended up eating everything except the meat, but nowadays even hardened meat eaters are starting to realise just how quick, healthy and cheap going veggie can be.

Not convinced? Why not challenge yourself, your family and your friends to putting together a three-course meal based around vegetarian ingredients? You will be astonished at how easy, not to mention tasty, the exercise is.

STARTER - Goat’s cheese salad

GoatsCheeseSalad

Simple to make, this goat’s cheese starter will fool your guests into thinking you spent hours in the kitchen, when they couldn’t be further from the truth. You will need one small goat’s cheese per person (or divide up a larger cheese into individual portions), one bag of baby salad leaves, a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved and a good balsamic dressing.

Wash your salad leaves in cold running water. One of the best kitchen accessories to help with this task is a salad spinner which dries the leaves in seconds and stops them from wilting.

Arrange a few salad leaves on your starter plates and top with the tomatoes. Grill the goat’s cheese under a hot grill until they start to melt slightly. Place a goat’s cheese on top of each salad plate and drizzle a little balsamic dressing over before serving.

MAINS - Risotto Primavera

Risotto

Translated as Spring Risotto, this simple and satisfying dish can be enjoyed at any time of the year. If you can’t find asparagus try substituting purple-flowering broccoli stems, although most vegetables work well. Serve the risotto with warm crusty bread and a generous colourful salad and your guests are almost guaranteed to be begging you to part with the recipe!

To serve 4 people at a vegetarian dinner party you will need:

4 spring onions chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, chopped, 1 small onion, chopped, 350g Arborio rice, Olive oil, 150g broad beans, shelled. 150g peas, shelled or frozen with 250g asparagus, sliced and 150 ml white wine. Around half a pint of hot vegetable stock, a knob of butter, 100g grated Parmesan cheese with parsley to garnish.

Begin by melting a little oil in a large frying pan. Add the spring onions, onion and garlic and cook over a low heat for about five minutes until softened. Add the rice and stir well to ensure an even coating of oil over the grains. Pour in the wine and stir with a wooden spoon as the liquid is absorbed by the rice.

Meanwhile keep adding a couple of spoons of hot stock to the rice whilst stirring for around 10 minutes or so. In a separate saucepan or steamer heat the asparagus for about five minutes before adding the beans and peas. Keep adding hot stock to the risotto and stirring it continuously for a further 10 minutes and then drain the vegetables and add them to the rice.

Add half the grated parmesan and the butter and stir into the risotto. Pile the rice and vegetables onto plates and top with a sprinkling of fresh parmesan and a scattering of chopped parsley.

DESSERT - Eton Mess

EatonMess

Sweet crunchy meringue, ice cream and the indulgence of berries smothered in fresh cream and a swirl of strawberry sauce. Everyone loves an Eton Mess and it’s very easy to make. Try adding fresh raspberries and raspberry sauce, or experiment with other fruit such as blueberries or even pineapples and bananas for a tropical effect.

For four people you will need:

Four ready-made meringue nests or shells, four scoops of a good quality vanilla ice cream, a punnet of strawberries, strawberry sauce or liqueur and double cream, whipped.

One of the few kitchen accessories you will definitely need for this recipe is a good apron, such as the ‘Sorted’ black and yellow version - meringues can get seriously messy as you will discover once you start crushing them!

Divide the crushed meringues between four dessert glasses and add a scoop of ice cream to each one. Hull and halve the strawberries and divide them between the glasses. Add a generous topping of whipped cream to each glass and top with a drizzle of sauce or liqueur. Enjoy!

Your guests, family and friends are sure to be absolutely delighted with this easy menu, and what’s the betting that they never even notice the lack of meat? Once you’ve discovered how delicious and filling meat-free recipes can be you might just find yourself choosing the vegetarian option more often.

Have you hosted a vegetarian dinner party? Share your recipes, tips, advice and experiences below.

DinnerParty

One thought on “How to Host a Vegetarian Dinner Party”

  • Sophie

    Finally, something I can cook for my friends - they're forever moaning at me for being a vegetarian! I can't wait to try :)

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