While most households will be tucking into a roast turkey this Christmas, or enjoying another meat-based meal, others will be enjoying a more sustainable, ethical and eco-friendly Christmas dinner. Perhaps you could use some of your own home grown produce this year and enjoy a vegetarian Christmas dinner? To inspire you to try something different, here are five vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas:
Creamy Kale & Cranberry Pie
Especially if you take the time to make your own shortcrust pastry this year, a creamy kale and cranberry pie could be a show-stopper for the Christmas table. Layer lush, green kale or other winter greens from your polytunnel inside your pie crust along with cranberry sauce, caramelised onions and a creamy ricotta cheese or similar.
Beetroot Terrine With Goat’s Cheese
A beetroot terrine with goat’s cheese and strewn with winter herbs will look amazing on your Christmas table. The bright, gorgeous reds and greens are fabulously festive, and everyone is bound to be impressed with this special offering – especially if you have grown the beetroots and herbs used in the dish yourself.
Pear and Blue Cheese Tart With Walnut Pastry
Another fabulously festive option is this tart. The base is a healthy and hearty walnut pastry, while the topping is a delicious mixture of pear and your favourite blue cheese, all held together with a mixture of eggs and luxurious cream which makes this an indulgence for Christmas day.
Beef Wellington, with its golden pasty coat, is a favourite with many families at Christmas. But a vegetarian Wellington can be just as beautiful and impressive. Layer up colourful winter vegetables and a delicious sage and onion pesto within your puff pastry. This recipe is easy to customise to use up whichever vegetables you have on hand.
Root Vegetable Tarte Tatin
Honey-glazed roasted root vegetables are often a side dish on a Christmas table. But for a vegetarian meal, you can bump these up from supporting roll to the main attraction in a root vegetable tarte tatin. Easy yet impressive, this tarte tatin is a real crowd pleaser. Simply cut your carrots, parsnips, turnips and sweet potatoes into 1cm thick slices and roast them drizzled in olive oil and honey, with seasoning to taste until they are soft and golden. Cover with puff pastry, allowing it to drape around the sides of the vegetables, then, when cooked and golden, turn out so the vegetable topping creates a colourful centrepiece for your Christmas day meal.
Do you have your own favourite vegetarian recipe for Christmas? How do you use polytunnel produce during the festive season? Let us know in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.