This is hypothetical—or not—for you.
You’re preparing a vegetarian Christmas meal.
Guests bring dessert
or the wine.
It must feel festive—a Feast!
You want to prepare ahead of time.
Omnivores focus on The Beast.
But what do vegetarians do?
What would you?
And if that isn’t challenging enough, this summer has been unseasonably wet and cold; the rain has caused farmers a bit of havoc this year.
Bad news first? English spinach and rocket are the worst affected of all the leafy greens. Lettuce and cos aren’t so hot, either. Strawberries may be in short supply.
The good news is freshly harvested Australian garlic is in—woohoo! Photo by @VineyardPaul.
Tomato season has begun. Photo by @rolley.
Capsicums and zucchinis are in abundance. Eggplants, beans, peas and asparagus are good. Avocadoes are still hanging around. For staples, there are potatoes, carrots, onions and leeks. Mixed salads are the safest option for leafy greens.
In fruit news: From Queensland, bananas are back to normal—dare I say—a glut soon. And don’t forget mangoes and lychees, too. South Australian cherries are great quality, as are new season Australian grapes. Victorian and NSW berries are good; raspberries, blackberries, loganberries, blueberries, red and white currants. Watermelons, honeydew and rockmelons too. New season stonefruit are in; apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines.
- dishes that you’ve cooked at least once before.
- dishes based on the best and freshest fruits and vegetables.
- dishes with flavours that develop over time (so you can prepare them a day earlier).
- less; cooking too many dishes may leave you short on time. Or patience.
My menu? I’d go Mediterranean, it’s easy, for me.
To prepare the day before
Toast old bread for crostini
Red capsicum crostini
Dough for the no knead bread
Prepare on the day
Buffalo mozzarella and chili crostini
Roast eggplant fan
A sour cream pastry tart with red capsicum, zucchini and herbs
A salad of new potatoes, green beans and herbs
Bake the bread
But that’s me… what would you do?
Information compiled from Murdoch Produce, Harris Farm, Vellutis, Food Connect Sydney and Sydney Market reports. I’ll keep an eye out for any changes.
Reader’s Digest: Kathryn Elliot, A Vegetarian Christmas Menu, 6th December 2011