Cookbook authors Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough have crafted a collection of 150 recipes that put vegetables at the center of the plate in Vegetarian Dinner Parties. Even though the word "vegetarian" is in the title, this book was written with the omnivore in mind; meaning that the recipes are for anyone who loves to cook and eat vegetables. An example of some dishes include sweet pea samosas, fried olives with caramelized garlic, sweet potato gnocchi and pulled vegetable sliders (recipe below). In addition, beer and wine pairings are suggested as well as instructions to pull off a foolproof party. These vegetarian recipes and useful advice will prove to make any meatless dinner party an instant success.
Pulled Vegetable Sliders
By cooking shredded vegetables in an all-American, sweet-and-sour sauce of tomatoes, beer, vinegar, and brown sugar, we can morph them into a dinner-party version of the classic summer sandwich. Admittedly, the vegetables aren’t “pulled,” but they’ve got enough of the flavors of the classic pulled dishes from America’s barbecue stands that we thought we’d be forgiven a little leeway in the recipe title. These sliders are pretty messy, so be ready with napkins. They’re also quite filling, so plan on slowing down. Don’t rush off to the next course. If you’ve got kids playing video games in the next room during dinner, double this recipe and offer it to them, too.
1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes (about 1 3⁄4 cups)
1⁄2 cup cider vinegar
1⁄4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon celery seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
1 1⁄2 cups shredded carrots
1 1⁄2 cups shredded yellow potatoes (no need to peel)
4 cups shredded Savoy cabbage
1 bottle (12 ounces) dark beer, preferably a porter, divided
8 small challah rolls
1. Combine the crushed tomatoes, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, mustard powder, smoked paprika, oregano, celery seeds, cloves, and hot sauce in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring until the brown sugar dissolves. Stir in the carrots and potatoes, then bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir in the cabbage and 1⁄4 cup of the beer. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes, adding more beer as necessary to keep the vegetables from scorching. If you end up adding too much beer, simply cook uncovered for a couple of minutes, stirring almost all the while, until the mixture is fairly dry, not soupy at all.
3. Mound the vegetable mixture onto the bottom of the challah roll set on each of 8 serving plates. Top each with the bun’s other half.
Ahead: Make the slider filling up to 24 hours in advance. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Reheat for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring often, before serving.
Less: Look for shredded vegetables on the salad bar at your supermarket.
Garnish: Top the “pulled” vegetables with pickled jalapeño rings, pickle relish, chow-chow, or even a dab of creamy coleslaw.
● The carrots and potatoes should be shredded through the large holes of a box grater or with the shredding blade of a food processor. The cabbage can be shredded with a knife after coring; lay the vegetable on its side and slice it widthwise into very thin strips, less than 1⁄4 inch each.
● Unfortunately, vegetables loose essential moisture in transport and on the shelf. Your vegetables may take longer to get tender than we suggest. You don’t want mush, but you do want them luxurious. If so, add a little more beer and keep the pan tightly covered
Reprinted from Vegetarian Dinner Parties by Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough. Copyright (c) 2014 by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.