How to entertain at christmas if you’re vegetarian

I’m sure most of you darlings know, I’m a fussy eater. On top of just being pure fuss I’m a pescatarian, but at Christmas I eat vegetarian food. I love good honest food and try to steer clear of processed foods. When it comes to Christmas, I hate that feeling of being over stuffed and full of fat. I’ve teamed up with Waitrose to bring you the best vegetarian Christmas menu I can find.

No Christmas (be it vegetarian or not) should ever begin without a stiff drink. These cranberry margaritas my friends – are wonderfully warming and festive.

Cranberry and Clementine Margarita

Ingredients :

  • 200mlCranberry Juice
  • 2tbsp Caster sugar
  • 25ml Cranberry syrup
  • 50ml Tequila
  • 25ml Cointreau
  • 1/2 Lime, cut into quarters
  • Handful Fresh cranberries
  • 1 Clementine

Garnish

  • 3 Cranberries
  • ¼ Lime
  • Salt

Method:

First begin by making a cranberry syrup. Start by combining the cranberry juice and the sugar into a small pan, bring to the boil and the simmer until reduced by half (around 20-30 minutes). This intensifies the flavour and sweetens the juice.

To prepare your glass run a wedge of lime around the rim holding the glass upside down, then pour salt around the rim until you have an even thin layer. Half fill the glass with ice to ensure glass is chilled.

For the cocktail, first fill your cocktail shaker with three quarters worth of ice.

Add the cranberry syrup, Cointreau, tequila and the quartered lime, squeezing some juice from them as well. Zest a small amount of orange into your cocktail shaker and a few fresh cranberries for an extra hit of flavour.

Put together the cocktail shaker and shake hard for around 15 seconds to ensure that everything is well mixed and chilled.

Strain the cocktail into your prepared glass and serve with fresh lime and cranberries.

Easy Vegetarian Christmas Starter – Port poached pear with endive, blue cheese and walnuts 
 
Serves 4 
For the poached pears:
  • 500ml Port
  • 4 Ripe pears into quarters
  • 40g Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Cinnamon stick
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 Star anise
  • 1 Bay leaf
Mustard dressing:
  • Dijon mustard 40g
  • 2 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 100 ml Vegetable oil
  • Pinch of salt
For the salad:
  • 60g Walnut halves
  • 2 Red endives – Broken down into leaves
  • 65g Cashel Blue or a soft creamy blue cheese
  • 1 tbsp Parsley – Chopped
  • Olive oil
Start by cooking the pears. Place all the pear ingredients into a pan, bring it up to the boil and then turn the heat down low and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Set the pears aside to cool. Lightly roast the walnuts for 5-6 minutes at 175°C. Place the mustard into a large bowl along with the sugar, then slow pour the oil in while whisking it into the mustard (use a food processor if you like.) Once all the ingredients are ready, start to build the salad, making sure the endive leaves are covered with the mustard dressing and the blue cheese is nestled around the salad into nice little nuggets.

 

Vegetarian Christmas Main –  Roast Squash, pickled grapes, hazelnuts
A nut roast can sometimes be dry, lifeless and well, boring for a vegetarian at Christmas. If you avoid using goose fat for the roast potatoes, and keep any meat sides in separate dishes, the usual trimmings plus this tasty and easy to make vegetarian main equals one tasty dish…
  • 1 Whole butternut squash
  • 100g Black grapes
  • 50ml Sherry Vinegar
  • 40g Hazelnuts – Toasted
  • 50g Pumpkin seeds – Toasted

Start by dehydrating the grapes, 90°C in the oven for 4-5 hours. Make sure the grapes are evenly spread on a tray. (tip from Waitrose kitchen – this can be carried out days before). Wrap the squash in foil and place into the oven on a tray for about 45-60 minutes at 185°C. While the squash is cooking, place the grapes into a bowl and rehydrate with the sherry vinegar. Roughly chop and mix the hazelnuts and pumpkin seed together. Check squash with a knife to ensure soft and cooked. Once cooked take out of the oven and foil, cut it into 4 pieces and dress with the grapes, nuts, seeds. To finish, drizzle olive oil over and season.

Possibly one of the best red wines I have ever had at a dinner party, and picked by Philip Schofield for Waitrose. This red complimented the vegetarian christmas dinner perfectly. You can purchase this wine here. The below Christmas decorations are available at Waitrose and John Lewis.

Always time for blue cheese – my favourite kind of desert.

An afternoon nibble and GREAT news…

Waitrose are running at competition on the run up to Christmas – they’re wanting to know what makes Christmas for you? For me, I’m all about mince pies with mulled wine (mulled wine purely because we can drink it from noon onwards). Upload your photos to Instagram and Twitter using @Waitrose with the #makeschristmas and Waitrose will be giving away multiple prizes until 28th December including champagne, mulled wine, mince pies and one lucky winner scoring dinner for 12 people. These Heston from Waitrose mince pies blew my mind, brace yourself readers they’re good.

Well there we go, hopefully you’ve read this piece and now feel deeply inspired and ready to embrace Christmas for us vegetarians!

Merry Christmas!

Jules xx

4 Comments

  1. Jonathan Curtis 16th December 2015 / 9:54 pm

    LOVE that you did a post for Vegetarians, I’ve been meat-free for 8 years and I’m always looking for new recipes to spice up the holidays! The Butternut Squash looks amazing, and I’m always ready for Bleu Cheese!

    • julesvonhep 21st December 2015 / 3:23 pm

      So happy you liked the post! Happy Christmas!

    • julesvonhep 16th February 2016 / 11:27 am

      You’re so organised!! I love it! XX

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