Date night

I’ve just dropped an email to an omnivorous friend with some advice for cooking for a vegetarian he recently got to know, so thought I’d share my ideas for good date food to impress with:

  • Use menus from nice veggie restaurants as inspiration. One of my favourite gourmet vegetarian restaurants in London is The Gate in Hammersmith, currently closed in Hammersmith but opened up in Islington!

http://thegaterestaurants.com/menu.php

Mildreds in Soho has a great menu but is less gourmet although a lovely place to go still.

http://www.mildreds.co.uk/food.html

Amico Bio near Barbican also good:

http://www.amicobio.co.uk/

There are some really nice places in Brighton too- Food for Friends (http://www.foodforfriends.com/) and Terre a Terre (http://www.terreaterre.co.uk/) will have menus worth recreating.

  • Risotto cakes seem to be super trendy at the moment. I love mushroom risotto then just shape into a cake and bake for 10 minutes in the oven- just looks better for presentation. It’s also quite exciting to have a selection of wild mushrooms.
  • Edible flowers go well in a salad. We used to have a hanging basket of nasturtiums which were nice. Also pea shoots, lambs lettuce, raw courgette in strips using a vegetable peeler.
  • This is one of my favourite burger recipes: http://chefchloe.com/entrees/mexicali-sliders.html
  • Avocado pasta is a bit different too (and very tasty) http://chefchloe.com/entrees/avocado-pesto-pasta.html
  • Homemade pan fried potato gnocchi is nice with a good sauce!
  • I make a lot of stews and casseroles- just lots of vegetables and beans cooked together in stock with some nice herbs/onion/garlic. Then I make dumplings to sit on top by mixing self raising flour with lots of herbs and paprika and then mixing with soy milk until just a bit thicker than cake batter but no quite thick enough to be a dough, then dropping spoonfuls of this on top of the stew and either putting a lid on and letting it steam on the hob or sticking the pan in the oven.
  • I love dim sum and so sometimes get spring roll wrappers from a Chinese supermarket and make my own vegetable spring rolls and also make some steamed dumplings with a really un-authentic bready dough! Rice pots are also good and I love all the veggie options at ping pong. http://www.pingpongdimsum.com/
  • I had a particularly nice meal in Berlin that was cannelloni- just 3 rolls on the plate, very neatly presented stuffed with roasted vegetables and a walnut puree with a layer of tomato sauce and then béchamel sauce on top of each piece.
  • This is a recipe I’m keen to try and haven’t yet: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2012/02/beetballs-a-vegan-gluten-free-soy-free-sausage-recipe.html 
  • I also love simple veggie curries like dal and saag aloo, and Mexican fajitas and burritos.

I’m pretty easily pleased really. I just love food!

 

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