This is a super weeknight entertainment menu and it’s for dairy loving vegetarians too! Booyah!
Some elements of the dessert can be made 2 days in advance, the main course and starter 1 day in advance… yet the freshly sliced cirtus, fennel and avocado salad shouts juicy and crispy freshness, so no-one will suspect you did not run your tushy off to get this spectacular four course meal out. It goes to show if you plan properly, you can give a stunning and well organised meal on a busy weeknight. This is sure to both wow and impress your vegetarian guests.
Lacto-vegetarianism means vegetarians who also consume dairy products like cheese, milk and yoghurt.
This is a perfect start with a sherry-based sauce. It will also awaken the palate to the Marsala wine. Serve with
fresh brioche bread or use Finn Crisps rye crackers as a healthier alternative.
It would also be a good idea to add a few panfried halloumi cheese strips to the salad to serve as an additional protein. Simply fry sliced strips of the cheese in a little olive oil and tub margarine. It is salty enough, no additional seasoning is required and extra breading is unneccessary. Alternatively, a few blocks of feta can be added to the salad.
If you manage to be good at presenting food, the meal in its entirety is sufficient to serve this course just as eggplant on its own, but should you wish to serve anything as accompanyment, consider brightly coloured roasted vegetables or a pile of steamed string beans.
You can opt to poach the pears in Marsala Wine instead, but too much of a good thing is overwhelming.
Tips on Preparation
- Make the fig and olive tapenade the day before, then the appetiser just needs to be assebled before serving.
- The salad is better prepared and cut freshly, but the dressing can be mixed at least 2 hours in advance in order for the flavours to marry before serving.
- The assembled eggplant Parmesan can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring the eggplant Parmesan to room temperature before baking. Do not forget to take it out of the refrigerator on time.
- The pears can be poached up to 2 days ahead and kept in the poaching syrup in the fridge. It can also be frozen like this for longer if you prefer to poach more pears at a time. *Yummiberry*