Vegetarian menu ideas for New Year’s Eve

I’m home in Los Angeles, vaccinated, boosted, happy to be alive and absolutely exhausted – exhausted and broken in a way I didn’t even know I could be. What year. I’m not going to a party tomorrow, but I’m going to party with my husband, some friends, two good dogs with silly hats and a big dinner at home.

I live for this stage of the menu planning, when every future, in all possible combinations, is still possible. I thought I would start with a round of cocktails (see below!) And some snacks on the coffee table. Maybe some crispy sautéed chickpeas, mixed with lots of lemon zest and Aleppo pepper, and a few spicy tamarind nuts with cheese, and it’s very easy beet dip with labneh and olive oil, which I love with cold Persian cucumber tips and hot lavash.

When we sit down for dinner I want juicy, smoky Portobello with pepper with creamed spinach and lots of crispy leek colcannon and puffy vegan yorkshire puds (this new recipe is not made with beef tallow, and I can’t wait to try it). Or wait! Maybe I wanna do some puffy, cheese-lined homemade pizzas instead, with a big and beautiful Sicilian style citrus salad.

For dessert I think Pears Poached In Red Wine with heavy, pouring cream and juicy pomegranate seeds on top will suit the mood – there’s something so quietly festive about whole fruit for dessert – but I’ve got my eye on that too Rosemary-Honey Almond Pie. Can I do it all? No. I’ll edit all this before tomorrow, I promise.

Go to the recipe.

I’m going to free up some space on my kitchen counter so I can set up glasses and garnishes for Rebekah Peppler’s in batch 50-50 martini. I’m going to mix it tomorrow morning in a large bowl, then pour it into an empty liquor bottle and put it in the freezer to cool it down.

If you want to do the same, you will need 9 ounces of dry gin, 9 ounces of dry vermouth and 4 ½ ounces of filtered water. Mix, refrigerate, then measure 3 ¾ ounces for each drink and add toppings like green olives, lemon twists, small cocktail onions, a little olive brine, or whatever you want.

This recipe makes exactly 6 drinks, so double it up and fill / cool a second 750 milliliter bottle if you want to be ready to pour more cocktails. Happy New Year and see you next week!

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