Are you expecting vegetarian guests? Not sure what to feed them? Here are five recipes that involve relatively little cooking.
Puff Pastry Tart
1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
Veg – choose 2 or 3 – butternut squash (very thinly sliced), cherry tomatoes, courgette, aubergine, black olives.
Cheese – feta, mozzarella or goat’s cheese
Drizzle – pesto, tapenade or sundried tomato paste
Take the pastry out of the fridge and pre-heat your oven to 180C. Put the puff pastry onto a baking tray – it comes wrapped in it’s own baking paper. Put a variety of sliced veg and cheese onto the puff pastry. Bake for 30 minutes and add some pesto (green or rosso) or tapenade to finish. Serve with a green salad. I’m sure some accompanying chips wouldn’t go amiss…
2 blocks of halloumi
2 red or yellow peppers
Chutney of your choice
Half a bag of frozen sweet potato fries
4 corn on the cob
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Put the sweet potato fries in the oven – they will need about 30 minutes.
2. Chop the peppers in half, remove the seeds and chop in half vertically. Toss in olive oil on a baking tray and put in the oven ten minutes after the sweet potato fries. The peppers will need twenty minutes in the oven.
3. Use the next five minutes to slice the halloumi along the long side of the block into four pieces. Put them onto a tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Boil the kettle and put the corn on the cob into a pan of salted water. They will cook in ten minutes.
5. Slice the burger buns and warm in the oven for five minutes. Put everything on the table and let everyone build their own burgers.
6 parathas (fresh or frozen)
1 block of paneer
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander, ginger, cumin
a pinch of chili
half a teaspoon of chickpea flour, optional
Wooden or metal skewers
Mango chutney or other chutney of your choice
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
- I like to use parathas, soft, flaky and available in most supermarkets. If frozen, you can cook them quickly and easily by throwing them onto a hot frying pan. You could also use chapatis or tortilla wraps.
- Chop the paneer and peppers into chunks comfortably big enough to put on skewers. Marinade in a glub of oil and half a teaspoon of coriander, ginger & cumin, a pinch of chili, 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt and half a teaspoon of chickpea flour, if you have it.
- Assemble and bake for fifteen – twenty minutes on a greased baking tray. Check after 15 – the peppers should be soft. If using fresh parathas, wrap them in tinfoil and warm in the middle of the oven for 5-10 minutes.
- Put the ‘kebabs’, chutney and parathas on the table. Let your guests assemble their own kati rolls. You can also make tamarind or coriander chutney to go with the kati rolls.
One camembert (check it’s vegetariaan!)
Serve this to follow a simple starter – hummus & crudités or tortilla chips & guacamole.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Put the camembert in the oven. If you have a baking dish for it, use it. Otherwise, put it on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- While it bakes for 20-30 minutes (the middle should be soft), make a green salad and another from tomatoes and sweet corn. Dress the green salad with olive oil and balsamic, the tomato salad with olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Chop the baguette into slices and put everything on the table.
Feta, Spinach and Filo Pie
I have included this recipe and all its variations here in full, but this is a simple version.
2 blocks of feta
Half a bag of frozen spinach (250g)
Dill, mint and parsley – use what you have, fresh or dried.
I packet of filo pastry or a packet of spring roll wrappers
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Line the bottom of a baking dish with a sheet of filo pastry, overlapping two if needed to fully cover the bottom. Brush with melted butter. Repeat with another four sheets.
- Defrost the spinach in the microwave – tip it into a tea towel and squeeze out the extra liquid. Add the spinach and herbs into a big bowl and crumble the feta in. Add a bit of black pepper. Scrape the mixture onto the filo in the dish and spread to cover evenly.
- Put another sheet of filo pastry over the filing, overlapping two if need be. Brush with melted butter, adding another four layers, each buttered. Bake for 30 minutes (check after 20 and rotate if needed) until brown on top – it may need 40 minutes.