4 Vegetarian Christmas Recipes And The Affordable Wines To Pair Them With
Christmas is a pretty tough time if you’re vegetarian, it’s a gammon, tongue, corned-beef fuelled nightmare. But you don’t have to be dropped to the sidelines searching for a spoon of coleslaw or potato salad. Thanks to the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association, we’ve got four vegetarian Christmas recipes that will be right at home on your Christmas-decorated table. And even if you aren’t vegetarian, these meals are a tasty addition to your festive feast.
Best part? They all use mushrooms – a nutritional and flavourful powerhouse. Mushrooms are jam-packed with potassium which helps remove excess salt from your body and keeps your blood pressure under control. They’re also the only vegetable source of vitamin D, a nutrient linked to a lower risk of cancer, diabetes and hypertension. Plus, they are kilojoule-light – half a dozen large white mushrooms only contains 125kJ – which can help keep the holiday excess and weight gain at bay.
Try these four vegetarian Christmas recipes:
Cranberry & Brie Mushroom Bites
18 portabellini mushrooms
1 wedge/wheel of Brie
1 tbsp fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
Fresh dill for serving
For the cranberry sauce:
350g frozen cranberries
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
Zest of one orange
- Preheat oven to 180˚C.
- In a saucepan combine the frozen cranberries, sugar, orange zest and water. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for another 15 min or until the sauce has thickened and sticks to the back of a spoon.
- Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Place a rack on a baking sheet and spread out the mushrooms. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Spoon a little cranberry sauce into each mushrooms. Cut small chunks of brie and place on top of the sauce. Bake for 5-10 min or until mushrooms are cooked and cheese has melted.
- Once cooked scatter each mushrooms bite with fresh dill and serve straight away.
Pair With: Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut MCC
The wine’s nuttiness merges seamlessly with the brie cheese’s own nutty flavour, while its acidity and rich texture bridge the gap between the tart cranberry sauce and the rich and creamy melted brie. This is an elegant Cap Classique for an elegant canapé that has made it as one of our top choices for vegetarian Christmas recipes.
Portabello & Lemony Ricotta Puff Pastry Tart
1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
250g smooth ricotta cheese
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1 handful fresh oregano leaves, chopped
6 large portabello mushrooms
Salt & pepper
Baby greens / rocket for serving
- Place the sheet of puff pastry on a tray lined with baking paper and score a border 2cm in from the edge all the way round. Prick the pastry centre using a fork. Leave to rest in the fridge for about an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220˚C with an empty baking sheet in it to get hot.
- When the oven reaches temperature carefully lift up the puff pastry using the baking paper and place it onto the hot tray. Blind bake the puff pastry sheet until golden brown all over. About 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Press down the centre of the pastry so you are left with a puffy border.
- Whisk the ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice and oregano together. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Spread the mixture into the centre of the tart. Top with portabello mushrooms and season them well. Toss the baby greens in a little olive oil & lemon juice and olive oil and scatter them over the tart before serving.
Pair With: Krone RD MCC
R.D. stands for Recently Disgorged. Krone R.D spends many years maturing on the lees which allows exceptional richness and complexity to develop in this wine. The wine is intense and stands up to any robust meal. The lemon in the ricotta plays beautifully with the notes of honey on the palate. Notes of caramel can be experienced on the nose and on the palate which work ever so well with sweet and savoury pairings. The intense umami of the mushrooms is complemented by the bright acidity of the wine and keeps you wanting more of both.
Mushroom Ragu Pappardelle (Serves 6)
1kg mixed mushrooms
1 large white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
⅓ cup tomato paste
250ml dry white wine
1 x 400g tin crushed tomatoes
1 tsp chilli flakes
Salt & pepper
500g pappardelle pasta
½ cup grated Parmesan & extra for serving
- Using a food processor- blitz two thirds of the mushrooms until they are very finely chopped.
- In a large dutch oven heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook down until soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook until caramelised.
- Add in the mushrooms and cook for at least 30 minutes. They will lose a lot of volume and moisture. Cook until all the water has evaporated and they begin to take on some colour. Deglaze with the white wine and season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer. Finish with the cream.
- For the pappardelle pasta cook until al dente according to packet instructions. Reserve 2 cups of pasta water. Drain pasta and then dot with knobs of butter. Sprinkle with parmesan and using the pasta water to create a silky sauce consistency mix everything together.
- Slice and sear the remaining mushrooms in a little olive oil until golden brown. Season.
- Just before serving combine the mushroom ragu, pappardelle and seared mushrooms. Garnish with fresh basil and some extra parmesan.
Pair With: Pierre Jourdan Brut MCC
The Pierre Jourdan’s bright and concentrated citrus and apple flavours serve to make the rich ragu and salty parmesan feel lighter in your mouth. Additionally, its minerality stands up to this very savoury and intensely flavoured dish. This wine has the acidity to break up the richness of the pasta and has the ripeness to compete with the very umami mushrooms.
Portabellini & Pea Orecchiette (Serves 4)
350g orecchiette pasta
400g portabellini mushrooms
3 medium leeks, washed and sliced
2 cloves garlic, grated
300g fresh peas
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
Zest of 1 lemon
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated & extra for serving
1 bunch fresh basil
Salt & pepper
1 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- Start a large pot of well salted boiling water for your pasta.
- Cook the orecchiette according to package instructions. Reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking water for the sauce. Orecchiette tends to stick together so use a lot of water!
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they start to brown, season with salt and pepper.
- Add the leeks and garlic and sauté until they become tender.
- Add peas and butter. Once the butter has melted, add the cream and lemon zest. Simmer and reduce until sauce thickens slightly.
- While the sauce simmers- toast the hazelnuts in a hot dry pan until golden and well toasted. Set aside.
- Add orecchiette to reduced sauce and stir well to warm through. Add a splash of pasta water to loosen the sauce and make it silky.
- Remove from heat and stir in grated parmesan.
- Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and chilli flakes to taste.
- Garnish with toasted hazelnuts and fresh basil.
Pair With: Blacksmith Bloodline Mèthode Ancestrale
This 100% chenin blanc mèthode ancestrale is perfect for a hot summer’s day with a delicate pasta such as this one with hints of lemon and fresh crunchy spring peas. Lots of honey and floral notes on the palate. The wine’s crisp minerality lends a savoury quality to the pasta, while the acidity and bubbles lighten it up.
So there you have it – 4 tasty vegetarian Christmas recipes that will impress even the fussiest eaters. For more vegetarian Christmas recipes head here.