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My book club doesn't always turn to our vegetarian recipes, but I know I can count on one fabulous meal each month, when my book club, The Gourmet Readers, meets. We rotate homes and the host provides the drinks, while the rest of us bring the meal.
Starting a week ahead of time, we email what we want to bring to be sure we don't end up with 3 salads and 4 desserts. Someone always brings a fresh fruit salad.
Though I sometimes worry I won't digest the entire book, I always arrive with my appetite intact.
Here are some winning vegetarian recipes The Gourmet Readers have shared with me:
In a blender, PULSE but do not blend yet:
Puree while adding 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil until emulsified. Season with ½ Tbsp sugar (or a bit more to taste), 1 tsp kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Refrigerate until cold. Serve with garnish of diced and seeded cucumber, red pepper and diced Vidalia onion. Garnish is important for texture.
Saute the following in olive oil until tender:
Boil 1 pound of potatoes until tender, then dice and add to veggies.
Cook 15 minutes longer.
Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, saltines and/or rice.
Boil asparagus in a skillet until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to halt the cooking. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Caesar Pasta Salad
Whisk together: 1 Tbsp olive oil and1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Add shaved pecorino romano or parmesan on top.
I have no measurements for salad quantities. For a box of pasta you will need to at least double the dressing recipe if not more.
(Gourmet Readers used epicurious.com for the following recipes, both amazing!)
Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownies
In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the bittersweet chocolate and the unsweetened chocolate with the butter, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat, and let the mixture cool until it is lukewarm. Stir in the sugar and the vanilla and add the eggs, 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in the salt and the flour, stirring until the mixture is just combined, and stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into a well-buttered and floured 13- by 9-inch baking pan, smooth the top, and bake the mixture in the middle of a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out with crumbs adhering to it. Let it cool completely in the pan on a rack and cut it into 24 bars.
Oatmeal Lace Cookies
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until well blended. Beat in flour, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir in oats. Cover and refrigerate cookie dough 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough by tablespoonfuls between palms into balls. Place dough balls on baking sheets, spacing 3 1/2 inches apart (cookies will spread during baking). Using bottom of drinking glass as aid, flatten cookies to 1 1/2-inch rounds. Bake until cookies are golden brown, about 11 minutes. Let cookies remain on sheets 1 minute. Using spatula, transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store cookies between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature.)
Please vote for the above recipe that sounds best and share your own.
Some of my own potluck recipes are in my previous articles:
HEAVENLY FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE (and INTERFAITH SEDERS)