Christmas tips for vegetarians from top Scottish chefs
Local chefs suggest meat-free dishes for festive meals
We challenged some chefs and restaurateurs from Edinburgh and Glasgow to come up with a winning vegetarian dish for Christmas that's a bit more exciting than nut roast. Here are eight of their suggestions:
Anil Panchi of Tuk Tuk, Edinburgh
Paneer Dil Ruba is cooked with cubes of cottage cheese with a similar sauce to korma – it's rich, creamy and flavoursome cooked with tomato sauce, dill leaves, cream butter, cashew nuts, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.
Claudio Celino of Celinos, Glasgow
Aubergine parmigiana or timbale: layer aubergine fritters with a good quality tomato sugo and mozzarella or pecorino cheese and then bake in the oven. Stunning!
Daniel Mellor, Head Chef of The Observatory in The Glasshouse Hotel, Edinburgh
Jerusalem artichoke velouté served with butternut squash rosti, nutmeg dumplings and baked camembert … always a winner!
Mario Ghelardi, Chef at Steak on Stones, Edinburgh
Orange, fennel and radicchio salad with an olive oil and orange juice dressing and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder, followed by Quinoa, chestnut, pomegranate and feta cheese dressed with basil oil and served on top of grilled aubergines.
Mark McKenzie, Chef at The Tron Bar & Kitchen, Glasgow
I'd suggest doing a slow roasted Portobello mushroom stuffed with ricotta cheese, wilted spinach and a chestnut and herb crust served with lots of seasonal vegetables. This can be easily adapted for vegans too by substituting the ricotta for some tasty vegan cheese: there are quite a few good ones on the market now.
Morgan Micell and Jean Michel Gauffre of La Garrigue, Edinburgh
Try a spicy root vegetable crumble in a rich tomato sauce and add some Roquefort cheese in the crumble.
Robbie Meldrum, Chef at Harvey Nichols Forth Floor, Edinburgh
I always make a Christmas winter curry with potatoes and butternut squash – it's full of the same vegetables that I serve alongside the traditional meal which means it's not nearly as much work as it sounds.
Scott Parker, Chef at Steak, Edinburgh
Spinach, chestnut, roasted butternut squash and Scottish brie within a wellington puff pastry or, alternatively, chestnut mushroom tofu bake slice, pan fried so that it's crisp on outside.