I wish I had £10 for every time I heard Mariah Carey sing ‘All I Want For Christmas’….I’d be stockpiling a small fortune by now! Hey, ho… ho ho!
To keep with the ‘healthy but feasty’ theme I thought a light , but flavoursome, salad would be a good choice for the Christmas Day starter. Do you agree? I can’t help feeling a little nostalgic at Christmas. Reminiscing about some retro dish from my childhood (it’s all those bloody old Christmas songs filling the airways and catapulting me back to Christmas past). I’ve been recalling the days when a crouton was ‘posh’ food and me ma would serve everything deep fried and breaded, to showcase her culinary mastery. Us little’ns would see a few cubes of oily breadcrumbs on top of the Maryrose sauce and think we’d skipped up to the Upper Classes. Our pinkies would flick up from our cutlery in reverence, and an attempt to eat like stereotypical posh people. (cough) I think I must have had a case of invented memory syndrome because I cannot possibly be old enough to remember when prawn cocktail was in its heyday! So, with that in mind, and looking to what is seasonal I racked my brain for the perfect Christmas starter……and my inspired dish for Christmas day starter is to be……
Balsamic PEAR Salad With Deep Fried Cheese Croutons With Mustard Dressing and Leaves.
3 large conference pears
2 tbs balsamic glaze
1 tbs vegan butter & 1 tbs sesame oil for frying
salt & pepper
deep fried cheese
vegan hard cheese recipe here to make your own
4 tbs breadcrumbs
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs tapioca flour & water to make paste or use egg replacer
salt & pepper
oil for deep frying
dressing (can be made ahead of time)
3 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs olive oil (walnut oil would be lovely too I think)
2 tsp brown rice syrup (or agave, maple or similar)
organic salad leaves to serve
1.carefully peel your pears and cut into quarters lengthwise. 2. heat oil and butter in a pan and fry the pears until they are crackling and starting to caramelise. 3. season and spoon over the balsamic glaze, cook for a further 3-4 minutes. 4. whilst they are cooking away nicely grab all your dressing ingredients and mix them in a jar. Set aside 5. to make the cheese crouton like things (sorry, it’s dark and cold here, not feeling very inspirational to come up with a fitting title) take an apple corer and cut out 3 cones for each person. Roll them in the tapioca paste then roll….gently now….in the breadcrumbs. 6. fry in the oil..careful!…until golden. Drain and them put all your elements together. Finally, get all cheffy and drizzle over the Dijon dressing. Let the feasting fun commence!
I’m hoping to extend the Christmas Feasting series to Part 4 and share some additional desserts and party food….if time allows.