I often get calls from friends in a panic when a vegetarian is coming to dinner. My advice to hosts is to serve starters and sides that are vegetarian so that the vegetarian doesn’t feel awkward and serve the meat dish separately and everyone will me happy. A soup made with veggie stock, a salad with seasonal greens and herbs as well as a hearty side dish along with a featured vegetable that doubles as a vegetarian entree will satisfy even the most difficult diners. If you were lucky enough to snag a seat for the Passover Seder at Greenport’s Congregation Tifereth Israel, and ordered a vegetarian meal, you will taste my vegetarian cutlet that is served with apricot and herb matzoh stuffing along with an herbed velouté.
The cutlet has a meaty texture from the vegetables and even though we use mushrooms, our non-mushroom eaters love them. The “milanese-type” crust gives the texture and flavor of meat that meat eaters enjoy this along with the deliciously light apricot and herbed Matzoh stuffing.
3 cups of chopped East End Mushroom Co. shiitake mushrooms cleaned and rough chopped
1 cup of ground raw carrots
2 chopped spring onions
2 tablespoons of EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of matzoh meal (gluten-free varieties are available)
1 1/4 cup of ground walnuts (optional)
Place mushrooms (raw), carrots and scallions in a food processor and mix. Drizzle with EVOO and salt. Then add matzoh meal and pulse until forming a thick paste with the consistency to form into patties.
Ground 1/4 cup of walnuts and blend with ground matzoh meal for breading. Shape 4 to 5 oz patties into cutlet form and dredge into crumb mixture and coat. Complete all 4 to 6 patties and set aside to pan fry. They can be cooked in advance and heated in oven prior to serving.
5 sheets of matzoh, broken into pieces
2 cups of garden stock (1 to pre-soak matzoh, then another cup to add after adding the eggs; add little by little as you might not need all of it.) Preheat the oven to 375 to bake your matzoh stuffing.
1 grated carrot
1/2 cup of finely chopped celery
1/2 cup of finely chopped spring onions
1/2 cup of ground matzoh meal
1/4 cup of fresh chopped herbs (Greek oregano, chives, sage, wild fennel)
2 tablespoons of EVOO
Preheat the oven to 375° to bake your matzoh stuffing.
Combine all ingredients and mix until forming a thick batter the consistency of muffin mix. Add more stock if it’s too thin. Taste the batter and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Oil a 9 inch pan with EVOO and add matzoh batter. Bake for 30 minutes.
The mushroom velouté
This velouté is made from three simple ingredients. Sautéed mushrooms, shallots, and garden stock. Purée them together in a blender and add salt and pepper to taste. No thickener is needed since mushroom emulsifies naturally.
Serve this dish with a full-bodied red wine for your holiday guests. Try the Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Kesser Vineyards New York State, Finger Lakes