Food & Drink: Sheila & Sean: Variety Is a Must for Vegetarian Meals
Byline: Sheila Benson and Sean Millar
IT'S A constant challenge for restaurants to deliver new and exciting vegetarian recipes. We're very aware that vegetarians commonly criticise restaurants for their lack of inspiration when it comes to meat free food.
However, always game for a challenge, we spend a lot of time developing new vegetarian recipes to surprise and satisfy our customers.
The key to vegetarian cookery is getting the most out of your ingredients. Fresh herbs are essential. Careful attention also needs to be paid to how you cook your vegetables. If you're boiling them, be sure to season the water well.
If you choose to saute them, do it slowly, allowing the natural sugars to gently caramelise. This will give a fuller flavour that will enrich your final dish.
Roasting is also a great way to prepare your vegetables as it brings out their natural sweet and earthy flavours.
Here are a couple of our favourites. Firstly, Herbed Sweet Potato and Onion Gratin. To serve six you will require, four tbsp of olive oil, three large onions, finely chopped, 250g (10oz) of sweet potatoes, two sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped, 10 fresh sage leaves finely chopped, a handful of chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to season.
Set the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade (gas mark four, 350 Fahrenheit). Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and stir until soft and slightly browned. Add the garlic and stir for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and turn the onion mixture into a large bowl.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into large pieces. Put the pieces through the grating blade of a food processor (or grate by hand). Mix the grated potato with the onions, and also the chopped rosemary and sage. Season generously with salt and pepper then spread the mixture evenly into a shallow oven proof dish.
Drizzle all over with a little olive oil and cook in the middle of the pre-heated oven for about one hour.
To serve sprinkle the chopped parsley liberally over the top, with a little grated pa rmesan if desired. …