Texas Vegetarian Feast

Every time I come home to Dallas, my mom has my fab Aunt and Uncle, Pat and Sheila and their kids over for a big cook out. This one, just happened to be vegetarian. We decided to do a meal of appetizers and it was a doozy. I wasn't even hungry the whole next day...yes, I over ate. But that's what you do when you're home eating mama's cooking right?

This was a pesto panzanella salad. We grilled ciabatta bread, cherry tomatoes, and fresh plump balls (heh) of mozzarella, tossed with pesto and then garnished the dish with grilled avocados. Apparently, if you get an avocado that isn't quite ripe, grilling it is a good way to soften it up. It worked here.

Sheila brought these bite-sized rye toasts, which had were toasted in the oven to crispy goodness and had olives and Bac-O Bits in the cheese mixture! Yes, fake bacon bits. Amazing.

Sticking with the appetizer theme, we prepared a large Caesar salad with homemade low-fat Caesar dressing. This one is actually delicious and the secret ingredient is anchovy paste - with other components of the recipe being plain yogurt and lemon juice. That's all I can divulge at this time, as my mom closely guards all of her recipes.

Corn, Mexican-style. After charring the ears on the grill, we slathered them in a mayonnaise-lime juice sauce, sprinkled with red pepper and Queso Chihuahua. My specialty is making otherwise healthy vegetables, like corn, really fattening and delicious.

Homemade hummus rounded out the "meal" of appies. I don't hold it against my mom that this recipe actually came from the Rachael Ray magazine, because it's actually delicious - with a lot of Tahini, lemon juice and red pepper.

And for my last trick, I will turn this...

...into this! Grilled potatoes and zucchini with roasted tomato and goat cheese dip. You can't go wrong with some sort of crispy potato and a delicious dip. Enjoy the recipe below. It's sure to be a hit at your next Texas Vegetarian Feast!

Crispy Potatoes with Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese Dip
2 pounds new potatoes
Red pepper or Cajun seasoning
Olive oil
2-3 pounds tomatoes
2 small logs of Texas goat cheese
Foil-lined pan

1. Slice the tomatoes thin, place on the foil lined sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt (lots) and pepper. Roast at 350 for 1 hour or until nice and caramelized.
2. Cube the potatoes, coat the bottom of a baking sheet with olive oil (lots) and toss the potatoes in the oil. Season heavily with red pepper or Cajun seasoning and S & P. Roast on high (400 or so) until crispy and golden brown.
3. Combine the roasted tomatoes, goat cheese, & 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and serve with the tots!


dapeen said...

will you please make some of these fine cuisines for me? much thanks. "the rapper"

Shannon Darling Dearest said...

you got it "rapper". maybe pre-tracy morgan show?