Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vegan Summer Party

Summer is my favorite time of year to cater a party, not only because the weather is perfect for indoor-outdoor gathering and the veggies are bursting with flavor, but because of the flowers.  I love the bright bold contrasts of yellow and orange sunflowers with pinkish purple coneflowers that light up the garden and instantly make a table setting that much more appealing.

And summer flowers like nasturtiums make the perfect garnish on a plate.  I have a ton of herbs in my garden as well, so dill and parsley blossoms also made an appearance on several platters today.

The menu featured appetizers of Eggless Egg Salad in Endive Leaves, Cashew Cheese and Sundried Tomato Relish on Crostini, Olive Tapenade ("Vegan Caviar") on Crostini, and Cherry Tomatoes Piped with Avocado Cream.

The centerpiece entree was an impossibly amazing Pastaless Lasagna made with paper-thin slices of eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash that I layered with a tofu and spinach ricotta and Daiya mozzarella, and topped with marinara and fresh basil.  Yes, it would've been nice if I had gotten a photo of this but, alas, it got devoured before I remembered to pick up my camera.

Overheard snippets of conversation from dinner guests:  "I'm in food heaven"... "and this is all vegan??" "but this tastes just like lasagna!"... and lots of "this is SOO good."  Always so nice to hear!


Anonymous said...

All of the food you presented at your Vegan Summer Party looked so delicious. I wish I were there to enjoy it. The vegetable lasagna sounded great too. I might want to give it a try because I do enjoy lasagna.

Mary Lawrence said...

Thank you for your comment! Yes, everything was delicious, particularly the lasagna. I modified a recipe for Eggplant Lasagna from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's fat-free "Eat to Live" program, which you can get here: My version used eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash for the noodles, plus I sauteed the garlic in just a teensy bit of olive oil (which I really think makes a huge difference), and of course I made a tomato sauce from scratch. It's really good, and definitely worth experimenting with, but you do need a mandolin to slice the veggies paper thin.

Walter Tully said...

People who don't like veggies could try those foods! They are enticing! The flowers look good, too. It's amusing to see and smell those on the table, especially on summer days.