Hosting vegans is scary! I’m so out of my element when I can’t use anything that comes from an animal. Taking eggs, butter, cream and flesh off the table leaves me scratching my head as to what to serve and when to serve it. Deciding what would be the appetizer course and what would be the main seemed irrelevant. What difference would it make what order the vegetables would be served in? Then there’s the whole – how many different vegetables should I serve? I could have used pasta or rice to create an obvious distinction but having the chance to make a whole slew of veggie dishes with my garden still producing was a game I didn’t want to miss. I decided to do a “grande antipasti di verdure” an elaborate all vegetable antipasta for the first course followed by vegan potato gnocchi with crispy sage in extra virgin olive oil then finishing with wild blackberry cobbler.
Sara caught me searching for inspiration…
For the antipasti, I served golden cherry tomatoes in a basil/pistachio pesto, green string beans braised in a garlicky tomato sauce, char-grilled radicchio and new onions drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a balsamic vinegar reduction, zucchini and mint fritters served with a mango salsa, grilled carrots with garlic and orange thyme and homemade rosemary and garlic focaccia to sop up all the juices.
Vegan Wild Blackberry Cobbler
Preheat oven 400*F
6 cups wild blackberries, rinsed
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
In a large mixing bowl, stir sugar and cornstarch together
Add berries and toss well
Place mixture in a 9” pie plate
1 ½ cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons hard margarine
¾ cup almond milk
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
Using a pastry blender, cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Stir in milk – the batter will be wet.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough evenly over the berries
Place cobbler in oven for 30 minutes until topping is golden and fruit is bubbly.
THE LOVE: I sprinkle sanding sugar over the biscuit topping to give an extra crunch and it looks gorgeous!
one year ago: my grandmother’s chow
two years ago: blackberry pie
Thanks for reading.
photos by Sara Hooton