Sunday Supper: Vegetarian Delight

Recently I started a new tradition at our house: Sunday supper. Each week different guests are invited over for a meal. They bring the wine, I provide the food, and together, memories are made. [Insert remainder of Hallmark card here]. The first week I made tilapia tacos, but then I forgot to take pictures. Whoops. I mean, it’s not like I’m used to writing a food blog or anything, eh?

This week’s guests, Amelia and Matt, are vegetarians, which presented a nice challenge. I think sometimes when omnivores cook for vegetarians it can be hard to think past pasta. An added perk is that any or all of the items from our feast below would make great non-traditional additions to Christmas dinner. Bonus! This week’s menu:

  • Saffron risotto
  • Warm garlicked tomatoes
  • Thyme roasted carrots
  • Agave ginger baked pears

Saffron Risotto
–1 TBSP butter
–1/4 cup minced onion
–saffron threads
–1 cup arborio rice
–3 cups vegetable broth
–2 cups dry white wine
–fresh black pepper

Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium-sized pot. Sauté the onion and the saffron threads until the onion begins to get translucent. The saffron threads will melt and the onion/butter mixture will turn a golden yellow. Add the dry arborio rice and stir to fully coat the rice in the saffron butter. Add 1 cup of vegetable broth and stir until the broth is absorbed. Add 1 cup of the wine to the pot and stir until the wine is absorbed by the rice. Alternate between adding the wine and vegetable broth until your risotto is at the desired creaminess. Remember, the more liquid you add and the more you stir, the more creamy the risotto will be. Season will a few sprinkles of fresh cracked black pepper.
Warm Garlicked Tomatoes
–1 lb. plum, grape, or cherry tomatoes
–3 cloves garlic, minced
–fresh basil, chopped
–2 TBSP olive oil

Combine all the ingredients so they are well mixed and the garlic and oil coats the tomatoes. Transfer the mixture to an oven safe metal or glass baking dish or pan. Pop the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. The tomatoes should be warm and softened but not blistered.

Thyme Roasted Carrots
–1/2 lb. of carrots, peeled and tops removed
–Fresh thyme
–2 TBSP olive oil
–kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Remove most of the thyme from the stem, saving some complete stems. Toss the carrots in the oil and thyme. Place on a cookie sheet or oven safe dish. Sprinkle with a few pinches each of salt and pepper. Add the remaining thyme springs to the pan. Cook 18-20 minutes, or until carrots are tender, in a 400 degree oven.

Agave Baked Pears
–4 ripe pears (I used Bosc), peeled, halved, and cored
–1/4 cup brown sugar
–1 TBSP agave or honey
–1 TBSP lemon juice
–2 TBSP unsalted butter, chopped into 12 chunks

Place the pear halves cut side down in an ovenproof dish or skillet pan. Sprinkle with the brown sugar. Drizzle with the lemon juice and agave. Place a butter piece onto the top of each pear; scatter the remaining butter pieces evenly in the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until pears are tender. Serve each guest two pear halves, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle any remaining syrup from the pan onto each portion. SO. GOOD.

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