First I want to point out that I am not a vegetarian. Second, I do agree that there are healthful benefits of eating a vegetarian diet. Third, it pisses me off when I dine out at a nice restaurant and they either don’t offer vegetarian dishes or put the obligatory vegetarian pasta or risotto dish on the menu.
Lunch for me is almost always meat free. Having pizza, sushi, ramen, a sandwich or a burrito is never a problem, that style of restaurant usually offers several vegetarian options that are flavorful and satisfying. The bitch is at sit down restaurants the vegetarian option is often an after thought; just some lame-ass dish to check off the box.
At EVOO I strive to have interesting vegetarian dishes on the menu. When coming up with a dish that is not based on animal protein I think whether adding an animal product to the dish would make it better or not. A great example of this is soup. If you read recipes in books, magazines or online, the recipes usually calls for chicken stock. Why? I have no idea. If you are making a carrot soup why would you want it to taste like chicken, or mushroom soup tasting of beef. Sure you can make a delicious soup using meat stocks. But, you can also make the same soup just as good, possibly better using vegetable stock. If you are making corn chowder, make a corn stock, mushroom soup use mushroom stock, after all these are the flavors that you are trying to showcase.
Here are some of our recent vegetarian dishes:
Pumpkin-Smoked Goat Cheese Stuffed Fried Squash Blossom.
Miso Braised Eggplant with Sesame Mashed Potatoes, Apple-Seaweed Salad and Gingered Plum Sauce.
Baked Sweet Dumpling Squash Filled with Ricotta Cavatelli, Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts.
Crisp Fried Eggplant with Curried Tomato Sauce and Yogurt Dressed Cucumber Salad.
Eat your veggies!!