Monday, February 28, 2011

Vegan Academy Awards Platter

Confession: we don’t have television. It’s less a confession than it is a conviction – I feel immense pride in not paying for broadcasted TV. Caveat: we do have Netlfix through the Xbox and sit down from time to time to enjoy television series and movies when there isn’t much on the agenda -on days where life actually slows down. I don't miss it, but I do typically "miss out" on award ceremonies celebrating today's top talen. I have increased my movie theater attendance this year and still enjoy a good gossip session about choice celebrity apparel at national televised events as though my feedback (and that of Joan Rivers) actually weighs on stars’ future decisions.

Thus my interest in the Academy Awards this year was slightly elevated and all the food newsletters and emails that flooded my inbox about Oscar Party Menus of course made me think, “what would I serve at an Oscars party? Maybe I should have thrown one…oh wait we don’t have television” Truthfully, I don’t know what I would serve at an Oscars party, because the single platter intended to tide 2 people over last night probably wouldn’t flow well on a larger scale with more people. But it was perfect for picking when only 2 sets of hands were at the plate.

We had assembled a similar plate in Napa a couple of weekends ago when we decided that it would be cheaper and more delicious for us to put together our own canapés or tapas than to spend a bunch of money on something we weren’t certain would be worth the cost. Plus we had our own kitchen and a Whole Foods nearby – so why not? Drink wine, (lots of it without worrying about the drive home), eat finger food, and chat the night away without being rushed to turn a table. I like this setup a lot. So last night when the inevitable “what’s for dinner” question came up – we settled on this and it was delish.

Ok yes – if you’re looking closely at the picture, you are looking at real salmon. Remember I share my life and love with an omnivore. I also respect others’ wishes to eat what they choose as I expect other to respect my own dietary decisions. But I’ve included a few recipes for mock salmon pate here that are fun and interesting. I personally like the first with chickpeas, but feel free to experiment with any funky pate or substitute pate altogether with good ole hummus. These recipes aren’t genius, there is no magic involved, no “aha!” moments, but it’s a fun way to put a meal together without a whole lot of effort.

Vegan Academy Awards Platter
Makes: 2-3 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes


For the Smoked Salmon
Your favorite “salmon” recipe – here are some suggestions
- Vegan Smoked “Salmon” Spread
- Mock Salmon Pate 1
- Mock Salmon Pate 2

3 medium radishes, grated
3 T. red pepper, minced
2 T. shallots, thinly sliced
2 T. capers, drained
1 T. caper brine + 2 tsp Dijon mustard

Roasted Veggies
1 parsnip, peeled and cubed
1 c. cauliflower flowerets
1 medium turnip
½ small onion
1 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper

For Toasts & Wraps
½ - 1 baguette, sliced ½ to ¾ inch thick
1 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
5-6 collard leaves, stems removed with leaves left whole


Follow your favorite mock salmon recipe if you’re going veg. Otherwise, I don’t want to know what you’re using and you don't have to tell me.

For the relish: mix the radishes, red peppers, shallots and capers in a small bowl. In another small bowl, stir brine and mustard together. Mix into vegetables and set aside.

For the roasted veggies: Preheat oven to 450° F. Combine all vegetables in a mixing bowl. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until veggies are tender. For best result, put oven on broil setting for the last 5-7 minutes to get crispy brown edges. Remove and set aside.

For the toast: Place oven on high broil setting. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush olive oil on each (one of both sides). Broil toasts for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. If you brushed olive oil on both sides, flip and broil another 2-3 minutes. If you are lazy like me, remove from heat and rub garlic clove onto each slice. Set aside.

To assemble: Arrange food on a large serving platter so that everyone can wrap or assemble their own food. Serve toasts with “salmon” and relish, wrap roasted veggies in the collard leaves. Serve with a glass of wine and unleash all uncensored commentary about Hollywood attire.

1 comment:

  1. You definitely win the Oscar for Best Awards Platter!