Here’s the planned menu for tomorrow’s (actually, it’s now today’s) dinner. It’s vegan, gluten free, and free of a bunch of other bad-tempered fruits, vegetables and fruit-derived products (ie, no wine or vinegar) that make my guests unhappy.
I’m taking a risk here, because I actually have no idea whether I’ll succeed in producing all of this or how it will taste. I’ll report back tomorrow on the results of this experiment.
Entree (that’s Appetiser to you USA types)
Beetroot gnocchi, served with herb and pinenut puree
Puy lentils dressed with citrus and tarragon
Quinoa and olive bread
Roasted vegetables (carrot, sweet potato, potato, peppers, red onions, possible beetroot if the gnocchi are disastrous), with lavender and rosemary salt
Cardoons with gremolata
Garlicky greens (probably kale and Mystery Wild Greens)
Gluten free and vegan chocolate and raspberry brownies
Raspberry soy and coconut icecream
Agar jellies flavoured with Kakadu plum, Lilli-Pilli, Lemon Myrtle and Quandong, respectively.
Anticipated Success Rate
Well, dessert is pretty safe – it’s hard to screw up a brownie, and I’ve made the recipe before, albeit with wheat flour. The mix for the icecream is chilling at present (I’ll churn it tomorrow), and tastes a little nutty but not bad. I don’t think soy icecream will ever be a favourite of mine, but it is definitely better than I expected. And the agar jellies I have made many times before, and they look like they are setting nicely.
The entree could be a disaster. I strongly suspect the beetroot gnocchi will fall apart and will need to be baked rather than boiled, which will be a pest, because I need the oven for the roasted vegetables and the cardoons, not to mention the bread, which I am also doubtful about. Though if the bread fails, I can make a quinoa pilaf in minutes, so that’s OK. If the bread fails *and* the beetroot gnocchi are a disaster, I’ll make a quinoa pilaf and stuff it into my baby peppers for an entree and pretend I meant to do that all along (you won’t tell, will you?).
I’m pretty confident with roast vegetables and with the greens and the chickpeas. I’m sort of making the cardoon thing up, but can’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work, other than me absent-mindedly putting breadcrumbs on top. I’ve not made these particular lentils before, but I do cook with lentils fairly often, so I feel reasonably safe here.
I’m a little concerned about the balance in this menu, and that it will all be a bit heavy (or that there will not be enough food, always a concern), but I think the flavours should be quite good. We shall see what happens…