Vegan Christmas dish and wines to match by Kerstin Rodgers AKA @MsMarmiteLover

vegan Christmas pumpkin 2

Vegan and Vegetarian Christmas

What to serve vegans and vegetarians at Christmas is a head scratcher for those used to the simplicities of a giant turkey as a centrepiece. Some people can only imagine meat as an impressive seasonal treat, and they are stumped when it comes to thinking of a similarly spectacular vegan or vegetarian dish.

This stunning stuffed pumpkin recipe is not difficult, but looks as if you have spent hours constructing something special. It’s inspired by Armenian cuisine.

I would recommend some of winetrust’s vegan or vegetarian wines to accompany this, most probably a red:

Find out more about the difference between organic, biodynamic, vegan and vegetarian wines at this post on Winetrust! We also have a special tab on the home page dedicated to the vegan and vegetarian wines that we list.

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Armenian Wedding Rice Pilaf Recipe

Serves 6

Ingredients

One medium sized pumpkin

3tbsp coconut butter (vegan) or butter (vegetarian)

4tbsp date syrup (vegan) or honey (vegetarian)

150g good quality basmati rice (I use Amira, which you have to soak for 30 minutes before using)

1tsp salt

2tbsp sultanas

2tbsp pistachio slivers

2tbsp almond slivers

2tbsp dried sour cherries, pitted

A handful of hazelnuts

2tbsp barberries

1tsp cinnamon, ground

A pinch of clove, ground

Parsley to garnish

Tip: I tend to use whatever dried fruit and nuts I have in my cupboard, so you can use apricots, raisins, prunes, figs, walnuts, whole almonds, pine nuts, whole pistachios or macadamia nuts.vegan Christmas pumpkin 4

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  2. Soak the rice.
  3. Wash the pumpkin and cut off the top, keeping it as a lid.
  4. Clean out the central pulp and seeds. Discard.
  5. Melt the coconut butter and date syrup together, stirring.
  6. Coat the inside of the pumpkin with a thin layer of the melted mixture.
  7. Par-boil the rice until it is halfway cooked. (I use a rice steamer so I looked at the time on the packet, then cooked it for half of that time.)  Put this par-boiled rice in a separate bowl.
  8. Add the dried fruit, nuts, salt and spices to the rice mixture.
  9. Add half of the remaining coconut/date syrup or butter/honey to the rice and mix.
  10. Fill your pumpkin with the mixture to the brim, packing in tightly.
  11. Drizzle the top and outsides with the rest of the coconut/date syrup or butter/honey mixture.
  12. Put on the lid of the pumpkin and place it in a baking tin or oven safe bowl.
  13. Cook for an hour at 200ºC, or until the pumpkin flesh is soft and yielding to the touch.
  14. Serve as a whole on a serving dish and cut it into slices, which are fanned out, at the table.
  15. Garnish with parsley.

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By resident bloger and food writer Kerstin Rodgers, in collaboration with WineTrust. For more Christmas food and wine matches, explore our blog covering all the Christmas classics. For more vegan and vegetarian inspiration, look no further than Kerstin’s V is for Vegan cookbook stuffed full of delicious recipes.

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