If I'm really in the mood to cook for guests, I usually turn to "Voluptuous Vegan." Nearly everything I've tried from that book has been a big hit. The other night, we had two friends over, so I searched through the book looking for recipes that would highlight the late summer/early autumn farmers' market offerings. I ended up making "Mushroom Nuggets," "Fusilli with Tomatoes and Roasted Shiitakes," and a Mediterranean Salad. It was a lovely dinner.
I was especially proud of myself for making such a mushroom-heavy meal. It's all part of my Mushroom Appreciation Program. Which is coming along quite nicely, thank you. Mushrooms are probably my least favorite vegetable, but I am getting myself to overcome this limitation. I have to say, that pasta dish there was totally amazing - so simple: tomatoes, olive oil, basil, salt, and roasted shiitakes... and it was delicious. Definitely something I will make again. Mind you, the recipe called for 1/2 cup of olive oil, which is just mind boggling. I think I cut it back to 3 Tablespoons, and we were all happy.
For dessert I made another dish from Voluptuous Vegan, the "Phyllo Cups with Apple, Pear, and Quince With Caramel Sauce." Wow-ee! Finally a phyllo dough experience that was actually as easy as everyone always says it will be. I was beginning to suspect some sort of conspiracy. These were easy to put together, and full of rich autumny flavors. In addition to the fruits, there were roasted almonds and red wine in the filling, and together it was a very full, spiced, complex flavor. I licked my plate clean!