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Vegetarian and Vegan New Years Eve Party Ideas

We believe that New Year celebrations are all about trying new things. Let go of the old favourites, push the boundaries, and climb out of your cozy comfort zone. At the cookery school we've been having great fun coming up with new vegetarian and vegan recipes perfect for celebrations. (The office staff say that they enjoy our recipe testing days the best, and for good reason!)

Much of the fun with food surrounding New Year is in the good fortune traditions and special foods symbolizing good health, happiness and prosperity for the New Year. Fruit, vegetables, beans and grains feature strongly in these traditions:

  • In Greece a pomegranate is smashed on the ground in front of the front door, the redder the colour signifies a healthy heart and the more bountiful the seed represents prosperity. Turkey also welcomes in the New Year with pomegranates.
  • The Chinese and Japanese slurp on ‘long life’ noodles that are very long and mustn’t be broken when cooking and then are slurped up so that they don’t break when eating.
  • Italians eat lentils for wealth as the lentils’ shape resembles Roman coins and also as they cook they plump up symbolizing growing wealth.
  • In Southern United States black-eyed beans are eaten to remember frugality from the Civil war and to herald in an abundant year.
  • In Scotland a Black Bun is baked which is a very dark rich dried fruit and black treacle pudding incased in pastry.
  • The number "12" is also significant. One New Year my Spanish relatives had me standing on one foot and eating a grape for each stroke of Midnight, hoping every grape would be sweet, a bitter grape would forecast a bad month. It is surprisingly difficult to eat 12 grapes so quickly! (As an alternative observation, you could decorate your table with 12 oranges or 12 pomegranates.)

A New Year’s Eve party might be the last indulgence before setting off on some New Year good intentions, such as going vegan with Veganuary or staying off the alcohol for dry January.

New Year’s Eve small eats have to sparkle and be novel food, an antidote to heavy rich Christmas food. Choose food to enliven your palate, curiously tasting food with interesting flavours that you haven’t tried before, quirky ideas to tickle your sense of humour and they must of course taste delicious too.

They also have to be filling enough to soak up the alcohol especially if you are just serving small eats and nibbles throughout the evening.

Just as important as the small eats are the drinks so make sure that they are vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Sparkling wine will be on the menu for sure and it is fun to flavour it up, this year we have gone for our favourite Italian tipple Aperol or you could add liquor such as cassis or raspberry or make a Bellini with peach puree. In Scotland Pictish ale flavoured with heather that was drunk in Neolithic times has been revived to drink on Hogmanay.

Make sure you have non-alcoholic drinks too. Our choice is mulled apple juice.

This year we're featuring our favourite recipes for small eats. They are more substantial than canapés and would be best served on small plates, as they are bigger than a mouthful.

We’ve gone for unusual flavours with liquid smoke to mimic smoked salmon in our carrot gravalax. Truffle oil in the celeriac puree and iridescent pickled cauliflower and quirky mini baked potatoes filled with indulgent chanterelles and topped with shavings of truffles.

Try them out at your New Year's Eve feast and let us know how they go down!

Our Top Vegetarian and Vegan New Years Eve Party Ideas

Celeriac Medallions with Truffled Puree, Roasted and Pickled Cauliflower

Vegan Gravlax with Smokey Carrots and Almond Cream Oatcakes

Roasted Small Potatoes with Chanterelles

Roasted Beetroot, Cream Cheese and Hazelnut Tartlets

Roasted Chillies Stuffed with Cashew Cheese

Indian Spiced Rostis with 3 Chutneys

Spicy Apricot Koftas

Mini Masala Dosas

Sweetcorn Fritters

Celeriac and Potato Rostis

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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