I'm very lucky that I have an awesome mom who makes everything vegan at Thanksgiving. Well, she makes a turkey. But all the sides are vegan. And I always bring a centerpiece for myself. Typically, that's a Tofurky or a Field Roast Celebration Roast (or some other vegan turkey stand-in). And this year will be no different. Already grabbed my Tofurky on sale at Whole Foods for $10.
But I've always thought it'd be cool to experiment with a veg-based centerpiece. I love plant meat, and part of the joy of Thanksgiving is having all that leftover Tofurky for sandwiches, wraps, and leftover plates piled high with dressin', cranberry sauce, and all the fixins.
But tonight, our Memphis vegan social club held our annual Thanksgiving potluck. Since I kinda got two Thanksgivings this year, it seemed like a good time to put a veg-centric centerpiece to the test. I can still have my Tofurky next week, but for tonight, I put together this Holiday Cornucopia with Fork-and-Knife Roasted Vegetables from Vegetarian Times.
Isn't it gorgeous?! I have to admit that I'm pretty impressed with my ability to pull this off. This dish was on the cover of last month's Vegetarian Times.
I kept glancing at it and thinking how cool it'd be to make it, but I'm not really a bread baker. And the recipe seemed a little intimidating. But it was actually pretty simple. I mean, it was time-consuming with all the dough rising and shaping and baking and veggie roasting. But it was so worth it. You can find the recipe for the Holiday Bread Cornucopia online here and the Fork-and-Knife Roasted Vegetables here.
Here's a quick rundown of how this is made. First, you make a dough and let it rise overnight. Then you roll it out in sections and cut it into strips. You make a cone shape using posterboard, and then that's covered in foil (so the poster doesn't catch on fire in the oven). Then you wrap the strips of dough around the cone.
The recipe calls for an egg wash on the dough to help it brown, but to make it vegan, I substituted a little Karo syrup thinned with water. When you brush dough with sugar water, it works in the same way as an egg to help the bread brown. That's because the sugar burns a little in the oven.
Halfway through baking, you take the bread out of the oven and remove the cone.
And when it's totally done, you brush the whole thing with vegan margarine.
As for the stuffing, I used the roasted veggie recipe from Vegetarian Times that goes with the cornucopia. It has acorn squash, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, onions, and mushrooms. Even though it wasn't in the recipe, I added carrots. The recipe instructs you to brush the roasted veggies with a balsamic-honey-olive oil glaze. But I substituted Bee-Free Honee. Agave syrup or even maple would also work.
And that's it! The dish was a huge hit at the potluck. At first, people were just spooning out veggies onto their plates and not touching the bread. I think maybe they weren't sure how to eat it. But once I made it down the line to my cornucopia, I took a knife and dug right in, cutting off a big chunk of bread. Others followed suit, and by the end of the night, all of the bread was gone and only a few Brussels sprouts were left on the platter.
If you're looking for an impressive centerpiece for your Thanksgiving celebration, check out the recipe links above on Vegetarian Times.