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A Vegetarian Fall Potluck on Halloween Night

[1]On Halloween night, we held our first vegetarian potluck in Washington DC. The theme: Halloween/Fall Spooktacular.

For starters, I made some fig, pecan and goat cheese tapendade [2] served with spooky halloween pita crisps as an appetizer. (This dish has now been deemed “Figgy Crack” because once you start eating it, it’s really really hard to stop.) I altered the recipe a bit and used crumbled goat cheese in the mix rather than spreading it on the pitas. For the pita crisps, I used whole wheat pita, used Halloween shaped cookie cutters, then pulled the layers apart. I brushed a little olive oil on each side, placed them smooth side down on a baking sheet and sprinkled them with some coarse salt. I put in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes until crisp. (Keep an eye on them, they quickly burn.)

We had a side Autumn Millet Bake [3] from Mark Bittman’s cookbook “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.”  This butternut squash, cranberry, pumpkin seed, and millet dish is both beautiful, sweet and savory. I would proudly add this unique side to any Thanksgiving table.

Our host then set the bar high by adapting this pumpkin stuffed with vegetable stew [4] recipe from epicurious. She adapted some of the vegetables and saved some time by using some pre-made vegetable stock and added the mushrooms and wine to make it a bit heartier. I wish I had a picture of what the pumpkin looked like before it was baked because it was a pale in hue but blossomed into a gorgeous bronze color after baking. The pumpkin cooked perfectly and you could take hunks of the pumpkin from the insides which added a touch of roasted sweetness to the stew.

Our desserts were cupcakes that were devoured so quickly….I didn’t get a picture!

We hope to hold our next potluck in December. I will be hosting and the theme will be Indian cuisine.