Brow Beat

This Is the Ideal Vegetarian Main Dish for Dinner Parties

Herbed goat cheese and root vegetable galette.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

This post originally appeared on Food52.

Maybe you recall the time Marian Bull crafted a perfect Food52 advice column response in the form of a poem.

Yes? No? Check it out here, and maybe print it for posterity.

The gist is this: Some poor sucker sent in a plea for creative vegetarian dinner party mains, so tired of grain salads and pasta dishes the aforementioned sucker found herself. Marian came to the rescue with aplomb and a knack for rhyme, offering stanza upon stanza of suggestions, much to the sucker’s gratitude and joy.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am that poor sucker. After a lifetime of attending my mother’s dinner parties wherein a (magical) pork tenderloin took center stage, I had reached the age of throwing such shindigs myself, only to remember that a growing subset of the people I love identify as meatless, on Mondays or otherwise. There was only so much quinoa I could subject myself and my guests to before we all collectively turned into a heaping portion of the ancient grain.

Help me, I implored Marian, a veg herself, in the form of a request submission signed “zzzzz”—as in, I am the most boring vegetarian hostess in this great wide world.

All of Marian’s ideas were golden—from pizza to tacos to stuff on toast—but I was most intrigued by the idea of a vegetable galette. Having one big dish from which everyone is served feels very dinner party-ish to me, but it’s not as easy as it sounds when meat is out of the picture; I love the concept of letting the main dish act as “its own centerpiece,” as Marian notes, and, from my experience with dessert versions, I knew a galette was capable of commanding that kind of reverence.

For a savory iteration, I raided the root vegetable section of the produce aisle, sliced everything as thin as I could manage, and piled it all atop a generous spread of herby cheese. The result was stunningly colored, rustic as all heck, and totally satisfying as party food alongside a bracingly dressed salad and glasses of wine.

Herbed Goat Cheese and Root Vegetable Galette
Serves 4 to 6

For the dough:
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into little pieces
2 eggs, beaten

For the assembly:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
6 ounces soft goat cheese
½ teaspoon (heaping) finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon (heaping) finely chopped fresh thyme
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into ⅛- to ¼-inch thick rounds
1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced into ⅛- to ¼-inch thick rounds
1 turnip, peeled and sliced into ⅛- to ¼-inch thick rounds
1 egg, beaten
Olive oil

See the full recipe at Food52.

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