Indulge in Vegetarian Comfort Food this Fall - Firefly Books Blog

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Indulge in Vegetarian Comfort Food this Fall

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Indulge in Vegetarian Comfort Food this Fall


When it comes to conversations around seasonal comfort food, meat and gravy tend to dominate the scene.

(We’re guilty of this too, as we included a recipe for savoury steak and oyster pie in our fall menu. Meat lovers can get the recipe here.)

But since October 1st is World Vegetarian Day, we thought it was time that vegetarian comfort food was given some credit. To help you celebrate, we’re sharing three of our favourite comforting recipes just for vegetarians.

Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty soup, a veggie twist on a classic Greek dish, or a scrumptious seasonal side, these delicious recipes will see you through the season and leave everyone wanting seconds.

Bon appetit!


round vegetarian moussaka with bite take out on white plate with two forks, one fork with sauce on it, next to white cloth napkin on blue wood table

Shiitake Mushroom & Potato Dauphinoise Moussaka (from Mazi: Modern Greek Food)

What you need:
2 large eggplant, peeled
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
drizzle of olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
300g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 sprigs of thyme
50ml dry white wine
1 tablespoon tomato purée
250g good-quality canned chopped tomatoes
pinch of sugar
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of sweet paprika
pinch of ground cinnamon
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper

For the dauphinoise:
4 baking potatoes
50ml milk
100g Parmesan cheese, grated
100ml double cream

For the béchamel sauce:
100g butter
100g plain flour
1 litre milk
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
pinch of white pepper


How to make it:
1. Cut the eggplant into thick slices. Put them in a colander, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and leave them to drain for 30 minutes.

2. Heat enough sunflower oil for deep-frying in a deep-fryer or a large, deep saucepan to 190°C (375°F). Pat the eggplant slices dry with kitchen paper and deep-fry, in batches, for 1 minute until soft. Drain and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to soak up the excess oil.

3. For the dauphinoise, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Peel the potatoes and then thinly slice them – use a mandolin if you have one. Make a layer of potato slices over the base of a large baking dish or 6 smaller individual baking dishes and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the milk, then add another layer of potato slices, season and sprinkle over half the grated Parmesan. Add a final layer of potato slices, season and pour over the cream, then sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes until the potato layers are soft and the top is golden brown.

4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the shallot, garlic, and shiitake mushrooms and sauté over a medium heat until the shallot and garlic are soft but not browned. Add the thyme sprigs and cook until the liquid released by the mushrooms has evaporated. Pour in the white wine and simmer briskly until evaporated. Stir in the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes and sugar, then pour in enough water to cover the mushrooms (about 400ml). Season with salt and pepper and all the spices. Simmer for 15–20 minutes until the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are coated in a thick sauce.

5. For the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the flour and cook, whisking with a balloon whisk, until a smooth paste (roux) forms. Gradually add the milk and cook until the mixture thickens, whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and add the nutmeg, salt and white pepper.

6. Layer the deep-fried eggplant slices on top of the potato dauphinoise, followed by the mushrooms. Pour in the béchamel sauce and spread over the top of the mushrooms. Sprinkle over the grated Parmesan and bake at the same temperature for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Serves 6.


Roasted orange and purple carrots, beets, potatoes, and pomegranate on slate tray with dill garnish

Roasted Root Vegetables with Citrus, Herbs, Chilies & Pomegranate (from Grow What You Love)

What you need:
1 lb. or more carrots, sliced longways from tip to tail
1 lb. or more beets, quartered
Handful turnips or radishes or both (optional)
2 or more onions, cut in rounds or quartered so they fall apart in flakes
1 blood orange, cut into rounds
Fresh herbs such as dill, basil, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, parsley, coarsely chopped
½pomegranate, seeded
2 bay leaves
2 chili peppers, whole
Cinnamon stick (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil

How to make it:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Wash and chop vegetables, slice the orange into rounds, and prepare herbs and pomegranate. Toss vegetables, orange, bay leaves, chili peppers, cinnamon (if using), salt and pepper, and perennial herbs in a bowl or on a baking sheet, and coat with olive oil until glistening.

3. Bake about 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven once vegetables are soft and beginning to brown and caramelize.

4. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and fresh, tender herbs like dill before serving.

Serves 6-8.


bowl of red minestrone soup with chunks of onion and orzo, garnished with watercress on gray marble countertop

Minestrone with Orzo (from New French Table)

What you need:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 carrot, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
1 celery stalk, finely sliced
4 baby zucchini, diced into ½ inch cubes
100g French beans, sliced into quarters
1 sprig of thyme, leaves picked
450ml vegetable stock
200g tinned chopped tomatoes
50g orzo
40g baby watercress
1 handful of fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to make it:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, baby zucchini, French beans, and thyme to the pan and sauté, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes. Pour the vegetable stock and tinned tomatoes into the pan and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and season to taste. Add the orzo to the pan and stir to combine. Leave to cook for around 10 minutes, until the orzo is cooked but still retains a little bite.

2. Divide the soup between 4 serving bowls and top with the watercress, a scattering of fresh parsley and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Serve hot. 

Serves 4.


roasted vegetables with pomegranate seeds and parsley garnish


Get the books:

 Mazi: Modern Greek Food

 Grow What You Love

 New French Table

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