A Holiday Recipe (For Your Vegan Friends)!


As the holidays approach, people start to ask me more and more about making something delicious and inventive for their vegetarian dinner guests. Nowadays, vegan and gluten-free guests are also becoming common! I’m always up for the challenge of diet-restricted guests. This is just one of the many items I have had fun creating for the Skirball’s unique catering menu. I work hard to make every dish look as good as it tastes, and this very elegant-looking (if I don’t say so myself) vegetable tower is a creative and hearty alternative to the simple salad and is easy to make. Even the non-vegetarians will enjoy it!

Tower of Butternut Squash, Beets, and Arugula
1 butternut squash (select one with long stem neck)
1 large red beet
1 large Hass avocado, cut into cubes
Cherry balsamic vinaigrette (Alternative: regular balsamic vinegar that has been reduced to syrup)
Salt and pepper

Basil Oil:
1 bunch basil
1 bunch Italian parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  • Peel butternut squash and cut into half-inch thick rounds. Coat with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with a pinch of sugar on both sides. Bake at 350 degrees until soft, for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Coat the beet with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and wrap it in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
  • Roughly chop 1 bunch of basil to make a half-cup. Set aside. Chop the Italian parsley and blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds. Shock in a bowl of ice water. Then place parsley and the chopped basil in a blender, add half-cup of olive oil, and blend until smooth. Pour into a very fine mesh strainer, and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Take the beet out of oven, and rub with paper towel until skin comes off. Cut the beet into 6 half-inch wide disks, and cut the remainder into small cubes.
  • Cut the squash and beets into disks with a round cookie cutter, and season with balsamic and salt and pepper. Assemble two layers in a ring mold as follows: 1 beet disk, 1 inch in height of arugula, diced avocados, 1 squash disk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from molds and place in serving plate. Sprinkle the diced beet cubes on top, drizzle with cherry balsamic vinegar, and then basil oil.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaf, and enjoy!

Posted in Holidays, Recipes.

About Sean Sheridan

Sean Sheridan is the Skirball’s Executive Chef. He began his culinary career at the tender age of eighteen in Minneapolis, where he honed his gastronomic skills. After working at some of the city’s best restaurants and hotels, then studying at La Varenne in Paris, Sean made his way to Los Angeles.

2 thoughts on “A Holiday Recipe (For Your Vegan Friends)!

  1. Pingback: A Holiday Recipe (For Your Vegan Friends)! | CookingPlanet

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