Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of gratitude and celebration, but for so many folks who eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, it can be quite trying. I know that for the 15 years that I was vegetarian, my mother was fairly frustrated, to put it mildly, that I did not partake of the meat portion of holiday meals. And while I was creative enough to produce my own entree (a variation of this dish), I know not all cooks are as knowledgeable.
Several years ago, while I was living in Northfield Minnesota and writing a monthly food column for the local paper, I suggested a variation on this recipe in hopes of providing an option for Thanksgiving cooks whose invited guests included vegans or vegetarians. (The town had two small liberal arts colleges and veganism was a very popular diet among students). Unfortunately, most of my readers were taken aback that I did not share my personal candied yam or pumpkin pie recipe. It was the first time that my readership was less than esctatic about my articles and I found it vaguely amusing!
Tofurky is what most omnivore assume vegans and vegetarians have on Thanksgiving, however I have never tried it, preferring tofu Asian style rather than as a substitute for a meat product. Usually, I made some variation on this dish, pan frying seitan or tofu and creating a gravy from the pan scrapings to go with it, which usually tasted pretty good over mashed potatoes. Recently, while searching for recipes that utilized wine, I found a recipe that seemed a tad more gourmet, Field Roast Marsala, and knew I had to give it a go. It certainly did not disappoint!
The recipe below is for four generous portions, so the curious omnivores can try it out if they’re game. Increase the water and flour mixture (double, triple) if you want more gravy, as these measurements make more of a sauce to stick to the mushrooms.
Field Roast Marsala – Vegan Thanksgiving Entree
1 package field roast, cut in 1/2 inch slices (makes 12)
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons high heat oil (safflower, sunflower, peanut)
1 lb white mushrooms, quartered (1 inch pieces)
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup Marsala or dry sherry
2/3 cup water, cool
2 tablespoons flour (use leftover from dredging field roast slices)
Dredge field roast slices in flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Pan fry on high in high heat oil, 3-4 minutes per side until crisp. Remove slices from pan and set aside. Add olive oil and saute shallot on high heat for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add mushrooms and turn down heat to medium and cook mushrooms 10-13 minutes until they give off the their liquid and begin to brown; do not stir often as they will not brown. Turn heat up to high and add Marsala and add field roast back to the pan and cook on high heat until Marsala is gone. Blend water and flour and whisk well to blend. Pour into pan and stir to make gravy. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
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