Samui Wining & Dining
Veggie Treat
Here’s a tasty three-course vegetarian recipe from
Full Moon restaurant, Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa.

 

Veggie TreatIt’s not news. If you’re vegetarian, you already know how difficult-to-impossible it is to find something good to eat in restaurants. You don’t want a ‘normal’ meal with the meat taken out, like spaghetti carbonara without the bacon. Nor do you want to be fobbed off with a garden salad or a vegetable soup as two afterthoughts tacked onto the end of the menu. You want first class food, prepared by someone who knows what they’re doing, and who knows the best wines to go with the food as well. The garden salad and soda water days for vegetarians eating out should be long over.

 

And on Samui, they are. Many vegetarian diners are pleasantly surprised by the choice of vegetarian food available on the island, from fusion to Thai to international. And then there’re the Italian options available too, such as those at the Full Moon restaurant at Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa. It’s one of the two main restaurants at Anantara and dishes up Italian food with an Asian twist. The menu is clearly laid out with all the vegetarian dishes labelled alongside the ‘signature’ dishes and the ‘light choice’ – an easily digestible, lower fat option.

 

Full Moon’s extensive and first class menu is overseen by Executive Chef, Donald Lawson, who’s been with the team since Anantara opened in 2004 and who’s been developing the menu to the highest standards since. If you want to try and recreate some of the vegetarian dishes at home, Don has shared a three-course menu with us to try.

 

First up is caprese, the traditional Italian antipasto salad made with mozzarella and tomatoes. It’s an easy to make starter that still looks impressive when served – here’s how to do it:

 

Caprese

Ingredients:

 

8                      ripe plum tomatoes

20 gms             buffalo mozzarella ball

8                      basil leaves

2 gms               sea salt and black pepper mix

15 mls              olive oil

5 mls                balsamic vinegar

 

Method:

Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar until fully blended. Then cut the mozzarella into 5 mm thick slices and the tomato into 1 cm thick slices. Get a large serving platter and alternately layer the cheese and the tomato with the basil leaves in concentric circles. Then drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix, and sprinkle with the sea salt and pepper. You can also add a twist by sprinkling with caper berries to heighten the flavour, or add some organic rocket leaves.

 

Don has also paired a wine for this course, suggesting a Pinot Grigio Tuscany.

 

With the easiest dish out of the way, it’s time to tackle the main course, a risotto inspired by the famous wine-growing Allegrini family.

 

 

Risotto

Ingredients:

 

100 gms           risotto rice

5 gms               garlic

10 gms             fine-diced shallots

50 gms             porcini mushrooms

2 pieces           thyme

300 mls            vegetable stock

50 mls              Allegrini wine

40 gms             grated Parmesan cheese

10 gms             Gorgonzola cheese

20 gms             roasted walnuts

5 mls                mascarpone

15 mls              olive oil

 

Method:

First, heat a pan and add the garlic, shallots and mushrooms. Then add the rice, stir well and add the vegetable stock and wine – do this in small amounts until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Mix the Gorgonzola and mascarpone together and set aside, then fold the Parmesan cheese and thyme leaves into the risotto just before it’s ready to serve. Put the finished risotto on a plate in a circle shape and place the Gorgonzola and mascarpone mixture on top, with the roasted walnuts and a drizzle of olive oil.

 

Don’s suggested wine for the risotto is a Farnese Montepulciano D’Abruzzo CV.

Finally, it’s time for dessert, with the signature Full Moon tiramisu.

 

Full Moon Tiramisu

Ingredients:

6                      egg yolks

¾ cup              sugar

2/3 cup                        milk

1 ¼ cup           heavy cream

1                      vanilla bean

1 lb                  mascarpone cheese

¼ cup              strong brewed coffee

2 tbsp              Kahlua

2                      ladyfinger cookies

1 tbsp              cocoa powder

 

 

Method:

1) Start off by whisking together the egg yolks and sugar in a medium saucepan until they’re well blended. Whisk in the milk, add the vanilla bean and cook over a medium heat. You’ll need to stir the mixture constantly until it boils. When it does, take it off the heat, cover it tightly and chill for one hour.

2) Next, use a medium bowl and beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Mix together the mascarpone and egg yolks until smooth. Then take a small bowl and combine the coffee and Kahlua. Split the ladyfingers lengthways in half and drizzle with the mascarpone mixture.

3) Then arrange half the soaked ladyfingers in the bottom of a cup, spread half the mascarpone mixture over them, then half the whipped cream. Repeat the layer and sprinkle the cocoa powder on top. Cover and refrigerate for four to six hours.

 

There you go – a three course Italian vegetarian menu from one of the island’s top chefs. But if you’re feeling a bit lazy and want to sample these dishes without the bother of cooking – you’re on holiday, after all – Anantara Bophut is on the main ring-road in Bophut on your right as you’re coming from Chaweng.

 

Lisa Cunningham 

 


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