Celebrate Christmas traditions with a selection of meatless dishes from communities that celebrate on Christmas Eve.
The fish is poached, then set in a savoury vegetable stock. Traditionally carp is used because it is a symbol of strength, but you can also use pike, pickerel or whitefish.
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Octopus, squid and shrimp — traditionally part of Italian-Canadian family feasts — are combined with scallops in this deluxe salad. If octopus is not available, add more scallops. For maximum flavour, use the best olive oil you can buy.
There are many special sweets of Italian origin, but these pinocchiate are among the best.
To say that beans are a substitute for meat seems to imply that they're inferior. Nothing could be further from the truth — just try this lusty Slavic salad.
Coulibiac — a fine pie of salmon, eggs, dill and rice — is nontraditional, but a wonderful fish buffet dish. Although it can be made early in the day, it's best baked fresh for the meal.
A whole fish is included in many Christmas Eve suppers. Here, toasted hazelnuts add their special buttery taste and crunch to a savoury stuffing.
Salt cod is a natural for a Christmas buffet. Although it's often deep fried, this version is poached so there's no last-minute fussing
Often the simplest approach to vegetables is the best. And while most party-givers avoid the whole question of hot vegetables at a buffet, this festive Italian dish is both a visual and taste treat.
This is medivnyk, a mellow, lightly spiced honey cake — one of the sweet endings to a Ukrainian Holy Night supper
A medley of poached dried fruits — apricots, prunes, raisins, apples, peaches and pears — is handsome in a tall glass pitcher or crystal bowl. Although not traditional, a splash of brandy added to the mixture is delicious and compatible with the festive spirit.
These buttery rounds sprinkled with poppy seeds are a beautiful contrast in taste and appearance to the usual Christmas nut-and-fruit confections. A poppyseed sweet, of which these Ciastka Z Makiem are an example, is traditionally served at a Polish Wigilia with the fruit compote.
It takes just minutes to make these fruit-and-nut balls when you use a food processor.
Each of these almond shortbreads is studded with a whole clove, a symbol of the Magi's gift of spices to the Christ Child. Kourambiedes are served in the Greek community not only at Christmas, but also christenings, weddings, name days — in fact, at all festive occasions.
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