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Modern French cooking

French cuisine has traditionally had a global reputation for creating intricate and spectacular food using the finest of ingredients and techniques. In fact, French cuisine is extremely interesting both professional and amateur cooks as it represents some of the most challenging types of recipes for cooks. Alongside the precision and tradition of French cuisine, there is a growing movement of French chefs and cook who inject creativity and humor into their French dishes to achieve delicious and interesting takes on traditional dishes. This blog is all about modern French cooking and marries together traditional with the new French style to help inspire you to culinary heights.



Modern French cooking

Tips For Ordering At An Italian Restaurant When You're Vegan

by Stephen Williams

Some Italian restaurants are beginning to include vegan options on their menu, such as lentil ragu or pizza with dairy-free cheese. However, menus are still typically dominated with classic dishes containing animal products, such as lasagne al forno, seabass verde, pollo prosciutto and spaghetti carbonara.

So, what are your options when you're vegan and enjoy the fresh flavours associated with Italian cuisine? Although committing to a vegan lifestyle can limit your options when eating out, being creative with the dishes on offer and utilising your server's knowledge of the restaurant's menu will allow you to enjoy an Italian meal without compromising your ethics. Here are a few tips for ordering at any Italian restaurant: 

Scout The Menu For Dishes That Are Accidentally Vegan

Even if a restaurant doesn't have a vegan menu, you'll likely find a dish or two that just happens to contain no animal products. For example, spaghetti Pomodoro is a classic Italian dish that consists of a simple, light sauce made with vine-ripened tomatoes, basil and olive oil that's served with short spaghetti. The fresh flavours of this dish are a real treat for your taste buds, but if you want to add some bulk, ask for it to be made with extra vegetables, such as roasted peppers, spinach, artichokes or mushrooms.  

Combine Starters And Side Dishes To Create A Balanced Meal

You don't have to order a dish from the main menu if you can't find anything suitable. Look for starters and side dishes that you can combine, and check with your server to ensure they aren't made with any animal products. Here are a few examples using dishes commonly found on Italian restaurant menus:

  • Cannellini bean and seasonal vegetable soup with a side of mixed olives and classic garlic bread made with olive oil and fresh garlic.
  • Mixed bean salad with boiled baby potatoes and seasonal greens.
  • Mixed leaf salad, tenderstem broccoli, red cabbage slaw and lentil pâté.

Order A Dish That Can Easily Be Made Vegan

Some dishes that are prepared ahead of time, such as the cheesy risotto balls known as arancini, simply have to be written off as unsuitable. However, it shouldn't be difficult to find dishes that can easily be made vegan by leaving out or substituting one or two ingredients. Here are a few examples of dishes to look out for:

  • Bruschetta can be made vegan by leaving out the mozzarella. Ask for it to be topped with mixed beans if you want a heartier dish.
  • If the restaurant uses pizza dough that doesn't contain animal products, order a pizza sans cheese, load it up with extra vegetables and ask for it to be topped with fresh, peppery rocket just before it's brought to your table.
  • Aubergine parmigiana is a slow-cooked dish consisting of sliced aubergine layered with a garlic-infused tomato and basil sauce. The dish is topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheese and grilled just before serving. Enjoy this dish without the cheese and add a green salad or a side portion of crusty bread to mop up the sauce

As you can see, it's not difficult to order a vegan meal from a classic Italian restaurant menu if you're willing to be creative. You may even give the restaurant a few ideas for catering to vegan diners without making significant changes to their existing menu.