STAYING IN: Celebrate World Vegetarian Day with these new ideas for going meat free

We’re about to convince you that vegetarian food is the very best, with help from three of Dubai’s pro-herbivore restaurants.


Eataly’s Lasagne Primavera

vegetarian eataly-lasagne-primavera Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 to 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 30g all-purpose flour (preferably Mulino Marino)
  • salt to taste
  • pinch grated nutmeg
  • 1 clove garlic
  • leaves of 1 bunch fresh basil (about 2 loosely packed cups)
  • 15g tablespoons pine nuts, plus more for garnish
  • 115g Roi extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling pan
  • 100g grated Pecorino Romano
  • about 24 fresh 4-by-10-inch egg pasta sheets (10 centimetres by 25 cm)
  • Coarse sea salt for pasta cooking water
  • 400g asparagus, cut in half lengthwise if thick
  • 50g fresh shelled peas


  • Place the milk in a small saucepan with the bay leaf and the peppercorns and warm over low heat. Strain out and discard the bay leaf and peppercorns. In another small saucepan, melt the butter
  • Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. Add the warm milk 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring to combine between additions. Add the sea salt to taste and cook, stirring, until the mixture has the consistency of cream, about 15 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg and set aside
  • Place the garlic and a generous pinch of sea salt in a large mortar and grind until crushed into a paste. Add about a quarter of the basil leaves to the mortar and grind until broken down. Continue to add the basil a little at a time. Add the pine nuts and grind until crushed. Add the oil and grind until the pesto is creamy. Finally add Pecorino Romano cheese and grind until creamy and thoroughly combined
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for cooking the pasta. Spread a clean dishtowel on a work surface and set aside a bowl of ice water. When the water is boiling, salt it with the coarse salt and add 4 of the pasta sheets. Cook until the pasta rises to the surface, about 30 seconds and dip in the cold water, and spread them on the dishtowel. Repeat with the remaining pasta
  • Place the asparagus in a skillet in one layer. Add water to cover, salt, and simmer over medium heat until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Shock in ice water, drain, and chop. Add the peas to the same skillet and simmer over medium heat until just tender. Drain and set aside
  • Preheat the oven to 230°C. Lightly oil a baking pan. Divide the béchamel loosely into fifths and the pesto into quarters. Cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of pasta, cutting them if necessary. Spread about one fifth of the béchamel on top of the pasta. Top with another layer of pasta. Spread about one quarter of the pesto on top of the pasta, then one fifth of the béchamel. Sprinkle on 50g of grated Pecorino Romano. Sprinkle about one-third of the chopped asparagus and peas in an even layer. Top the vegetables with one fifth of the béchamel, then another layer of pasta
  • Continue assembling by topping the layer of pasta with one quarter of the pesto, another layer of pasta, and another one third of the vegetables. Repeat process until you have 9 layers. Spread the remaining béchamel on top, sprinkle on the remaining of Pecorino Romano, and bake until a crust forms and the top is browned, about 10 minutes. If the top has not browned after 10 minutes, place under the broiler (grill) until it does, about 4 minutes.


Mazaher Roca Salad

vegetarian mazaher-rocca-salad-with-grilled-halloumi


  • 2 packages arugula rocca
  • 1/2 medium sliced white onion
  • 1 smalll bunch fresh thyme
  • 1(250 gm) pack haloumi cheese
  • 50 gm walnuts
  • 3 pieces of fresh red figs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of apple vinegar
  • 1 whole orange, sliced
  • salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac


  • Wash the rocca leaves and put them in a bowl
  • Combine the sliced onion, ornage and red figs and add to the leaves
  • For the sauce, mix the fresh lemon juice, apple vinegar olive oil, salt and sumac powder and add to the salad
  • Slice the haloumi cheese into four pieces, then grill 1 minute each side until charred and beginning to melt
  • Mix the salad with the sauce and top with grilled haloumi and walnuts


El Sur Fried Egg Plant Glazed in Soy and Honey with Burrata

el-sur_eggplant vegetarian


For the eggplant

  • 2 big eggplant
  • 300ml sunflower oil
  • Maldon salt
  • 100g burrata

For the honey sauce

  • 100g water
  • 100g mirin
  • 100g soy sauce
  • 100g sugar
  • 50g blossom honey
  • 1.3 g dashi


  • Wash the eggplant and cut it in a cylinder shape of 5cm high. Make holes into the flesh by using a thick needle to allow the oil to penetrate and cook the eggplant
  • Fry the eggplant at 140-150ºC till it’s evenly cooked and soft. Place it on top of a paper towel to allow to drain the excess of oil
  • Mix the sauce ingredients in a pot, and place on a slow heat
  • Reduce the half or if you have a kitchen thermometer, till it reaches 112 degrees Celsius. The result must be a fine and shiny sauce
  • Take the burrata and make an incision to stop the cheese separating it from its skin
  • Place the cylinders of eggplant on an oven tray and put in an oven on 200 degrees Celsius for eight minutes
  • Take the eggplants out of the oven and top with the honey sauce, allowing the sauce to penetrate all the way through
  • Place the eggplants back in the oven for 1 to 3 min more
  • Top the plate with a few drops of the honey sauce and place two eggplant cylinders on each
  • Place a tablespoon of burrata cheese on each eggplant and finish off with a few Maldon salt crystals



World Vegetarian Day has been marked on 1st October every year since 1977. Take a veggie pledge and find out more at worldvegetarianday

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