Make light work of Shavuot entertaining with a handy pick-and-mix menu planner! Choose from over 40 easy recipes for delicious prepare-ahead main dishes, salads and desserts, including fish, vegetarian and vegan options.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Shavuot is approaching! I love to entertain on YomTov, but when we have guests here I hate to spend all my time in the kitchen. After all, we didn’t invite people over only to see DH and Kipper!
It’s an easy trap to fall into. So many special occasion recipes need to be finished, organised or garnished at the last moment. As our guests talk among themselves or catch up on news, I’m stuck in the kitchen, arranging sprigs of herbs or drizzling sauces into decorative swirls, so I miss all the gossip. It’s the one big downside of YomTov entertaining, on Shavuot or at any other time.
Changing the menu
Over the years, I’ve gradually moved away from individually plated, ‘restaurant style’ dishes and towards recipes which are just as delicious, but enable me to actually spend some time with our guests! These have tended to be things which can be prepared ahead and either served cold or reheated, and which are carried to the table in generous bowls and platters from which guests can help themselves.
These family-style festive meals work really well for us, because I can spend most of the meal actually at the table. And of course it’s still possible to make the food look gorgeous – I just don’t have to spend ages making it look gorgeous 8 or 12 individual times – I can just do it once for everyone to share.
Choose your dishes
The kinds of recipes that work well for this style of entertaining tend to be exuberant fresh salads, generously loaded platters of fresh or smoked fishes (or both), richly filled pies and quiches, buttery pastries and flaky bourekas, bright seasonal vegetable dishes, luscious dips, cheese boards, artisan breads…
All of which sounds to me like an absolutely perfect Shavuot meal. Our Shavuot entertaining has been revolutionised!
At this time of the year, fresh seasonal vegetables and salads are at their best. The weather is warm – often hot! – so dishes that are prepared ahead and served cold are ideal. We often end up doing our Shavuot entertaining in our garden, and sitting in the sunshine at a table laid with a colourful and inviting smorgasbord makes me very happy indeed!
To help you plan your Shavuot entertaining – or small-scale family YomTov meals come to that – I’ve put together a pick-and-mix collection of prepare-ahead dishes that can be combined to create your perfect menu. Simply select one or two main dishes, a few salads and sides, and maybe a dessert, and you’re all set!
Shavuot entertaining has never been easier!
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Chopped and fried gefilte fish – from Family Friends Food.
Parsley crusted salmon – from Family Friends food. (gf)
Quick smoked mackerel and avocado pate – from Family Friends Food. (gf)
Salmon with sun-dried tomatoes – from Family Friends Food. (gf)
Salmon topped with pine nuts, rosemary and orange – from Family Friends Food. (gf)
Smoked salmon & asparagus tart – from Farmersgirl Kitchen.
Tuna and brown rice salad with olives, feta cheese and orange – from Ronnie Fein. (gf)
Main dishes – vegetarian and vegan
Asparagus tarts with a pesto surprise – from Tin and Thyme.
Bulgar and pesto stuffed aubergines – from Family Friends Food.
Bulgar stuffed courgettes with pine nuts (vegan) – from Family Friends Food. (ve)
Caramelised onion and feta galette – from Family Friends Food.
Cheese and olive savoury muffins – from Family Friends Food.
Cheesy butternut squash and spinach stuffed shells – from Family Friends Food.
Cheeseboard and chutney quiche – from Kavey Eats.
Easy Spanish tortilla with new potatoes – from Tin and Thyme. (gf)
Feta, pepper and courgette filo pie – from BakingQueen74.
Herbed feta cheese with sun-dried tomatoes and olives – from Ronnie Fein. (gf)
Marinated feta – from Building Feasts. (gf)
Savoury vegetable tart – from Renana’s Kitchen.
Sweet potato frittata with asparagus – from Veggie Desserts. (gf)
Tofu spring rolls – from Renana’s Kitchen. (gf, ve)
Tomato galette – from Renana’s Kitchen.
Salads and side dishes
Asian style sesame green bean salad – from Family Friends Food. (ve)
Curried potato salad – from Family Friends Food. (gf)
Garlic and basil rolls – from Renana’s Kitchen.
Green pear salad – from Renana’s Kitchen. (gf, ve)
Israeli vegetable salad – from Family Friends Food. (gf, ve)
Jersey Royal potato salad with herb tahini dressing – from Veggie Desserts. (gf, ve)
Kohlrabi, fennel and asparagus salad – from Building Feasts. (gf, ve)
Roasted vegetable and barley salad with creamy tahini dressing – from Family Friends Food. (ve)
Shaved zucchini salad with feta and goat cheese – from Kosher Like Me. (gf)
Tabbouleh salad – from Little Sunny Kitchen.
Vegetarian Salade Nicoise – from Tin and Thyme. (gf)
Blueberry yogurt pie – from Ronnie Fein.
Cheese blintz crepe cake – from Family Friends Food.
Cookie cheesecake parfait with berries – from Veggie Desserts.
Goats cheese strudel with baklava inspired flavours – from Family Friends Food.
Little gooseberry and elderflower custards – from Family Friends Food. (gf)
Mini berry cheesecakes – from Family Friends Food.
Rhubarb and orange fool – from Farmersgirl Kitchen. (gf)
Rhubarb posset with just 3 ingredients – from Kavey Eats. (gf)
Vegan malabi – from Family Friends Food. (ve, gf)
Watermelon & berry salad with basil mint sugar – from Family Friends Food. (ve, gf)
10-minute tiramisu – from Simply Sensational Food.