We are hosting a buffet on New Year’s Day for 12 people and looking for a theme based around vegetarian food. Can chef suggest anything?

Zach James, Kendal

Vegetarian food can be as varied and interesting as non-vegetarian food. This time of year, look at what vegetables are in season and take your inspiration from there. A hearty roast parsnip and mustard soup. A warm wild mushroom and chestnut quiche. Cut some large leeks into sections, steam briefly, then roast with some olive oil, then finish with crushed hazelnuts and chopped flat leaf parsley. How about some goat's cheese flatbreads finished with wild rocket and fresh figs. Try roasting Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and dried cranberries. Make a beetroot and red cabbage coleslaw. For something very different try a festive pilaf rice finished with pomegranate seeds, chopped coriander and pistachios. Buy some curly kale, wash, steam briefly, then toss in hot olive oil and black pepper. For dessert do some roasted fruits served with some vanilla yoghurt, then drizzle with honey.