In April, I am helping to plan (and cook) a dinner for about 11-12 people that will be served buffet style. One of the challenges is that about half of us are vegetarian. We'll be serving a poached salmon and a chicken dish for the meat eating part of the crew. My challenge is to have some good side dishes so that we veggies also feel sated. And of course they should go with the salmon.
My plan was to serve beet gnocchi with rosemary butter as a starter and then later to offer a vegetarian pasta carbonara with fresh spring peas, a green bean dish, and a white bean and fennel salad.
I have a couple of concerns, namely that a pasta carbonara will be too difficult to keep moist and non-sticky while it is sitting on the buffet. And also that on top of the geet gnocchi, there will be too much cheesy richness.
Any thoughts and suggestions? Or any ideas about other side dishes that would be good? I saw something about a turnip/pear mash on Chowhound a bit earlier that sounded good.