Tag Archive for Vegetarian

Gado gado

Gado gado is an Indonesian dish of vegetables with peanut sauce. It can be served as a main, but also as part of an Indonesian meal with several different dishes.

GadoGado2

Peanut sauce
Slightly adapted from “Kook nu eens zelf Indisch en Chinees- Nique van der Werff-Wijsman”

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp sambal oelek or sambal badjak
1/4 tsp trasi
salt
1/2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp peanut butter (all natural, no ingredients except peanut)
1 tbsp ketjap manis
1 tsp goela jawa (palm sugar)
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
200 ml water
1/2 cm from a block of santen (creamed coconut)

Finally chop the onion and garlic. Use a mortar and pestle or blender to make into a purée, mix with the sambal, trasi and salt.
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the purée and sauté on medium heat until most of the moisture is evaporated, and the mixture doesn’t smell raw any more.
Add peanut butter, ketjap, goela jawa, tamarind paste and water. Mix well. Leave to bubble for a bit, until the sauce has the desired consistency. Add some more water if you think it’s too thick. Add the santen and mix. Taste and season with salt, goela jawa and tamarind paste if necessary. Serve.

Gado gado
200-300 g raw/cooked vegetables per person (can be cold or hot), for example cabbage, green beans, carrot, taugé, cucumber, cauliflower, potato
boiled eggs and/or fried tofu
peanut sauce
To serve (optional): rice, krupuk

Serve all the ingredients with the peanut sauce poured over.

To make this dish vegan, don’t use the trasi (which is fermented shrimp paste), and make sure your sambal doesn’t contain shrimp paste. Also, don’t serve the dish with eggs. Krupuk contains shrimp, use cassava chips as an alternative.

Pasta with wild mushrooms, gorgonzola and endive

An autumnal pasta dish.

PastaMushroomGorgonzolaEndive2

Pasta with wild mushrooms, gorgonzola and endive (serves 2)
Inspired by a recipe in Allerhande

200 g spaghetti
200 g wild mushrooms, cleaned, sliced if large
knob of butter
salt and pepper
150 g gorgonzola, in cubes
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

3-4 heads of endive
salt
splash of lemon juice

Prepare the endives. Remove outer leafs, cut in half, cut out the hard/bitter heart.
Cook pasta according to the instructions on the packet/by your preferences.
Place the endive in a large pan on medium heat, turn occasionally and leave to cook until soft and slightly caramelized. Season with salt and a splash of lemon juice.
Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in a frying pan in a knob of butter, until golden and cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Mix with the pasta, parsley and gorgonzola. Serve with the endives.

To make this dish truly vegetarian, use a blue cheese that is suitable for vegetarians.

Pasta Caprese

Another salad turned into a pasta meal. I used casarecce as pasta (a kind of stretched out wokkel), but you can choose a different shape if you can’t find these.

Pasta Caprese

Pasta Caprese (serves 2)

200 g pasta
olive oil
25 g pine nuts
some basil leafs
250 g cherry tomatoes
1 ball buffalo mozzarella
75 g rucola

Cook the pasta in a large pan of generously salted boiling water until cooked to your liking.
Roast the pine nuts. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Slice (or tear) the buffalo mozzarella in cubes.
Mix the pasta with some olive oil. Add the rucola and cherry tomatoes and divide over plates. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, torn up basil leafs and mozzarella. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil if you like.

Note: to make this dish truly vegetarian, make sure you choose a mozzarella that is suitable for vegetarians.

Spaghetti with blue cheese, spinach and walnuts

Blue cheese, spinach and walnuts are a great combo. They are often served as a salad, but I decided to mix them wit spaghetti for a lovely, complete meal.

Spaghetti with blue cheese, spinach and walnuts (serves 2)

200 g spaghetti
100 g roquefort
300 g spinach, washed
50 g walnuts
salt
olive oil

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of generously salted boiling water until it is cooked to your liking.
Crumble the roquefort. Roast the walnuts, and crumble.
Heat a large pan, add the spinach and let it wilt. If necessary, do this in portions. I like it best when the spinach is just wilted, some people prefer to cook it a bit longer.
Mix the cooked spaghetti with a splash of olive oil. Then mix the spaghetti with the other ingredients. Keep some roquefort and walnuts to sprinkle on top for a nice presentation.

Note: roquefort is usually not vegetarian, so to make this dish truly vegetarian, substitute it for a blue cheese that is suitable for vegetarians.

Courgette and Feta Salad

I would never have though of making this combination of ingredients on my own. And that is what I love about the recipes by Tom Kerridge, usually they have something odd, something quirky, something that leaves you wondering if it would work. And when you make it, it is fantastic. I would love to be able to create recipes like he does, that go further than the standard combinations.
The salad consists of contrasting flavours. Soft, mellow grilled courgette; tangy, salty feta; crisp, bitter green paprika; fresh lettuce; but even though they are contrasting, they marry perfectly into a very tasty salad.
Tom Kerridge suggests to serve it as a side with slow-roast leg or shoulder of lamb, or on toast for a light lunch or supper. I like to serve it the Italian way as a separate salad course, because it is quite strong-flavoured it might otherwise overpower the other flavours of the dish. I also think it would be a great dish for a buffet, bbq or even a picnic (it is quite sturdy).

Feta and Courgette Salad

Courgette and Feta Salad (serves 4)
Adapted from “Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes”

2 Little Gem lettuces, leaves washed and separated
1 green paprika, finely diced
100 g feta, crumbled
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
4 courgettes, cut diagonally into 0.5 cm slices
sea salt
25 ml sherry vinegar

Heat a little olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Fry the courgette slices in batches until golden-brown on each side (about 1-2 minutes on each side). Sprinkle a little sea salt over each batch. Arrange together with the lettuce on a large serving platter (or individual plates). Sprinkle the paprika and feta over. Mix the olive oil and sherry vinegar, drizzle over the salad. Serve.

Dutch Food: Cheese Rolls

Sausage rolls are a bit difficult to eat when you are a vegetarian. Luckily, the Dutch have found a solution for that, one that suits many non-vegetarians as well: cheese rolls, crispy puff pastry filled with a savoury, creamy, cheesy filling. You can buy these cheese rolls hot at some bakeries, on (train) stations and at food courts in department stores; sausage rolls, and sometimes ham-cheese rolls, are sold there as well. People usually eat them as snack or lunch. Beware: because they are made with puff pastry and loads of cheese, so they are quite fat. I prefer to eat them warm and fresh from the oven, but they are still nice at room temperature a while after baking. But don’t keep them for too long, or they will get too soggy.

Cheese Rolls

Cheese rolls (8 rolls)
25 g butter
1/4-1/2 tsp curry powder
25 g flour
200 ml milk
100 g grated cheese (medium aged Gouda)
8 squares all butter puff pastry, defrosted if frozen
25 g grated cheese (aged Gouda or parmesan)

Melt the butter in a pan, add the curry powder and fry until fragrant. Add the flour, fry for a minute. Gradually add the milk, while stirring continuously. Keep stirring until a thick sauce has formed, and leave to bubble for a few minutes. Take from the heat and stir through the sauce. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Half the puff pastry squares. Slice half of them, but keep the edges together, to form a raster. Scoop the cheese mixture on the other half of them, keep 1 cm around the edge free. Brush the edges with water and place the ones you sliced on top of them. This explanation is a bit cryptic, but I guess it is manageable together with the photo of the finished thing. Seal the edges well. Brush the tops with water and sprinkle the old cheese over.
Transfer to the baking tray and bake about 20 minutes, until golden and puffed.

Note: to make this recipe truly vegetarian, choose cheeses that are suitable for vegetarians.

Baked ricotta

When you bake ricotta, the structure changes completely. Unbaked ricotta has a quite grainy texture, the baked ricotta becomes silky smooth, while still having that fresh, milky flavour. And where unbaked ricotta is scoopable/spreadable, baked ricotta is delicately firm. You can cut it, instead of scoop it, but only very carefully, or it will crumble. Because it is so delicate, it will taste very, very creamy.

I served my baked ricotta as part of a main dish, with pasta, tomato sauce and fried aubergine, as a variation on pasta alla norma. But you could also sprinkle it with fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon juice and more olive oil after baking, and serve it with bruscetta as a party snack or appetizer. Maybe add some chilli flakes, semi-dried tomatoes, olives, or roasted paprika. If you omit the salt and pepper, you could even make a dessert version, with honey, walnuts and figs.

I’ve tried this both with ricotta that I left to drain overnight, and ricotta that I didn’t drain. Although both end up nice, I prefer the drained version, because it browns better/faster, is less wet, and becomes even smoother than the undrained version. So if you have the time, drain your ricotta. Some recipes ask you to mix the ricotta with a few eggs and the seasoning, and to cook it in a ramekin, but I like my version better because of the shape. Also, the texture will be completely different, a lot more airy from the eggs. I prefer this silky smoothness.

Baked ricotta
1 tub of ricotta
olive oil
salt and pepper

Start the day before you want to serve the ricotta. Line a sieve with a cheesecloth (or clean tea-towel), rinsed well under cold water and squeezed to get rid of most of the water. It is also possible to use a carefully rinsed coffee filter. Place the sieve over a bowl. Open the tub of ricotta, inverse it on top of the cheesecloth and gently squeeze the tub to release the ricotta in one go. It is important to keep it whole. Gently place the container back over the ricotta (I found this the easiest way to cover up the cheese), and place the whole thing in the fridge. Leave overnight to drain.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Transfer the ricotta to a lightly oiled baking tray, the ricotta is vulnerable, so be careful! Use a pastry brush to very carefully dab oil all over the ricotta, again being very careful not to damage the shape. Place in the oven and bake 45-60 minutes, or until nicely golden. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Baked onion

How often do you think about onions as a vegetable dish? Well, I never though of that, until I found this recipe from Sophie Dahl. And why not? Onions are tasty and cheap, so why should they always be added as an extra flavour layer to a dish, and never shine for themselves? And shine they do in this dish. I’ve used yellow onions, but it would also be very tasty with white onions or garlic. And I expect a similar preparation with leeks would work very well too.
The original recipe suggested to cook the onions 20 minutes in boiling water, but I found that this made them loose their flavour and turn quite mealy. It works better to sweat/stew them.

Baked Onion

Baked onions (serves 2-4)
Adapted from “Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights – Sophie Dahl”

4 onions, peeled
salt
generous knob of butter

140 ml light cream (20% fat)
50 g parmezan

Melt the butter in a pan, add the onions, a sprinkling of salt, a splash of water, and cover the pan with a lid. Cook on low heat until the onions are soft.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the onions in half and place in a baking dish. Pour over the cream and sprinkle over the parmezan. Cook 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven.

Note: to make this dish truly vegetarian, use a vegetarian substitute for parmezan.

Salatteller

I’ve eaten this dish for the first time in Germany, hence the German name. It literally means salad plate, and I’m wondering why I’ve never thought of this myself, piling tasty stuff on dressed lettuce. It is very easy, there is almost no cooking involved (only the eggs), and just a little chopping, furthermore it is light but substantial enough, so it is perfect for those hot, lazy days in summer. You can make it extra easy by buying pre-chopped and pre-cooked things, and most of it can be prepped in advance, also in larger quantities, so it is a perfect buffet dish as well. And if you pack everything in separate containers, you can take it with you on a picnic as well.
Start with a lettuce and dressing you like, I used butterhead and a yoghurt dressing. Then add cooked green beans, slices of tomato, cooked corn, slices of cucumber, carrot julienne, kohlrabi julienne and/or strips of paprika. For protein (and extra jumminess) add cubes of cooked ham, cubes of cheese (I used Dutch medium aged Gouda), and quartered cooked eggs. To finish it, add a scoop of coleslaw or farmer salad. Place it all on a plate in a pretty way, and eat immediately.
A vegetarian version is also possible: omit the ham and make sure the dressing, coleslaw/farmer salad and cheese are suitable for vegetarians.

Salatteller

Italian pumpkin soup

A delicious autumn soup. Hearty, warming and bold of flavour. Sometimes pumpkin soup is icky sweet and lacks other flavours, but this soup certainly doesn’t. I’m not a big fan of cooking with wine, because you always only need a glass and have to finish the rest of the bottle in some other way, which often goes wrong around here. And the small bottles of wine generally aren’t that tasty. So usually I just omit the wine in the recipe without any problem, but this is an exception: the soup needs the acid and the complex flavours of the wine. Serve the soup with something cheesy, like cheese straws or cheesy croutons.

Italian pumpkin soup (serves 4)
Slightly adapted from James Martin

1 small pumpkin, peeled, seeds discarded, in large cubes (about 1 kg)
1 onion, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
2 sprigs rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil
500 ml chicken stock (from a cube is fine
1 glass dry white wine
75 ml cream
Salt, pepper, chilli powder and lemon juice to taste

Preheat the oven to 220C.
Combine the pumpkin, onion, garlic and rosemary in a baking tray. Add the olive oil, mix until everything is coated. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender and nicely roasted. Mix halfway through the cooking time to ensure the bottom of the cubes roasts as well. This also prevents catching (pumpkin is quite sweet, which makes it prone to burning).
Meanwhile bring the stock to the boil. When the vegetables are cooked, put in a blender with the hot liquid and white wine (or use an immersion blender). Blend until smooth, then add the cream and return to the pan. Warm through on low heat, don’t let it boil. Taste, then adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, chilli powder and lemon juice to taste. Serve immediately.