This recipe is super simple but the frying in garlic part makes all the difference.
Preparation / Cooking Time - 5mins
2 x Beef Tomatoes - sliced into 6
2 x Large cloves of garlic - Crushed and finely sliced
12 x Sprigs of fresh basil - gently torn or left whole and leaves separated
Regular oil to fry with -Rape seed oil is a good option
Extra Virgin olive Oil
2 x Balls of Burrata
Sour Dough -If you're doing carbs
Slice the tomatoes and prepare the garlic. Heat up some oil in a flat based frying pan and add the rock salt and garlic, once it starts to cook/sizzle add the sliced tomatoes, once side flat to the pan so they get covered evenly with the garlic and oil, cook for 2mins and remove. You only need to cook one side, this way you still get the crunch and freshness of the tomato but with an amazing garlic flavour. (Ensure your garlic doesn't over cook- it shouldn't brown)
The burrata is best served torn as it's super creamy and will mix nicely with the garlic oil from the tomatoes- all to be moped up with a fresh sour dough.
When serving start with a layer of burrata followed by a layer of tomatoes then the fresh basil and black pepper. Drizzle with some good quality extra virgin olive oil plus a small sprinkle of rock salt.
This works as a dish for one or as a dish for everyone....
Promise this won't disappoint.
TIP- If you're in the office and frying in garlic isn't an option, try cutting your fresh garlic in half and rubbing it onto your toasted bread then drizzle oil. You can go as garlicy as you want, then add freshly sliced tomatoes on top with basil and seasoning. Black pepper is a must.
Catch the last batches of Jerusalem Artichoke before they go out of season...
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with a Shallot & Sage Topping
Cooking / Preparation Time - 40mins
1 Kilo of Jerusalem artichokes 2 x White onions 2 x Veggie cubes or boullion & 3 pints of water
Garnish - Handful of fresh veggie style parmesan
1 x Shallot finely sliced - Fried until crispy
2 x Sage leaf per serving - Fried until crispy
Glug of olive oil
Start by scrubbing the artichokes with a scourer so all mud is removed or peel if you haven't got the patience for that.
Next cut the Jerusalem artichoke in half depending on the size, you ideally want around 3cm cubes. Place them in a roasting tin and cut the white onions into quarters and add them also. Season with salt & pepper and roast for 25/30mins on 190 degrees Celsius.
Once these have cooked add your vegetable stock to the roasting tin and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes.
In the meantime finely slice your shallots and add these along with the sage leaves to a frying pan with a glug of oil and a pinch of rock salt. Fry until golden and crispy.
Grate your vegetarian style Parmesan allowing a generous pinch per serving.
Remove the artichokes and stock from the oven and let cool for 5/10 minutes then blend until smooth. Check the seasoning, white and black pepper works really well alongside Jerusalem artichoke so be generous with both of these.
Serve up and sprinkle the parmesan followed by the crispy shallots then the sage leaves.
1 x Large marrow - sliced into 4 even sized pieces
1 x White onion - Finely sliced then cubed
2 x Large cloves of garlic - Crushed and roughly chopped up
1 x Yellow pepper - Core removed and roughly cubed
1 x Red pepper - Core removed and roughly cubed
1 x Tin of good quality tomatoes
2 x Fresh tomatoes - Roughly cubed
Generous glug of white wine (1 cups worth)
1 x Courgette - Sliced into ribbons using a peeler
Handful of fresh basil
Handful of fresh parsley
Salt, black & white pepper
Generous glug of olive oil
Prosciutto - Allow one slice per serving (leave out for vegetarians!!)
Start by slicing up the marrow into four even sections, remove any seeds or soft flesh from the centre- you should be able to do this easily with a spoon. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper and place on a baking tray and cook in the oven at 190 degrees Celsius for 20 mins.
Once the marrow is in the oven combine the onion, peppers, fresh tomato and garlic in a large pan, season with salt and pepper and add a large glug of olive oil, cook on a medium heat for 5 mins then add the white wine and let this cook for a further 5 mins, once the wine has cooked off add your tin tomatoes and cook for a further 10 mins. Roughly chop the fresh basil and parsley (ensuring that you wash it first and that you save a small amount of both to garnish with) and mix it through the tomato and pepper sauce. Taste just in case you need to up the seasoning, a sprinkle of white pepper works really well with this dish...don't be shy!
After the marrow's been cooking for 20 minutes take it out. For the two middle sections of the marrow that need a bottom to stop all the filling falling out add the strips/ribbons of courgette ensuring they cross over and entirely cover the bottom of the marrow. For both the end pieces of the marrow slice off the end bit so that the marrow stands up on it's on and is ready to have the filling added.
Shred the prosciutto and add to the filling then spoon in the tomato and mixed peppers, splitting it evenly across the 4 sections of marrow.
Put back in the oven for a further 5-8 minutes then serve immediately adding a last sprinkle of the remaining fresh basil and parsley along with some extra black pepper.
Serve solo, with a simple crisp gem lettuce salad or with potatoes which ever way you fancy.
I surprised myself with this dish. I knew it would only be a matter of time before I had to give in and try out some of this protein heavy mock meat. In all honesty at first glance I was slightly put off by it, I'd almost prefer if it didn't try so hard to look just like it's fleshy counterpart. I'd eaten vegetarian sausages in the past but this seemed like one step too far, I was struggling to take mock food seriously. Thankfully I managed to press on through and although not one hundred percent sold on this over meat I now appreciate that it works as the perfect base to take on as many flavours as you want to add to it. No one missed the real McCoy here and I have to say I felt a little less guilt when eating it...needless to say the vegetarian boyfriend was like an over fed newborn after his third serving.
Hearty Fake Chicken Pie
Cooking / Preparation Time - 45mins
150g of 'Chicken Style Pieces' (Veggi Deli's pretty good)
1/2 x Red onion - Roughly chopped
2 x Garlic cloves - Crushed and roughly chopped
1 x Leek - Roughly chopped into chunks
200g x Spinach
3 x Fresh sage leaves
Fresh thyme - Leaves removed from stalks
Sprinkle of rock salt & black & white pepper
Pre-rolled shortcrust pastry
1 x Egg yolk to cover pastry lid
60g x Mature / Extra strong vegetarian cheddar - Grated
2 x Tbsp of plain flour
1/4 x Pint of milk
1 x Tsp of dijon
3/4 x Pint of vegetable stock
Large nob of butter (around 30g)
Salt, black & white pepper
To save time use pre-rolled shortcrust pastry. Ensure you don't roll it out too thinly and if you like a bit of added flavour, chop up some fresh thyme and sage and gently roll into the pastry.
Start by combining the chopped onions, leeks, garlic, sage, salt & pepper to a generous glug of olive oil and cook on a medium heat for 4/5 minutes until they start the soften. Add in the spinach and chicken style pieces along with the chopped, fresh thyme. Be sure to stir thoroughly ensuring nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan and cook on a medium to low heat for 10 minutes whilst you make the cheese sauce.
For the cheese sauce -
Start by melting the butter on a low heat in a separate pan. Once melted add in two tablespoons of flour and mix until it comes together in a paste. Next add in the dijon and season. Be generous with the white pepper and cook for a minute or two, again not allowing it to stick to the bottom of the pan. Gradually begin to add in the milk, whisking the flour mixture until it turns into a thick, smooth paste and continue to cook for a few minutes. Next add in the vegetable stock whilst continuing to stir the mixture. You can turn the heat up slightly before adding your grated veggie cheese allowing it to melt into the mixture. Stir or whisk until smooth.Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Once both the pie filling and cheesy sauce are tasting good combine them and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Cut you rolled pastry to size and lay some out across the bottom of your pie dish (if it's not a non-stick dish add a layer of butter to the bottom and sides first) and add the filling. Be as generous as the dish allows then lay the pastry lid you've cut over the top ensuring it reaches the edges and meets with the bottom layer of pastry. Coat the edges of the bottom layer of pastry with egg wash, then with your fingers and thumb push the pastry lid and bottom layer together. You can alternatively use the back of a fork. Ensure you coat the top of the pie in whisked egg and don't forget to make a hole in the middle of the pie. This allows the steam to escape and helps cook and crispen your pie lid.
Cook on 190 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes and take out once golden.
Serve immediately. Accompaniments are whatever you fancy; Roast potatoes, mash, peas, mushy peas, gravy...crispy shallots and greens are a definite favourite.