Christ­mas goes vego

Make your feast day de­li­ciously meat-free

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Festive Feasts -

fruit and veg never looked – or tasted – so fes­tive! Colour­ful and zesty, this menu of­fers the flavours of the Mediter­ranean, in­clud­ing juicy toma­toes and or­anges, aro­matic herbs and lots of yummy cheeses!

BLOOD ORANGE, LIME AND PAS­SION­FRUIT MO­JI­TOS

Prepa­ra­tion time 10 mins Cook­ing time nil Serves 8

125ml white rum

½ cup mint leaves, plus

ex­tra sprigs to gar­nish

2 limes, cut into thin wedges, plus

ex­tra 1 lime thinly sliced into rounds 6 x 375ml bot­tles blood orange

flavoured sparkling drink

8 scoops pas­sion­fruit sor­bet Crushed ice, to serve

STEP 1 Put rum, mint and lime wedges in a large jug. Use the end of a rolling pin or cocktail mud­dler to squash limes and slightly mash in­gre­di­ents to­gether. Add sparkling drink, stir to com­bine. STEP 2 Spoon sor­bet into 8 glasses. Top each with lime rounds, then top up glasses with mo­jito mix­ture. Gar­nish with ex­tra mint. Serve with crushed ice.

FETA AND OREGANO STUFFED CHERRY TOMA­TOES

Prepa­ra­tion time 15 mins Cook­ing time 10 mins Serves 8

24 cocktail toma­toes

100g Dan­ish feta, crum­bled 2 Tbsp fresh oregano

leaves, finely chopped Finely grated zest of ¼ lemon Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground

black pep­per, to sea­son 1 Tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil,

plus ex­tra to serve Mi­cro herbs, to gar­nish

STEP 1 Pre­heat oven to 200°C fan-forced (220°C con­ven­tional). Line an oven tray with bak­ing pa­per. Put toma­toes, stem side down, on a chop­ping board. Use a small ser­rated knife to cut a cross into each to­mato, about one-third of the way through, and ar­range on pre­pared tray.

STEP 2 Com­bine feta and oregano in a small bowl, stir in zest and sea­son. Spoon into a small zip-lock bag and snip the tip. Pipe into the cross of each to­mato, to fill. Driz­zle with oil, then sea­son again.

STEP 3 Bake for 10 min­utes or un­til toma­toes be­gin to blis­ter and feta is light golden. Serve warm, or cool to room tem­per­a­ture, driz­zled with ex­tra oil and gar­nished with mi­cro herbs.

TO­MATO, HALOUMI AND POME­GRAN­ATE SALAD

Prepa­ra­tion time 15 mins Cook­ing time 5 mins Serves 8

400g mix­ture of as­sorted

cherry and grape toma­toes 400g large truss toma­toes 270g jar semi-dried toma­toes in oil 2 Tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

2 Tbsp red wine vine­gar

½ clove gar­lic, finely grated

1 tsp dried mint

Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground

black pep­per, to sea­son

1 small green cap­sicum, finely diced 1 bunch baby radish,

trimmed, quar­tered

2 green shal­lots, thinly sliced Ar­ils (seeds) of ½ pome­gran­ate 250g block haloumi, finely diced,

drained on pa­per towel

½ cup flat-leaf pars­ley leaves ¼ cup oregano leaves

STEP 1 Slice one-third of the cherry and grape toma­toes in half, slice one-third in quar­ters and leave re­main­ing whole, and trans­fer all to a large serv­ing bowl. Roughly chop truss toma­toes and a quar­ter cup of the semi-dried toma­toes, then add to serv­ing bowl, along with 2 ta­ble­spoons of oil from the semidried toma­toes jar. Add olive oil, vine­gar, gar­lic and dried mint. Sea­son, then toss to com­bine. Set aside for 5 min­utes to al­low flavours to in­fuse. STEP 2 Stir in cap­sicum, radish, shal­lots and pome­gran­ate.

STEP 3 Heat a large fry­ing pan over high heat. Add 1 tea­spoon of oil from the semi-dried to­mato jar, and cook haloumi for 2 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til golden. Scat­ter haloumi over the salad, then top with pars­ley and oregano. Serve. Prepa­ra­tion time 15 mins Cook­ing time 30 mins Serves 8

¼ cup cur­rants 2 Tbsp sherry

1 Tbsp red wine vine­gar

2 bunches Dutch car­rots,

trimmed, peeled

3 red onions, sliced into

2cm thick rounds

4 cloves gar­lic, un­peeled, plus ex­tra

2 cloves gar­lic finely grated

4 Tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil,

plus ex­tra 1 Tbsp

2 tsp fen­nel seeds

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp smoked pa­prika Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground

black pep­per, to sea­son

1.5L veg­etable stock

1 brown onion, finely chopped 2 cups ar­bo­rio rice

250ml dry white wine Hand­ful mint leaves, to gar­nish Hand­ful flat-leaf pars­ley

leaves, to gar­nish

STEP 1 Pre­heat oven to 180°C fan-forced (200°C con­ven­tional). Put cur­rants in a small heat­proof bowl. Heat sherry and vine­gar in a small saucepan un­til hot, then pour over cur­rants. Set aside to al­low cur­rants to mar­i­nate.

STEP 2 Mean­while, ar­range car­rots, red onion and un­peeled gar­lic in a large roast­ing pan and driz­zle with oil. Scat­ter with fen­nel seeds, oregano and pa­prika, toss to coat, and sea­son. Roast for 30 min­utes or un­til just ten­der.

STEP 3 Mean­while, to cook risotto, put stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a sim­mer over medium heat. Heat ex­tra oil in a large heavy­based saucepan over medium heat. Add brown onion and ex­tra gar­lic and cook, stir­ring, for 4 min­utes or un­til onion is soft. Add rice and cook, stir­ring, for 2 min­utes or un­til rice be­gins to turn translu­cent. Add wine. Cook, stir­ring, un­til wine is ab­sorbed. La­dle in 125ml hot stock and cook, stir­ring con­stantly, with a flat­bot­tomed wooden spoon un­til liquid is ab­sorbed. Re­peat with re­main­ing stock (takes about 20 min­utes).

STEP 4 Spoon risotto onto a large plat­ter, top with roast veg­eta­bles, pan juices, cur­rants and fresh herbs. Serve.

VEG­ETABLE ROAST WITH STUFF­ING

Prepa­ra­tion time 20 mins Cook­ing time 1 hour 5 mins Serves 8

2kg whole but­ter­nut pump­kin,

halved length­ways, seeds re­moved 5 Tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1 red onion, finely diced

200g but­ton mush­rooms,

thinly sliced

2 cloves gar­lic, finely grated

2 tsp thyme leaves, plus ex­tra sprigs ½ cup flat-leaf pars­ley

leaves, finely chopped

1/3 cup finely grated parme­san 1 tsp smoked pa­prika Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground

black pep­per, to sea­son 120g baby spinach leaves Pinch of nut­meg

3 fire-roasted pep­pers (from the jar), drained well, seeds re­moved, halved 1/3 cup dried cran­ber­ries

50g nat­u­ral al­monds, roasted ¼ red cab­bage, thickly sliced 2 cups wa­ter­cress sprigs

STEP 1 Pre­heat oven to 170°C fan­forced (190°C con­ven­tional). Line a large roast­ing pan with bak­ing pa­per. Driz­zle cut side of pump­kin halves with 2 ta­ble­spoons of the oil, ar­range cut side down in pre­pared pan and roast for 45 min­utes, or un­til just ten­der. Set aside to cool for 5 min­utes, then scoop out the flesh, leav­ing a 2cm bor­der of pump­kin around the edge. Put flesh into a large bowl. Dis­card juices in the bot­tom of the pan.

STEP 2 Mean­while, put 2 ta­ble­spoons of the oil in a large fry­ing pan set over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 6 min­utes or un­til soft­ened, then add mush­rooms, gar­lic and thyme and cook a fur­ther 5 min­utes or un­til mush­rooms are soft. Set aside to cool.

STEP 3 Stir pars­ley, parme­san and pa­prika into re­served pump­kin flesh and sea­son.

STEP 4 Put spinach and 1 ta­ble­spoon wa­ter in a large mi­crowave-safe bowl and cover with plas­tic wrap. Mi­crowave for 1 minute on high/100%, then set aside cov­ered for 1 minute. Drain well and, when cool enough to han­dle, squeeze out ex­cess mois­ture. Stir in nut­meg and sea­son.

STEP 5 Line the in­side of pump­kin halves with a layer of spinach, pep­pers, mush­room mix­ture, cran­ber­ries and al­monds. Then fill each half with pump­kin flesh un­til level. Join halves to­gether to re­form the pump­kin shape. Se­cure closed with lengths of kitchen twine. In­sert ex­tra thyme un­der twine. Re­turn pump­kin to roast­ing pan and bake for 20 min­utes un­til pump­kin is hot and ten­der.

STEP 6 Mean­while, heat re­main­ing oil in a large fry­ing-pan over high heat. Add cab­bage and cook for 5 min­utes or un­til lightly browned, but so cab­bage still holds its shape. Sea­son. STEP 7 Trans­fer pump­kin to a serv­ing plate, ar­range cab­bage around it, and scat­ter wa­ter­cress on top. Serve.

BEET­ROOT AND ORANGE SALAD

Prepa­ra­tion time 20 mins Cook­ing time 10 mins Serves 8

2 bunches baby beet­root, un­peeled, tops trimmed, small leaves re­served and washed 4 Tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

2 Tbsp red wine vine­gar

2 tsp honey

2 tsp dried mint

2 tsp dried oregano Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground

black pep­per, to sea­son

1 cup Greek-style yoghurt Finely grated zest of ½ lemon 2 Tbsp lemon juice

200g Dan­ish feta, crum­bled

2 small or­anges, peeled,

thinly sliced

Mint leaves, to gar­nish Flat-leaf pars­ley leaves, to gar­nish

STEP 1 Put beet­root in a large mi­crowave-safe bowl and cover with plas­tic wrap. Mi­crowave on high/100% for 8 min­utes or un­til just ten­der. Stand for 10 min­utes, cov­ered. When cool enough to han­dle, peel off skin, cut in half and trans­fer to a large bowl. STEP 2 Put oil, vine­gar, honey, dried mint and dried oregano in a jar and se­cure with lid. Shake well to com­bine. Sea­son, then pour over warm beet­root and toss to coat. Set aside for 10 min­utes to al­low flavours to in­fuse.

STEP 3 Mean­while, com­bine yoghurt, lemon zest, juice and half of the feta in a small bowl, stir­ring un­til feta is al­most smooth. Sea­son. Spread onto a large flat plat­ter and top with orange and beet­root, re­serv­ing bowl juices for serv­ing.

STEP 4 Scat­ter mint, beet­root leaves, pars­ley and re­main­ing feta over the top. Trans­fer bowl juices to a small jug. Driz­zle a lit­tle over the top of the salad and serve re­main­ing on the side.

MINI VE­GAN CHRIST­MAS PUD­DINGS

Prepa­ra­tion time 20 mins plus 1 hour mar­i­nat­ing

Cook­ing time 1 hour 40 mins

Makes 8

200g mixed dried fruit

100g dried soft and juicy

figs, finely chopped

100g pit­ted dates, finely chopped 50g glacé cher­ries, halved 100ml brandy

Cook­ing oil spray, to grease 100ml ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, light in flavour 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed Finely grated zest of 1 orange Finely grated zest of 1 lemon ½ cup plain flour

½ tsp bak­ing pow­der

1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground cin­na­mon

½ tsp fine salt

1 green ap­ple, peeled,

cored, coarsely grated

1 Tbsp trea­cle

40g dried bread­crumbs Rasp­ber­ries, to gar­nish Holly, to dec­o­rate (not for eat­ing)

IC­ING

5 Tbsp ic­ing sugar mix­ture 3-4 tsp lemon juice Pinch of ground cin­na­mon

STEP 1 Com­bine mixed dried fruit, figs, dates, cher­ries and brandy in a large bowl. Set aside for 1 hour.

STEP 2 Pre­heat oven to 160°C fan-forced (180°C con­ven­tional). Grease eight 150ml-ca­pac­ity metal dar­i­ole moulds with cook­ing oil spray. Line base of each with a disc of bak­ing pa­per.

STEP 3 Com­bine olive oil and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in zests, flour, bak­ing pow­der, spices and salt un­til smooth. Add soaked fruit mix­ture, ap­ple and trea­cle. Stir to com­bine, then stir in bread­crumbs. Spoon into moulds and smooth sur­face.

STEP 4 Ar­range moulds in a deep roast­ing pan. Pour enough boil­ing wa­ter into pan un­til wa­ter comes 2cm up the side of moulds. Cover with a sheet of bak­ing pa­per, fol­lowed by a sheet of foil, and en­close tightly, en­sur­ing no steam es­capes. Care­fully trans­fer to the oven and cook for 1 hour 40 min­utes, or un­til pud­dings are springy yet firm to the touch in

Make your desserts and sweet treats works of ed­i­ble art to cre­ate a vis­ual – and ac­tual – feast for your Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tions

the cen­tre. Stand for 10 min­utes. STEP 5 Mean­while, to make ic­ing, com­bine ic­ing sugar mix­ture, juice and cin­na­mon in a medium bowl un­til smooth and runny like thick honey. STEP 6 Run a knife around the edges of each mould, and turn out pud­dings onto serv­ing plates. Driz­zle with ic­ing, gar­nish with rasp­ber­ries and dec­o­rate with holly. Serve.

RASP­BERRY APEROL MOUSSE WITH CRAN­BERRY JELLY

Prepa­ra­tion time 10 mins plus overnight chill­ing and 2 hours set­ting Cook­ing time 10 mins

Makes 8

2 cups frozen rasp­ber­ries, thawed ¼ cup caster sugar, plus

ex­tra 2 Tbsp

2 Tbsp Aperol (swap for orange

juice if serv­ing to kids) Finely grated zest of 1 orange 2 Tbsp orange juice

175g white choco­late melts 300ml thick­ened cream 350ml cran­berry juice

8g sa­chet of Jel-it-in

Fresh rasp­ber­ries, to gar­nish Pink ed­i­ble flow­ers, to gar­nish White choco­late curls, to gar­nish

STEP 1 Put rasp­ber­ries, caster sugar, Aperol, orange zest and juice in a blender. Blitz un­til smooth and strain through a fine sieve over a large bowl; dis­card seeds.

STEP 2 Put white choco­late melts and 100ml of the cream in a small saucepan set over low heat. Stir un­til melted. Re­move from heat and al­low to cool for 5 min­utes. Once cooled, pour into rasp­berry mix­ture, and whisk un­til well com­bined.

STEP 3 Put re­main­ing cream in a large bowl and beat, us­ing an elec­tric hand mixer, un­til soft peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into rasp­berry mix­ture, un­til smooth. Spoon mix­ture equally among eight ¾-cup ca­pac­ity wine glasses. Chill for 8 hours or overnight to al­low to set. STEP 4 When rasp­berry cream mix­ture has set, be­gin mak­ing jelly. Put cran­berry juice and ex­tra sugar in a small saucepan. Sprin­kle in Jelit-in and stir well, en­sur­ing there are no lumps. Set over high heat and bring to the boil, re­duce heat to medium and sim­mer for 1 minute. Re­move from heat and set aside to cool to room tem­per­a­ture. Pour over rasp­berry cream mix­ture and chill for 2 hours or un­til jelly is set. Dec­o­rate with rasp­ber­ries, ed­i­ble flow­ers and white choco­late curls.

CHOCO­LATE PEP­PER­MINT TRI­AN­GLES

Prepa­ra­tion time 15 mins plus 6 hours chill­ing Cook­ing time nil

Serves 16

Ex­tra vir­gin olive oil cook­ing

spray, to grease

1 cup al­mond meal

2 cups des­ic­cated co­conut

1/3 cup Dutch co­coa

¼ cup honey 1/3 cup ex­tra vir­gin co­conut oil, melted

1 tsp pep­per­mint essence Mint leaves, to gar­nish

CHOCO­LATE IC­ING

½ cup Dutch co­coa 1/3 cup ex­tra vir­gin co­conut oil, melted 2 Tbsp maple syrup

STEP 1 Grease a 17 x 27cm slice tin with spray oil, then line base and sides with bak­ing pa­per. STEP 2 Put al­mond meal, co­conut, co­coa, honey, co­conut oil and essence in the bowl of a food pro­ces­sor and pulse un­til the mix­ture comes to­gether. Press mix­ture firmly into pre­pared tin to form a smooth sur­face. Freeze for 15 min­utes.

STEP 3 Mean­while, to make choco­late ic­ing, com­bine all the in­gre­di­ents in a small bowl, stir­ring with a fork un­til com­bined, then pour over cold slice base. Chill for 6 hours or overnight. Cut the slice into small tri­an­gles and serve chilled, gar­nished with mint leaves.

Blood orange, lime and pas­sion­fruit mo­ji­tos

To­mato, haloumi and pome­gran­ate salad

Feta and oregano stuffed cherry toma­toes

Veg­etable roast with stuff­ing

Roasted car­rot and red onion risotto with sherry cur­rants (ve­gan)

Beet­root and orange salad

Rasp­berry Aperol mousse with cran­berry jelly

Mini ve­gan Christ­mas pud­dings

Choco­late pep­per­mint tri­an­gles (ve­gan)

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