Christmas goes vego
Make your feast day deliciously meat-free
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,
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,
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,
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,
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
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)
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
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
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
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)