From #Meatfreemonday to meat-free every day, being VEGAN is now more a lifestyle than a statement. Up your game with inspired plant-based options such as CHICKPEA WAFFLES and a CHOCOLATE TORTE
Chickpea Waffles with Mixed Mushrooms
2T chickpea flour salt and pepper
4 white button mushrooms 24 shimeji mushrooms 5T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for marinade and frying juice of 1/2 a lemon, plus more for marinade
8 shiitake mushrooms (or porcini mushrooms) 1t chopped onion
12 walnuts, shelled, chopped 100g breadcrumbs
2t soy sauce
250g chickpeas, drained
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1/2t ground turmeric
4 sprigs curly parsley
100g brown sugar
In a bowl, mix together chickpea flour, a pinch of salt and 7t water. Spread a thin layer of batter in an oven-proof tray lined with baking paper and bake at 140°C to 150°C until you get a crispy waffle, about 15 minutes. Break into pieces.
Slice white button mushrooms 2. finely and, along with the cleaned shimeji mushrooms, season with a splash of olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper; let them marinate for a few minutes so that they soften.
3. If you use shiitake mushrooms, boil them for 15 minutes, drain and brown along with the chopped onion and a pinch of salt in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, 2 to 3 minutes. (If you use porcini mushrooms, do not boil them – simply brown them, 4 to 5 minutes.) 4. Toast walnuts and breadcrumbs in a pan with a dash of olive oil and 1t soy sauce, 2 minutes. 5. In a blender, combine chickpeas with the juice of 1/2 a lemon, 5T olive oil, garlic, turmeric and a pinch of salt until the mixture is smooth and creamy. 6. Separate parsley leaves from stems, reserve both. 7. Melt sugar in a small saucepan with 1t soy sauce until it thickens. Dip the parsley stems into the hot sugar mixture, then transfer to a plate lined with baking paper and let them crystallise.
8. Arrange chickpea waffle pieces on a serving dish. Spoon some chickpea cream onto each piece and top with the various mushrooms, walnut mixture, crystallised parsley stems and the fresh parsley leaves. Fennel and Almond ‘Ribs’
100g unsweetened soy milk salt
1t lemon juice 1/2t saffron powder 3/4 cup olive oil
100g chickpea or rice flour, plus
extra for dusting
250ml sparkling water
4 fennel bulbs, washed, leaves removed
500g almonds, skin on, finely chopped sunflower oil, for frying
1/4 small pumpkin, seeded and thinly sliced, peel on
1. In a blender, combine soy milk with a pinch of salt, lemon juice and saffron. With the motor running, gradually pour in olive oil in a thin stream to make a mayonnaise-like sauce. Keep aside. 2. In a bowl, combine chickpea or rice flour and sparkling water; whisk to form a light batter. 3. Wash fennel bulbs well and remove leaves; depending on the size, cut each into 3 to 4 cloves between the green stems so that each segment has a small ‘handle’, like a rib. Dip segments in batter and dust them lightly with chickpea or rice flour, then dip them into chopped almonds, making sure they stick well.
4. Fry fennel ‘ribs’, a couple at a time, in hot vegetable oil until golden; 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper and season. Fry the pumpkin slices for a few seconds until crisp. 5. Serve ‘ribs’ and pumpkin crisps with dipping sauce and a salad of red onions, radicchio and oranges. Tofu and Pear with Celery Curls
600g tofu, sliced in 4 about 3T olive oil, for
marinating and frying a handful fresh thyme, marjoram and oregano, chopped
4 stalks white celery
1T balsamic vinegar salt
rice flour or cornstarch,
for dusting peanut oil, for frying
1. Place tofu on a tray, add herbs and 1t olive oil and refrigerate to let flavours develop, 2 hours.
2. Peel celery stalks and use the vegetable peeler to slice them into strips; keep aside in a bowl of ice water so that they curl up, 30 minutes.
3. Peel and core pears and cube the flesh. Brown pear cubes in a saucepan with
1T olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt over high heat, about 2 minutes. Keep aside. 4. Discard herbs; dry tofu slices using kitchen paper and dust with rice flour or cornstarch. Fry tofu in plenty of hot peanut oil, a couple at a time, 2 to 3 minutes a side. Drain and season with salt.
5. Use a ring mould to arrange pears on each plate; top with a fried slice of tofu and garnish with celery curls.
Torte Revisited Serves 4
250g dark chocolate
8 lime or lemon leaves, each about 5cm wide, washed and dried
175g wholemeal or spelt flour 25g unsweetened cocoa powder 125g sugar
1/2 a small sachet baking powder 100g sunflower oil 150g sweetened soy milk 8t apricot jam
16 dried apricots, cut into
1. Line a tray with baking paper. Melt 150g chocolate in a bain-marie and pour it into the tray to form a level layer, about 2mm thick. Arrange leaves equidistant onto melted chocolate and press slightly so that they leave an imprint, but not so much that they sink too deep. Let the chocolate cool completely with the leaves on top. 2. In a bowl, mix together wholemeal or spelt flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, sunflower oil and soy milk to form a fluid batter; pour into a round baking tin (20cm to 22cm diameter) and bake at 180°C, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove sponge cake from the oven, turn it out and let it cool. Cut cake horizontally into 2 discs, then use a cutter to cut 4 smaller discs from each.
3. Carefully detach leaves from cooled chocolate, leaving 8 imprints. Cut these into discs using the same cutter to get another 8 discs of the same size.
4. Melt remaining 100g chocolate and place a dollop of melted chocolate in the centre of each plate. On top of chocolate, layer the following: a disc of sponge cake, jam, a chocolate leaf, a second disc of cake, a few pieces of dried apricot and, finally, a second chocolate leaf. Repeat and serve.
Torte Revisited Tofu and Pear with Celery Curls