Take the Veg Pledge

25th January 2019

With Veganuary in full swing, and with a new scientific report urging us to adopt a more sustainable, flexitarian ‘planetary health diet’, we offer two unique Brasserie Blanc vegan recipes inspired by Raymond Blanc’s travels, and likely to tempt even the most dedicated carnivores…

HARISSA & MISO GLAZED AUBERGINE FLATBREADS (serves 4)

Ingredients:

for the harissa & miso marinated aubergines…
2 tbsp red miso paste (such as Miso Tasty Red Aka Miso
Cooking Paste)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1⁄2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp mirin
1 tbsp rose harissa
2 medium aubergines, halved lengthways 1⁄2 lemon
1 tsp salt

for the baba ganoush…
2 large aubergines (about 650g)
Juice of 1 lemon
80ml extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sugar, salt and pepper

for the butternut squash…
1 small butternut squash (approx. 500g), peeled, deseeded and cut into 1cm cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

to serve…
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
4 flat breads

Method:

Put all of the marinade ingredients, except the harissa, in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Leave to cool. Add the harissa paste and whisk until smooth. Pour the marinade into a dish large enough to place the aubergine halves in a single layer. They should fit snugly. Score criss-cross lines in the flesh-side of the aubergine with a sharp knife. Rub with the lemon half and the salt. Place flesh side down in the marinade and set aside for at least 30 mins or up to 4 hours.

For the baba ganoush, preheat the grill to medium-high. Prick the aubergines with a fork and grill on a foil-lined baking tray, turning occasionally, until the skin is charred and soft when pressed. When cool enough to handle, cut in half and scoop the flesh into the small bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Season and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200oC and prepare a baking sheet with a sheet of baking paper big enough to wrap the aubergines.

Remove the aubergine from the marinade (reserving any marinade left) and place flesh-side up on the paper. Bring the edges of the paper together and twist to create a sealed parcel. Place in the oven for 20 mins. Put the squash on a roasting tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with the oil, and season.

After 20 mins, remove the tray from the oven and undo the parcel. Pour over the reserved marinade and return to the oven uncovered for a further 20-30 mins until the flesh is soft. Place the squash in the oven at this point too, on the lower shelf; it’ll be tender and golden by the time the aubergine is cooked.

To serve, warm the flatbreads and spoon baba ghanoush on the plate, followed by the glazed aubergine. Scatter the squash and garnish with pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and molasses.

THAI SAMOSAS WITH CASHEW & COCONUT CREAM (serves 4)

Ingredients:

for the samosas…
I potato, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium carrot approx. 100g, finely diced
50g frozen peas
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
1 tbsp red Thai curry paste
Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped Small bunch of coriander, leaves picked and finely chopped
1⁄4 tsp dark brown sugar
1 red chilli, deseeded, stalk removed and finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Small handful of cashew nuts, toasted and roughly chopped Small handful of pumpkin seeds
8 x filo pastry sheets
Melted oil for brushing

for the cashew cream…
200g cashews
1 x 400ml can of coconut milk juice of 1 lime
For the dipping sauce
Zest and juice of 4 limes
Zest and juice of 2 orange
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp reduced salt soy sauce
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
1 cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

Method:

To make the samosas, cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water for 10-12 mins, or until tender. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and gently sauté the carrot until soft. Add the peas and cook until defrosted, followed by the garlic. Continue to cook for a further minute.

Drain the potatoes and leave to steam dry for a couple of minutes then mash roughly with a potato masher, leaving some small chunks. Mix in the carrot mixture and the remaining ingredients. Set aside to cool.

For the cashew cream, put the cashews in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Place on a medium-high heat and keep them on a steady, rolling boil for 20 mins, or until tender.

While the cashews are cooking, put all of the dipping sauce ingredients in another saucepan, except for the juice and zest of 1 lime and 1 orange. Simmer until thick and syrupy, remove from the heat, stir in the reserved juice and zest from the lime and orange and divide between 4 little bowls.

Drain the cashews and put into a food processor or liquidizer with the rest of the ingredients. Blitz until smooth, adding a little water to loosen if necessary. Set aside.

When the samosa filling has cooled, preheat the oven to 190oC/Gas mark 5. Take the filo pastry out of the packet and cut the sheets lengthways. Choose one strip and lightly brush with the melted oil, top with another strip and brush again. Place a spoonful of the mixture (approx. an eighth) of the filling at the left hand end of the strip nearest you, leaving a 1 cm border. Now fold the left corner over the filling so that it meets the right hand edge and forms a triangle. Fold the right hand corner over the wrapped filling to form a parcel. Continue to fold up the strip. Brush the completed parcel with more oil and place on a lined baking tray. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.

Bake the samosas for 15-20 mins, turning them over halfway through the cooking time, until golden brown.

To serve, spoon a quarter of the coconut cream on to each plate alongside 2 samosas and the little bowl of dipping sauce.

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