Monday, 19 September 2011

vegetarian feast

'Casa Moro' pumpkin and chickpea salad

Juicy medium rare iron filled steak or big can of chickpeas?

I could probably easily be vegetarian, but I do need a little animal flesh, or the stock from some broiling bones of chicken. Pure un-tampered genuine protein. I'm a carnivore at heart, but I do have a weakness for meaty pulses (I'm sure most men might gasp at the horror of receiving such a dish...'where's the meat?').

If you have chosen to be a vegetarian, do it this way, as my friend did for me one supper. Or, go down the spectacular vegetarian options route as Yotam Ottolenghi provides (do I have to tell you who he is again?). For whatever reason you might be a vegetarian, please please please, I beg of you, don't tell me you eat those bizarre 'fake' protein, mycoprotein nuggets, or even worse, have fake 'chicken' or fake 'sausages.' Surely if you are vegetarian, you don't need to be tricked into thinking you're eating a real sausage or piece of meat, AND surely as a supposedly health conscious/weight conscious individual you would know the wonders of the pulse/wild, red, brown rice/root vegetable/herbs and flavouring world?

I shiver when someone mentions the word 'Quorn.'

Do you?


My friend chose a delicious Ravinder Bhogal portobello mushroom recipe and a 'Moro' pumkin and chickpea salad.

I was not dissatisfied.

Let the adventure begin...

'Casa Moro' chickpea and pumpkin salad

Pumpkin and chickpea salad with tahini taken from 'Casa Moro' (4)

  • 1 kg pumpkin or squash (peeled, de-seeded and cut into cubes)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 400g can cooked chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a pinch of salt
  • 3 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp tahini paste
  • 2 tbsp water, to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Oven - 220 'C/425 F/Gas 7

Toss pumpkin with garlic, allspice, olive oil and some salt and pepper. Place on a try in the oven for about 15-25 minutes until soft. Remove and allow to cool.

While the pumpkin is cooling, make the tahini sauce. Mix the crushed garlic with lemon juice and add the tahini. Now thin with the water and olive oil and check the seasoning.

Assemble the salad by mixing together the pumpkin mix, chickpea, red onion and coriander. Pour on the tahini sauce and remaining oil and toss carefully. Season with salt and pepper.

Ravinder Bhogal portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushroom and cheddar crumble (4)

  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 8 portobello mushrooms
  • extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
Tomato sauce:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 dried red chilli, crumbled
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • 1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 20g parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 50g cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 handful of torn fresh basil leaves
Oven - 190 'C/375 F/Gas 5

Mix all the crumble ingredients together, season and set aside.

For the sauce, saute the onion until soft and add the chopped garlic and chilli and fry for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes, sugar and seasoning. Let it bubble on a low heat for 15-20 minutes to reduce down. Add a little bit of water if it does get too thick. Add the parsley at the end.

Peel and trim the mushrooms.

Spread half the tomato sauce over the base of a large roasting tin, then top with the slice garlic and mushrooms, stalk-side up. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top and finish with the crumble.

Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until it is bubbling on top.

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