We love sharing with you our favourite recipes! Here’s a whole feasts worth!! If I had time, I’d blog every night. I think good recipes are best shared. Let’s cook!
The post was originally so long, I’ve had to split it into two. But don’t be overawed, the recipes are straightforward.
The simple and delicious flavours of Italy make the most out of our summer produce. When the sun comes out, we start getting tasty tomatoes, peppers, and the flavours of the Mediterranean can be found locally in the UK for a short window. I love it! This is a feast designed for a party or entertaining guests/ people you hopefully like, when you want a table filled with a wide range of dishes, not too complicated food that compliments each other. For me, Italian food goes perfectly with a sunny afternoon and a bottle of something amazing.
THE ITALIAN CONNECTION
The reason for this meal was our relatives visiting from Italy, they live near Lake Como. Jane and I love Italy, one of our favourite places on this big rock, but we’ve never been North. Can’t believe we’ve got family living in Italy and we haven’t been to see them. Shame on us. Since coming back to the UK we’ve been loving kitchen time and trying out ideas from our travels. I guess the tart is like a pizza, but with a puff pastry base. When I’m busy, I like working with puff pastry, it’s far too easy. I’ve just discovered pre-rolled puff pastry. Wow! That is pure laziness and brilliance at the same time. Whack it on a tray, bake, job done.
Here’s some of our Italian travel snaps.
When preparing a menu, we need to think about textures and flavours, how they mingle and benefit from each other. I find writing menu’s really enjoyable and a great challenge.
If you can, present the dishes on large plates or shallow bowls. Spread things out, make them look lovely.
This is going to take a few hours to get together. Its a weekend special.
Gluten-free – Just use gluten-free pastry/ pasta for the tart and your favourite gluten free bread.
Additional deliciousness – this tart is awesome with some prated vegan parmesan sprinkle over at the end. Violife do a parmesan which is scarily like the real thing Jane and I were amazed by it, you could smell the pong upstairs and in the garden. Just like the other stuff. Potent. There must be some kind of genius going on there. Vegan parmesan!! Whatever next. Exciting times in the foody world powered by plants.
(You’ll notice a couple of dishes are missing from the picture above, you’ll find a Chocolate Cake recipe here the Peanut Butter Scones may appear soon.)
The Bits – For 6-8 Light Meal
Pepper, Basil & Cashew Cheese Tart
1 pack puff pastry
1 tin chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper
3 peppers – different colours looks nice (sliced)
2 onions (thickly sliced)
2 handfuls squash (chopped into cubes)
1 cup cashews
1/2 lemon (juice)
3 tbs nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 garlic clove
Large pinch dried oregano
1 handful fresh basil leaves
3 tbs plant milk (for brushing)
Preheat fan oven 200oc.
Place the peppers, onions and squash on a large baking tray, season with salt and pepper, use two if squashed, and roast for 25-30 minutes.
In a sauce pan, add tomatoes, garlic, season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, until a thick sauce forms.
Roll out your puff pastry thin on a piece of lightly floured greaseproof paper. Brush with milk. Bake in oven for 12 minutes. Leave to cool slightly.
Spread a layer of tomato sauce over tart, scatter onions, peppers, squash, sprinkle with oregano, black pepper.
Brush the edges of the tart with plant milk, bake for 15 minutes. Can be served hot or cold.
Place all the cheese ingredients in a blender and blits until smooth.
To serve, blob on cashew cheese and tear over some basil leaves.
Tomato & Balsamic Salad
4-5 ripe tomatoes (chopped)
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 handful basil leaves
Mix together in a bowl and tear your basil leaves over.
Roasted New Potatoes & Rosemary
New potatoes (par boiled)
Few sprigs of Rosemary
2 roasted garlic bulbs
Take your par boiled potatoes, toss them in the rosemary, salt and oil, roast in the oven for 30 minutes. (200oC) until crispy and golden, turning them once.
Italian Style Dressing
8 tbs olive oil
3 tbs white wine vinegar
2 small garlic cloves (crushed)
3 tbs chopped parsley
1/2 teas dried oregano
1/2 small lemon (juice)
Large pinch dried red pepper
Whisk all together in a bowl or shake together in a jar. Check seasoning.
This is only half of the recipes, check out the Italian Vegan Summer Feast (pt 2) post for more.