Cornucopia’s specialist and well-travelled vegan chef, James Burke
By James Burke
After the success of the Cornucopia at Home cookbook of delightful recipes, our chefs have started working on a series of follow up books, beginning with Cornucopia – the Green Cookbook. Here are two of my vegan recipes to give you a taste of things to come.
Pak choy, scallions, mushrooms and braised tofu with ramen noodles, seaweed, lemon verbena and shitake broth
(makes 4 large or 8 small bowls)
For the broth
3 tbsp of sunflower oil (45ml)
2 medium sized onions (200g)
2 to 4 carrots (200g)
2 celery sticks (200g)
1 large unpeeled piece of ginger (100g)
4 whole stalks of lemongrass (60g)
1 whole bulb of garlic (40g)
2 whole stalks of fresh lemon verbena (4g)
2 pieces of dried kombu seaweed (5g)
6 dried shitake mushrooms (20g)
For the braised tofu
500g drained tofu
1 tbsp sunflower oil
4 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin rice wine
For the vegetables
2 whole bulbs of pak choy (300g)
15 button-sized fresh shitake mushrooms (250g)
8 scallions (100g)
For the noodles
300g dried whole wheat noodles
First make the broth
Soak the kombu and shitake mushrooms in 500ml of boiling water.
Roughly chop the onions, carrots and celery. Heat the sunflower oil in a stockpot and add the onion, carrots and celery. Roughly chop the ginger, lemongrass and garlic; add these to the vegetable mixture in the pot and continue to sauté over a medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for about fifteen minutes. Turn the heat up and, once the vegetables have nicely browned, add the kombu, mushrooms and soaking water. Add in 1 litre of water, place a lid on the pot and simmer gently for 1 hour.
Then remove the stockpot from the cooker and add the lemon verbena. Leave this to infuse for a few minutes and then strain the mixture through a sieve into a jug or bowl, discarding the vegetables to leave about 900ml of liquid broth. Top up with cold water to yield 1200ml.
Braise the tofu:
Heat the oven to 200°C. Slice the tofu into eight pieces. Mix with the sunflower oil and bake on a non-stick baking tray.
Meanwhile, pour the soy sauce and mirin into a small saucepan, place over a medium-high heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside.
Once the tofu has been roasting for 25 minutes, remove it from the oven and pour the soy sauce and mirin reduction over it to coat the tofu pieces. Return to the oven and continue to cook for 10 more minutes, turning each tofu piece every few minutes to absorb the sauce. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Vegetables and assembly:
Slowly bring the broth back to a simmer. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions; drain, rinse and set aside.
Separate the green leaves of the pak choy from the bulbs. Halve the bulbs lengthways, remove the core and slice into long thin pieces.
Trim the scallions and slice thinly. Remove the stalks from the shitake mushrooms and slice thinly. Add the mushrooms to the broth and cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the cooked tofu pieces into 32 or so bite-sized pieces and add to the broth. Then add the sliced pak choy bulbs, cooking for 2 more minutes. Add most of the scallions and green pak choy leaves and remove from the heat.
Place the noodles into serving bowls and cover with the vegetable and tofu broth. Garnish with the rest of the scallions and pak choy leaves.
Serve steaming hot!
Roast parsnip, coconut and whiskey cake with spiced walnut crumb and whiskey lemon sauce
(makes 8 slices)
130g finely ground walnuts
50g jumbo oatflakes
20g rice flour
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
50g agave syrup
60g sunflower margarine
3 medium parsnips (400g)
1 tbsp coconut oil (10g)
200g packet of creamed coconut
200ml soy milk
200g (50g + 150g) agave syrup
1/8 tsp sea salt
30g corn flour
Whiskey lemon sauce
130g agave syrup
Juice of one lemon (15ml)
1 whole clove
30g sunflower margarine
Heat the oven to 180°C. Peel, top and tail the parsnips. Place them on a roasting tray along with the coconut oil, cover with tinfoil and place in the oven. After 35 minutes, remove the tinfoil, add 50g of the agave syrup and continue roasting for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
To make the base:
Using baking paper, line the bottom of a cheesecake tin and lightly oil the sides with a little sunflower oil. Reserve 10g of the walnuts. Place the first 6 dry ingredients for the base into a food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds, and then add the agave syrup and margarine and process the mixture for another 30 seconds until it resembles wet breadcrumbs.
Spread this mixture into the prepared cheesecake tin. Press down until it is evenly distributed, and bake in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes. If the sides of the base have shrunk slightly, patch them up with the reserved walnuts and set aside.
To make the filling:
Place the creamed coconut, soy milk, 150g of agave syrup and salt in a pan over a very low heat. Stir occasionally until the coconut has melted. Add this mixture along with the roasted parsnip, whiskey and corn flour into a food processor and pulse to completely puree the mixture. Pour this mixture over the precooked base. Return this to the oven and bake at 180°C for 35 minutes until the top has lightly browned and the filling has set. Leave aside to cool before unmoulding and serving.
For the sauce:
Place all the ingredients except the whiskey in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes and cook until the sauce achieves a syrupy consistency. Remove from the heat, add the whiskey and stir. Be careful as this may sizzle and foam slightly. Remove the whole clove. Serve the individual slices of cake with a little sauce trickled over.
Hope you enjoy making, sharing and eating them. For more see healthy eating recipes.