When I threw my arms around my vegan friends in a flurry of tequila fuelled love, inviting them to dine on a home cooked Sunday meal with me,I hadn’t put much thought into the ensemble past the potatoes.The difference between a “dinner party” and a simple supper are all of the little extras. Probably, the universal favourites of these are bread and cheese.
I desperately enjoy baking so that wasn’t going to be a problem. I settled on a type of bread… Okay, I settled on three.
Following that I needed a cheese. Something strong that would hold its own as a savoury dessert option. Before going vegan, I found that soft cheese pleased a majority. Whether Boursin, Boulle or even Philadelphia, given garlic and herbs, there’s nothing shameful in an easy cheaper option.
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 8 hours and drained.
3 tbsp refined coconut oil- solid form
1 large clove garlic
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
1 tsp fresh chopped mint
1/2 tsp Maldon salt
Juice 1/2 lemon
In a blender, combine the cashews, coconut oil, garlic and lemon until completely smooth in texture.
Add the salt and herbs and pulse until evenly distributed.
Line a large ramekin with cling film and press the mixture into this.
Leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
The beetroot recipe is coming soon, but for now, here’s my recipe for black olive and rosemary loaves.
200ml tepid water
1 X 7g sachet quick yeast
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus more for brushing
2 tbsp chopped black olives
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp Maldon salt
In a measuring jug, stir together the tepid water, yeast, 1 tbsp oil and maple syrup, making sure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Meanwhile, stir together the salt and flour in a large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the flour and slowly fold the liquid into the dry ingredients.
Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for upwards of 45 minutes.
When the dough has at least doubled in size and is bubbly, turn out onto a very well floured surface. The dough will be quite sticky so keep dusting with flour until the dough becomes easier to work with.
Sprinkle with a little more flour and cut the dough into two equal-sized balls.
Add the olives to one ball and the Rosemary to the other. Knead each ball for roughly 4-6 minutes, thoroughly binding the additional ingredients.
Shape into two sausages, place on a floured tray and brush with the remaining oil. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave for a further 30 minutes.
Preheat the over to 220 degrees c. Bake the loaves for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200. Bake for a further 14-16 minutes until the loaves sound hollow when the bases are tapped.
Cool slightly and serve!