20 best vegetarian recipes: part 4 (2024)

Uyen Luu’s tofu and soy shiitake summer rolls

This utterly delicious traditional vegan summer roll recipe is full of flavour from the fresh abundance of crunchy herbs and delivers a meaty texture of tofu and shiitake. The herbs used are traditional and often available from Asian supermarkets, but, if they are hard to source, it is still delicious with just coriander, mint and Thai basil.

Makes 6
dried shiitake 30g
cooking oil 2 tbsp
soy sauce 1 tbsp
firm tofu 250g
rice vermicelli 30g
salt a pinch
vinegar a dash
rice paper sheets 6, about 22cm
lettuce leaves 6
coriander sprigs 12, stalk on
mint leaves 18
Thai basil leaves 18
co*ckscomb mint leaves 18
shiso/perilla leaves 18
garlic chives 6, halved and head removed

For the dipping sauce
cooking oil 1 tbsp
garlic 1 clove, chopped
hoisin sauce 2 tbsp
white wine vinegar or cider vinegar ½ tbsp
sugar 1 ts
Sriracha chilli sauce ½ tbsp
roasted salted peanuts 2 tbsp, crushed

Rehydrate the shiitake in warm water for about half an hour then drain and rinse. Using your hands, squeeze off any excess water, then slice the shiitake.

Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to a frying pan on medium heat and fry the shiitake for 5 minutes with a tablespoon of soy sauce. Set aside.

Slice the firm tofu into 1cm strips and dry off any excess water with kitchen paper. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the same frying pan on a medium heat and gently brown off each of the sides for about 5 minutes a side or until golden. Then remove from the pan and dry off any excess oil and let cool.

Put the rice vermicelli, a pinch of salt and a dash of vinegar in a bowl or pan of boiling water, cover and allow to cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain and rinse with hot water until water runs clear.

Once the tofu, shiitake and vermicelli are cooled put them and the remaining filling ingredients in their own individual bowls in front of you. Pour some warm water into a tray deep and large enough to submerge the rice paper sheets. Use a plastic board as a base on which to make the rolls.

Dip a sheet of rice paper into the water and take it out as soon as it is moist all over – do not let it sit in the water. Lay the sheet on the plastic board. Imagine the sheet is a face and now place the filling where the mouth should be: line up a couple of tofu slices, 4 slices of shiitake, 1 lettuce leaf and a sixth of the vermicelli and torn herbs (except the garlic chives). Fold the 2 sides inward over the filling, as if making an envelope.

Now fold the bottom corner over the filling. Put 2 pieces of garlic chives along the roll with the tips sticking out of one end of the roll. Start to roll up the package tightly, pushing it forward and tucking in the filling in a neat cylinder as you roll it towards the far side of the sheet. Keep in an airtight container or wrap in clingfilm while you assemble the remaining rolls.

For the dipping sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Fry the garlic until it browns slightly. Add the hoisin sauce, vinegar, sugar, chilli sauce and 1 tablespoon of water and bring to a gentle boil. Pour into dipping bowls and sprinkle the peanuts on top. Serve with the rolls for dipping.

Uyen Luu is the author of My Vietnamese Kitchen (Ryland, Peters & Small, £16.99). Click here to order a copy from Guardian Bookshop for £12.99

David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl’s halloumi veggie burgers

It’s a common misapprehension that you can just stick two fried halloumi slices inside a burger bun, fill it up with some fresh cucumber, tomatoes and lettuce and call it a halloumi burger. I’m the first to admit that it’s a quick and delicious treat, but a burger? Nah. Try instead to coarsely grate the halloumi together with carrots, courgettes and some fresh mint and fry it for a couple of minutes in a pan. Then you’ll have yourself a proper halloumi burger. We first got the idea for these burgers at a food stall at one of the Sunday markets in London. There they served it almost like we have done here, on a cabbage leaf and with a yogurt dressing, but you could also just go all the way with classic burger buns. We have fried these in a pan, but you could also put them on a barbecue.

Makes 6 patties
For the burgers
courgette 1 small
carrot 1 large
halloumi cheese 200g
mint 5 sprigs, leaves picked and chopped

For the tahini dressing
plain yogurt 120ml
tahini 2 tbsp
lime juice 2 tbsp
maple syrup or clear honey 1 tsp (preferably unheated)
sea salt a pinch

To serve
large green leaves, like savoy cabbage
pea shoots
sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)

Grate the courgette, carrot and halloumi cheese on a box grater on the coarsest side. Place in a bowl, add the mint and toss to combine. Form six patties with your hands.

Stir all the ingredients for the tahini dressing together in a small bowl.

Heat a dry, non-stick frying pan and fry the patties on each side until golden and soft. Serve in a large cabbage leaf with a dollop of tahini dressing, some pea shoots and sliced avocado and a spoonful of sauerkraut. The patties and the dressing can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days.

From Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant, £25). Click here to order a copy from Guardian Bookshop for £20

Vivek Singh’s south Indian dosas with spiced potato filling and coconut and tomato chutneys

20 best vegetarian recipes: part 4 (2)

Dosas are served as breakfast, a snack or as a main meal any time of the day and all over the country. Several good Asian stores now sell ready-made batter packs saving both time and the mess. Ditto for grating coconut from the shell, which is both time consuming and can be messy. Frozen grated coconut is also becoming increasingly easy to find these days. Roasted chana dal is available in most Asian food shops as ‘daria dal’; if it isn’t available, substitute with chana dal or chana lentils, and (for the tomato chutney) add with the fennel seeds and fry for 2 minutes before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.

Serves 6 (should make 10 pieces but allow for wastage as spreading a dosa can be tricky)

For the rice pancake
basmati or dosa rice 150g (parboiled rice is available in most speciality ingredient stores)
split urad dal 50g
salt 1 tsp
vegetable oil for frying

For the tomato chutney (makes about 300g)
vegetable oil 3 tbsp
fresh curry leaves 15-20
fennel seeds ½ tsp
onion 1, chopped
tomatoes 3, chopped
coconut 1, brown shell removed and white flesh chopped into 1-2 cm pieces, or 150g grated coconut
red chilli powder 1½ tsp
roasted chana dal 30g
salt 1 tsp
black mustard seeds 1 tsp

For the green coconut chutney (makes about 200g)
coconut 1, brown shell removed and white flesh chopped into 1-2 cm pieces, or 150g grated coconut
coriander leaves 50g
green chillies 3

roasted chana dal 2 tbsp
salt 1 tsp
vegetable oil 1 tbsp
mustard seeds ¼ tsp
curry leaves 10

For spiced potatoes
vegetable oil 2 tbsp
mustard seeds 1 tsp
curry leaves 2 sprigs (optional)
red onions 2, chopped
ground turmeric ½ tsp
green chillies 2, finely chopped
ginger 2½cm piece, peeled and finely chopped
salt 1 ½ tsp
potatoes 2 large, boiled in the skin, peeled and grated

For the rice pancake, soak the rice and the dal for at least for 3 hours, and blend it in a food processor to a fine paste adding enough water to make a smooth spoonable mix. Leave overnight to ferment in a warm place, roughly 35-40C. The dosa batter is ready when bubbles begin to appear on the surface.

To make the tomato chutney, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-based pan and add half the curry leaves and all the fennel seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the onion and saute, until golden, on medium heat. Add the tomatoes, coconut and chilli powder and cook for 5-8 minutes stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened, then add the roasted chana dal and continue cooking another 5-6 minutes until about half of the liquid has evaporated. If you like your chutneys wet and saucy, leave more liquid in. Let the chutney cool, then blend until smooth. Add salt as necessary.

Temper the chutney by heating the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to smoking point, add the mustard seeds and rest of the curry leaves. When the seeds crackle, pour over the chutney and stir through. This chutney can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

For the green coconut chutney, mix all the ingredients except the oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves, and blend to a soft spooning consistency. Temper the chutney by heating the oil to smoking point, then add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When the seeds crackle, pour over the chutney and stir through. This chutney can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days but it’s best enjoyed fresh.

For the spiced potatoes, heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and let it crackle and pop for 30 seconds. Throw in the curry leaves and the onion and saute for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the turmeric, chillies and the ginger and saute for a minute. Add salt and the grated potatoes and mix well.

When you’re ready to make the dosas, add salt to the batter and mix well. Heat a nonstick frying pan on medium heat, smear a few drops oil and pour a small ladleful of batter (approx 60ml) spread it with the ladle into a thin circular pancake. The thinner the pancake the crisper it gets, but it needs some practice.

When crisp and golden, spoon approx 50g of spiced potatoes into the centre of the pancake and fold the pancake over. Serve with the chutneys.

Vivek Singh is executive chef and CEO of The Cinnamon Club, London SW1

Yotam Ottolenghi’s cauliflower cake

20 best vegetarian recipes: part 4 (3)

Serve this cake as a light supper alongside a makeshift salad of sliced cucumber, dill, mint, dressed with a little sugar, cider vinegar and rapeseed oil. Kept well wrapped, it will taste even better the next day.

Serves 4-6
cauliflower 1 small, outer leaves removed, broken into 3cm florets (450g)
red onion 1 medium (170g)
olive oil 75ml
rosemary ½ tsp, finely chopped
eggs 7
basil 15g, chopped
plain flour 120g, sifted
baking powder 1½ tsp
ground turmeric ⅓ tsp
parmesan 150g, coarsely grated, or another mature cheese (a hard vegetarian cheese can be used instead)
salt and black pepper
melted butter to line the tin
white sesame seeds 1 tbsp
nigella seeds 1 tsp

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.Place the cauliflower in a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover with water and simmer for 15 minutes, until the florets are quite soft: they should break when pressed with a spoon. Strain and set aside in a colander to dry.

Cut 4 round slices, each ½cm thick, off one end of the onion and set aside. Coarsely chop the rest of the onion and place this in a small pan, with the oil and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat, stirring from time to time, until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer the cooked onion to a large bowl, add the eggs and basil, whisk well and then add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, parmesan, 1 teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Whisk until smooth before adding the cauliflower and stirring gently, trying not to break up all the florets.

Line the base and sides of a 24cm springform cake tin with baking parchment. Brush the sides with melted butter, mix together the sesame and nigella seeds and toss them around the inside of the tin so that they stick to the sides. Tip in the cauliflower mix and arrange the reserved onion rings on top. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until golden-brown and set: a knife inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave for at least 20 minutes before serving: it needs to be served just warm, rather than hot, or at room temperature.

From Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Ebury Press, £27). Click here to order a copy from Guardian Bookshop for £17

Simon Hopkinson’s onion tart

20 best vegetarian recipes: part 4 (4)

This is a classic among tarts. My idea of the perfect onion tart is one from which the filling oozes out when you cut into it. You may be surprised at the amount of onions given in the recipe, but the secret is their long, slow cooking before adding them to the tart case. I have, on occasion, added other ingredients, such as thyme or sage, little bits of chopped, smoked bacon and chopped anchovies. My mother used to make a jolly good cheese and onion tart using Lancashire cheese crumbled into the mixture, but I prefer the purity of onions alone.

For the pastry
butter 50g, cut into cubes
plain flour 110g
egg yolk 1
salt a pinch

For the filling
butter 110g
onions 4 large, peeled and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
egg yolks 4
double cream 300ml

To make the pastry, quickly work the butter into the flour. Add the egg yolk, salt and enough water to form a firm dough. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry as thinly as possible and use to line a 20cm flan tin (make sure it is a deep one). Prick the bottom, and bake blind in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until straw coloured and cooked through.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onions and a sprinkling of salt, and stew very gently, covered to begin with, without browning. When very wet and sloppy, remove the lid and carry on cooking on the same heat, stirring from time to time, until as much of the liquid as possible has evaporated. This can take up to 1 hour. Pour into a bowl and cool.

Mix the egg yolks with the cream, and add to the onions with plenty of pepper.

Adjust the salt if necessary before pouring into the pastry case. Try to make sure that you fill the tart as high as you dare – depending on the juices from the onion, you may have a little of the custardy liquid left over – but do try to get it all in. Half-filled tarts are always disappointing.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until set and lightly browned.

From Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson (Ebury, £16.99). Click here to order a copy from Guardian Bookshop for £13.59

20 best vegetarian recipes: part 4 (2024)
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