Since my previous post on the Chickpea Cakes with the Hummus Mayo, I have been inundated with requests for more veggie recipes and more catering where I could apply my own knowledge and experience of being a vegetarian for nearly 10 years of my life. It is amazing how life prepare us for things to come in our lives. Years ago I would never have thought that being a vegetarian then would serve me so well one day in my future. Although I have started to include animal protein in my diet , I am still a great fan of the vegetarian lifestyle, however my focus have shifted from being an angry youth about the death of an animal to how the animal was treated before it became food for me. I am all for ethical treatment of animals and as a chef I feel that I should do that animal justice by preparing the life it has offered as well as I possibly could.
Having been a vegetarian I know how bare and boring the food scene can be, one of my great inspirations is chef Simon Rimmer with his take on vegetarian fine dining. Over the weekend I had to cater a small wedding where nearly half of the guests were vegetarian and I would like to share with you my veggie stack which served as their starter. The recipe is per starter.
Prep Time: 30 mins | Cook Time: 15 min | Recipe: Very Easy | Serve: 1
- One wheel of firm feta
- Tomato of the same size
- Brinjal wheel of same size as feta wheel
- Olive Oil + extra
- Juice of ½ a Lemon
- Sprig of Thyme
- 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- Salt + extra
- Black Pepper
- Basil Pesto (there is a recipe in the Chickpea Cakes post to follow)
- Cashew nuts
- Garlic Cloves
- Toasted Ciabatta
Start with the brinjals, wash and peel them. Then slice them into 1cm thick wheels. Salt both sides and allow to stand for 5 minutes, wash the salt off. Make a basting sauce with the lemon juice, some olive oil, thyme, dijon mustard and black pepper, brush both sides of the brinjal and sear off in a pan until soft but still firm. Set aside till needed.
Now the tomatoes: Wash and slice them in about 7mm thick slices. In a very hot pan quickly sear the tomatoes in a little olive oil, again they must be seared but still firm. Set aside till needed.
The Feta: Take the wheel and slice in half, again sear off in a hot pan until both sides are light brown.
The Cashews: Roast them in a dry pan for a few minutes until golden and crunchy.
Ciabatta: Peel the garlic, cut in half and rub on both sides of the bread, drizzle with a little olive oil and toast under grill until golden and crispy.
- Use a 5cm food ring to guide you in building the stack.
- Start with a brinjal layer at the bottom.
- The a Tomato with a little basil pesto next, wheel of feta, tomato with basil pest and end off with your second wheel of feta.
- Remove the ring, spring with cashews and drizzle some pesto in the plate, add the ciabatta and serve.
- You can serve this cold or hot as a starter or as a main course.
- Enjoy with a crisp and wooded Chardonnay.