Real vegetarian food, served in an imaginary world...

Sunday 30 August 2020

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - DODIE SMITH

Dorothy 'Dodie' Smith was an author and playwright. She loved dalmations and kept many as pets, using them as the inspiration for her most famous book. 

In 1948, her novel, one of the most sublime of the Twentieth Century was published. From its opening line, "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink", I Capture the Castle is a captivating, joyous work of fiction.
Although s
he set it in the 1930s, the theme of austerity was very relevant to the post-war readership and is still pertinent today.
Crumble became a popular meal during World War II as an efficient way to spread out the flour ration. I think, therefore, that this might be a good meal for Zelda to serve to Dodie when she comes to dinner.


half a cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small tin sweetcorn, drained
half a parsnip cut into small chunks
350ml milk
1tbsp olive oil
2tbsp sunflower oil
2tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1tsp fresh thyme leaves
100g cheese, grated
salt and pepper

For the topping
100g plain flour
50g butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
50g toasted flaked almonds
50g porridge oats
25g cheese, grated

Bring two saucepans of water to the boil.
Add the cauliflower to one pan 
and the parsnips to the other.
Cook for 5-6 minutes until just softened. 
Drain and keep the cooking liquid from the cauliflower. 
Cook the onion in the olive oil. 
Place the cauliflower and parsnips in a dish with the sweetcorn and cooked onions. Add the herbs and mix well.
Make the topping by rubbing the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs and the stirring in the remaining ingredients. 
Heat the oil in a pan and stir in the flour. Cook out for a minute or so. 
Mix the milk with 150ml of the cooking liquid and add gradually to the pan. Bring to the boil and stir constantly until thickened. 
Add to the vegetables.
Place in an oven proof dish and cover with the topping. 
Bake at Gas 5/ 190˚ C for about 30 minutes.
Serve when hot

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