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

Tuesday 29 September 2020


This is a lovely spicy dish which is high in flavour and low in naughtiness. It is like a potato rosti but healthier. The other benefit of using these vegetables instead of potatoes, is that you don't need to go through the process of removing the moisture before you can cook them. Spray oil also means that they do not become greasy. 

Makes 6 (serves 3 - 4)

2 carrots, peeled
2 parsnips, peeled
1 onion, peeled
1 courgette
2tsp rose harissa paste 
6 eggs
salt and black pepper
spray oil

Grate all the vegetables into a bowl using a box grater.
Season and mix together well.
Stir in the harissa paste. (This will make it very spicy as well as binding.) 
Spray a pan and heat.
Fry in batches over a low heat. The lower the heat and the longer you fry for, the more robust they will be. 
Turn very carefully at intervals. 
Place on a plate to keep warm. 
Fry the eggs.
Top each one with an egg.

Friday 25 September 2020

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - MR COLLINS

Let's be honest, everybody loves Mr Darcy. But I remember paying a small fortune in a Bath tea room for 'Tea with Mr Darcy' and he didn't even turn up! 
I think it might be more fun to have Mr Collins over. If you know your "P and P" you will recognise this description:
Mr. Collins was not a sensible man . . . A fortunate chance had recommended him to Lady Catherine de Bourgh when the living of Hunsford was vacant; and the respect which he felt for her high rank and his veneration for her as his patroness, mingling with a very good opinion of himself, of his authority as a clergyman, and his rights as a rector, made him altogether a mixture of pride and obsequiousness, self-importance and humility.
He has been portrayed brilliantly by Tom Hollander:
and David Bamber:

So let's have 'Tea with Mr Collins' and enjoy his eccentric company...

Cheese Scones
Coronation Chicken Sandwiches
Cheese and Cucumber Sandwiches
    served with crisps
Mini Rhubarb Crumbles
Coconut Buns

Cheese Scones with Cheddar and Onion Chutney

First make the scones

Makes 6-8 

200g self raising flour
pinch of salt
40g butter, cut into small pieces
50g cheddar cheese, grated
125ml milk

Mix flour and salt. Add the butter and mix in with fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs.
Stir through 40g of the cheese.
Add the milk a little at a time, stirring then lightly kneading to make a dough.
Roll out a lightly floured surface until about 3cm thick.
Cut into rounds (I used a juice glass as a guide).
Place onto a greased baking tray and brush with a little more milk and the rest of the cheese.
Cook in oven at 220˚C/ 425˚F/ Gas 7 for about 10 minutes until risen and golden.
Allow to cool.
When cold, cut in half.
Spread with butter and fill with cheddar cheese slices and onion chutney. 

Coronation 'Chicken' Sandwiches

For the Coronation 'Chicken'

6tbsp mayonnaise
3tsp curry powder
3tbsp sultanas
150g quorn chicken style pieces
1tbsp mango chutney
1tsp olive oil

Defrost the quorn pieces and then cook gently in the oil until soft.
Remove from the heat and, when cool, chop into smaller, irregular size pieces.
In a large bowl, mix the curry powder with the mayonnaise and add the sultanas.
Then add all the other ingredients. Season and mix well.
Then make the sandwiches.

For the bread, I used Soda Bread

Slice and fill with the coronation mixture

Cheese and Cucumber Sandwiches
This is a very traditional part of the 'Regency tea'. I thought, though, that I would modernise it a little by including some lovely cream cheese as well.

Cut crusts off the bread. (Keep for breadcrumbs)
Spread with a fine layer of butter.
Then add a thicker layer of cream cheese.
Cut fine cucumber slices and place on top with a little pepper.
Cut into quarters.

Mini Rhubarb Crumbles

300g rhubarb
50g caster sugar
1tbsp light brown sugar
spritz of fresh orange juice
½tsp cinnamon
50g plain flour
50g oats
1tsp baking powder
50g butter
60g brown sugar

Makes 4

Trim rhubarb and strip off any stringy bits
Cut into 1cm pieces and place in the individual dishes.
Sprinkle over caster sugar, soft brown sugar, cinnamon and spritz of orange juice. 
Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl.
Add butter and rub in until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Mix in the sugar and oats. 
Spoon crumble on top of rhubarb.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 200˚C/ 390˚F/ Gas 6.
Serve with custard or cream. 

Coconut Buns 

50g self raising flour
25g desiccated coconut
50g butter, softened
50g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
12 glace cherries

Mix the flour and coconut.
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Add the beaten egg, a little at a time, mixing well.
Fold in half the flour mixture. Then fold in the other half.
(Mixture should drop from the spoon so add a couple of teaspoons of milk if needed.)
Place 8 bun cases in a tray and share the mixture between them. Place a glace cherry in each one.
Cook in oven at 190˚C/ 375˚F/ Gas 5 for about 15 minutes.
Place on cooling rack.
Later sprinkle with a bit more coconut and top with another cherry half, using some liquid sugar to stick if necessary.