Tom Hunt’s Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet offers delicious and inventive solutions to making the most of your store cupboard, and using what you can grow yourself – whether you’ve got a garden or a window box.
More than ever we need to try and be self-sufficient, and resourceful with what we already have at home. Tom Hunt shows us how we can do this in the best way and not sacrifice on flavour or enjoyment.
The happy bi-product of course, is leading a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Below is a plant-rich winter version of a classic Caesar salad, made using a variety of nutritious bitter leaves in place of the rather dull iceberg lettuce. Seaweed and salty capers give it a hint of the sea, as an alternative to anchovies, and grated walnuts replace the Parmesan.
Leafy winter greens (whites, reds, pinks and purples) keep us going through the coldest months of the year with nutritious, colourful and flavourful ingredients that can withstand seriously cold temperatures, making them a good source of local nutrition, including vitamins A and C and minerals iron, potassium and calcium. Market gardens and specialist farmers are growing more and more varieties from old heritage species to new colourful hybrids, including variegated purple and green kale, magenta-coloured fingers of tardivo and radicchio del Veneto, a frilly chicory dressed in pastel-pink.
Let me know if you give it a whirl!
Serves 4 as a light lunch, 8 as a starter
For the salad
- 1 head of chicory (e.g. tardivo, treviso, endive), leaves picked
- small bunch of baby kale (e.g. red Russian, redbor, cavolo nero), stalks removed and finely chopped, leaves torn into large pieces
- 5g seaweed, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, then drained
- 4–6 walnuts, chopped
- pinch of kala namak or sea salt
For the croûtons
- 1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste
- glug of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 slices of stale wholemeal
- sourdough (or other bread), cut into long batons
For the dressing
- 4 tbsp aquafaba (see page 214)
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 tbsp capers, plus 1 tbsp for the salad
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, optional
- 100–150ml extra virgin olive oil juice of. unwaxed lemon
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- To make the dressing, combine the aquafaba, garlic, capers and nutritional yeast, if using, in a food processor and blitz together.
- Keeping the motor running, carefully pour in the extra virgin olive oil through the feeder tube in a very slow, steady stream, just like
mayonnaise. After a couple of minutes, when the consistency is as thick as double cream, stop adding the oil and blend in the lemon
juice and Worcestershire sauce.
- To make the croûtons, combine the garlic and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Add the bread and turn it in the garlicky oil to coat it
thoroughly. Season generously with salt. Transfer to a frying pan and fry over a medium heat, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over. Set aside.
- To prepare the salad, combine the leaves, seaweed, cro.tons and capers in a bowl. Drizzle over the dressing and turn together just
once or twice so the bright colours of the leaves shine through.
Serve immediately, topped with a generous grating of walnuts and a sprinkling of kala namak or sea salt.
Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet by Tom Hunt published by Kyle Books 19 March 2020, £26 hardback (octopusbooks.co.uk)
Image credit: Jenny Zarins.
Read more vegan recipes HERE.