Autumn Harvest: Slow & Warm Vegan Recipes from Justin Schofield | Australian food and drink

Fennel meat balls

Meatballs without meat? Yes, they can be done while they are working on a cure! I tried these in southern Italy a few years ago and have since been recreating them at home. At first, you’ll think it’s not possible for fennel to form from a polpette, but after mixing it with breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and ricotta, it holds its shape very well. They are really delicious and wonderful simply served with toasted sourdough.

serve 4
special equipment: food processor

1 large fennel onion (about 500 grams), Cut into 6 wedges, fronds preserved
1 large onion,
Cut into 6 wedges
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pine nuts
160 g (2 cups) fresh rusk
60 gm Parmesan cheese
grated, plus more to serve
125 grams (1/2 cup) fresh ricotta
1 egg
1 clove garlic
500 grams tomato puree

Heat the oven to 180°C.

Arrange the fennel and onion wedges on a large baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and roast for 25-30 minutes until tender and slightly caramelized, flipping the vegetables halfway through until evenly browned. About five minutes before the end of cooking, sprinkle over the pine nuts to toast until golden.

Reserve half of the roasted onions and add the rest to a food processor along with the fennel and pine nuts. Beat to a fine chop, then add breadcrumbs, Parmesan, ricotta and eggs. Season with salt and pepper and beat again until a coarse “chopped” form and the mixture becomes slightly sticky.

Wet your hands with water (this makes rolling easier) and shape the fennel mixture into walnut-sized balls. Put the cotton back on the tray and spray a little oil on it. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden.

Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic and reserve the roasted onions, put in a large skillet over medium heat and add the remaining oil. Add the passata and 180 ml (1 cup) of water and season to taste.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until thick and rich. Add the fennel cotton and flip it to cover. Sprinkle on reserved fennel fronds and a good sprinkle of extra Parmesan.

Served with toasted sourdough or pasta.

Meat loaf without meat

Lentil and bean loaf from The Slow Cook. Photography: Rob Palmer/Bloom

This meatless loaf is full of goodness with the addition of three legumes you probably already have in your cupboard. And in keeping with the pantry theme, this smoky barbecue sauce — made with common spices — really takes it and makes a perfectly flavorful loaf.

serve 8
special equipment: food processor

1 onionchopped
1 carrot
cut into pieces
10 cm piece of celery
2 tablespoons olive oil
150 grams of sourdough bread, one day old
almost torn
60 g (half a cup) walnuts
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
400 gm can of chickpeas
reserved liquid
400 grams can of kidney beans
filtered and rinsed
400 g of lentils
filtered and rinsed
200 g (1 cup) quinoa, cooked
Flat-leaf parsley sprigs
to serve
watercress leaves
to serve

To prepare the sauce
125 g (half a cup) tomato sauce
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce or vegan alternative
1 teaspoon Chinese five spices
1 clove garlic
finely grated
tomato taste
to serve

Heat the oven to 180°C.

Grease a 1.5-quart loaf pan with baking paper, allowing the excess paper to spread out over the sides (this makes removing the loaf much easier once it’s cooked).

Combine all BBQ sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, 1 minute. Stand until required.

Place the onion, carrot and celery in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable mixture and saute for five minutes, or until softened.

Add the bread and nuts to the unclean food processor and blend until crumbs form. Add to the vegetable mixture with dried thyme and smoked paprika. Saute for an additional 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Take off the fire.

Place the chickpeas and the chickpea reserved liquid in a dirty food processor and blend until smooth. Add to the vegetable crumb mixture. Add the beans, lentils, and quinoa to a food processor and blend well to roughly chop. Add to the vegetable crumb mixture with three tablespoons of barbecue sauce. Stir the mixture well.

Transfer the lentil and bean mixture to the prepared tin and press evenly. Brush with half of the remaining BBQ sauce and bake for about an hour and a half. In the middle of the bread, brush them with the remaining BBQ sauce. The loaf is ready when a clean skewer comes out in the center of the loaf. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Cut the lentils and beans into thick slices and serve with the parsley spread on top, some watercress leaves and tomatoes on the side.

Slow baked sweet potato with smoked tofu cream

Slow Baked Sweet Potato
Slow baked sweet potatoes. Photography: Rob Palmer/Bloom

I used to avoid tofu whenever possible, but after developing fun ways to use it with flavors like chipotle in adobo-lemon sauce, I’ve discovered a new love for it.

It’s a great carrier of flavor and a great vegan alternative to dairy when you still want that creamy effect. Pair it with slow-baked whole sweet potatoes and they’re a winner.

serve 4
special equipment: blender

4 small and medium sweet potatoes (350-400g each)washed and dried jam
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
plus an extra mist
salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
80 g (1 cup) corn flakes
Lime wedges, to serve
Smoked paprika for serving

To prepare the tofu cream
300g package silken tofu, drained
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo sauce (including sauce)
1 lemon
And the grated and squeezed
1 clove garlic
finely chopped
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 green onion
And the The white part is roughly chopped, the green part is finely chopped
salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper

Start by preparing the tofu, which can be made a day ahead of time. Wrap the tofu in a paper towel or clean cloth and place it on a small plate. Weigh by placing another small dish on top, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours to drain as much of the liquid as possible.

Heat the oven to 150°C. Place tin foil in a baking tray, then with baking paper. Arrange the sweet potatoes in the prepared tray, brush with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Bake the sweet potatoes for 2 hours or so, turning halfway through, until tender when the thickest part is pierced with the tip of a knife. Cooking time varies depending on the size of the sweet potato.

Justin Schofield's slow cooking

To finish the smoked tofu cream, place the drained tofu in a small blender, add the chipotle in adobo sauce, lemon zest and juice, garlic, brown sugar, and the white part of the green onion and blend until smooth. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Spread the smoked tofu cream on a plate, then slice the sweet potatoes at an angle into thick slices and arrange on top. Drizzle with extra olive oil, spread over the green part of the scallions and serve with cornflakes, lemon wedges and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.

This is an edited excerpt from The Slow Cook by Justine Schofield, posted by Plum, RRP $39.99, Photography by Rob Palmer

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