Smoked eggplant with chili jam
Esraa MosulChef Founder of Zahter, London
Eggplant is often found on Turkish tables. It’s a lovely vegetable, and I love cooking it directly over an open flame, which adds a nice smoke, and serving it with chili jam and crunchy fried garlic. Make sure all sides of the eggplant are cooked over the flame, then peel off the skin. I make chili jam by mixing 250g of sugar with 250g of water until it dissolves, then stirring in chopped pepper and lime juice to taste, and heating until it thickens. Chop the garlic into thin slices and fry in oil. Put the eggplant on the plate and chop it into coarse pieces. Sprinkle with a little salt and thyme, and garnish with parsley, four or five fried garlic slices, chili jam, and pomegranate molasses.
Neil CampbellAnd Chef at RThose, London
I love celeriac – so many things can be done and none of it needs to be fancy. Bake them as you would a baked potato, rub them with olive oil and salt (they’re lower in calories and higher in vitamins than potatoes) until they’re caramelized on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, then load them just the way you like them. Garlic, mushrooms and herbs is a winner, or I like to use homemade zhoug. Make this by blending parsley, cilantro, green peppers, garlic, and lemon juice with olive oil, then drizzling it all over. Some chopped nuts work well with this, too.
Teriyaki maitake donburi mushroom
Luke Frenchchef manager at Jöro, Sheffield
The hero vegetable ingredient for me is maitake mushroom, which has an insane flavor. You can sometimes find them in supermarket packages of mixed wild mushrooms. One of my favorite comfort dishes is the mushroom donburi teriyaki maitake (mushroom rice bowl) – I promise it’s one of the tastiest vegetarian rice dishes I’ve ever eaten. Make a simple teriyaki by halving 200g mirin with 300g light soy sauce, then stir into a bag of miso soup paste and reserve. Next, soak the mushrooms in brine by dissolving 10 g of salt and 20 g of fine sugar in 200 g of cold water, and then soak the mushrooms in it for 20 minutes. After soaking, pat dry on kitchen paper, then cook on a hot grill (or saute in smoked olive oil) until charred and crispy on the outside. Toss mushrooms in teriyaki sauce and serve over freshly cooked sushi rice/short grain rice, seasoned with a little rice vinegar/mirin/sugar/salt. Top with fresh minced chives and crispy fried onions, and drizzle with more teriyaki sauce.
Gnocchi with cavolo nero and walnuts
Giovanni AttardExecutive Chef at Norma, London
I make good gnocchi with cavolo nero and walnuts. Put 550g of the mashed potatoes in a bowl with 5g of salt, 20ml of olive oil and 300g of flour, and mix until it forms a ball, making sure it is not too wet and sticky. Take a small piece at a time, form it into a long roll about 2 cm thick, and then cut it into 2.5 cm pieces. The gnocchi are placed on a tray sprinkled with flour, then cooked by boiling in a large pot of boiling salted water until they float to the surface. These are perfect with our Cavollo Nero pesto, made by putting 45g chopped and blanched Cavollo Nero in a blender with 100g walnuts, 5 tablespoons olive oil, a handful of basil leaves, 2 cloves garlic, 50g pine nuts, 10g vegan Parmesan cheese and a half A teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Even smooth blend. If the blender is having difficulty, add a little hot water from the gnocchi pan.
Aktar IslamHead Chef at Opheem, Birmingham
My favorite vegetarian dish is dal. I love it because it goes with everything; I usually have it with bread or rice, with some pickles on the side. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over moderate heat, add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds, 2.5cm minced ginger, ½ tablespoon of minced garlic and 20 curry leaves, then fry for 30 seconds. Add the chopped onion and chopped green chilli and sauté until translucent, before adding 1 teaspoon of the red chilli powder, ½ teaspoon of the turmeric powder, and ½ teaspoon of the salt, then sauté for two or three minutes. Add 250g of red lentils, 100g of moong dal (make sure they are washed and soaked) and enough boiling water to cover the lentils by an additional 2cm, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. While it’s cooking, prepare the batter by caramelizing the finely sliced shallots and setting them aside. Using the same pan and remaining oil, add three finely minced garlic cloves and cook until lightly brown, then add two dried Kashmiri red chilies, a pinch of asafoetida, one teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili powder and mix well, then pour over the prepared lentils. .
Mixed vegetables bruschetta
Connor is seriouschef at Trullo, London
My wife and I often cook vegan meals at home, and when we do, it’s more about celebrating vegetables than trying to make a vegan version of a meat dish. For a simple dinner, I make a bruschetta of mixed vegetables using cavullo, kale, siem di rapa — things like that. After I take them off the stem, I roughly chop the greens and poach them for two to three minutes. While they’re blanching, I sweat garlic and pepper in a skillet (twice as many as you think you’ll need), then add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt and lemon juice, dip in fresh-season Tuscan olive oil, and then simply eat it with some grilled bread.
Sameer TanejaExecutive Chef in Benares, London
One of my favorite vegetarian dishes is the masala of the poor – a spiced, crispy Indian flatbread. They’re spiced with turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, and chili powder, and are delicious on their own or dipped in curries and sauces (my favorite is the black chickpea curry). To prepare masala fakir, I prepare flour and semolina dough (250gm whole wheat flour, 25gm semolina, 100ml water, 10gm sunflower oil) and mix them well with spices, rest for 30 minutes before kneading and rolling them into small flat disks. Then fry until golden on each side (30 seconds or so) and move the discs around the pan, encouraging them to puff up, making for a delicious, crunchy flatbread. Simple but very tasty.
Caramelized onion yeast sauce
Jean Austellchef at Wilsons, Bristol
In a restaurant, we always have a vegetarian menu that works in conjunction with our regular menu, and oftentimes the dishes from the vegetarian menu are so delicious that they pass through. Caramelized Onion Yeast Sauce is one of those that can be used for any hearty and savory dish. Lightly caramelized six shallots and a clove of garlic. Roast 200g of baker’s yeast at 160°C until crunchy. Add the two together, then cover with water and bring to a simmer. Mix and pass through a sieve, then add a little sherry vinegar if it needs some acidity. It’s great with roasted root vegetables.
Judy JoeFounder, Seoul Bird, London
I love eggplant silk, and have many memories of eating gaji namul, a colorful eggplant-based side dish. My mother fried the eggplant very carefully with chopsticks, so as not to bruise or stain. Asian eggplant works best in this recipe because it has a thinner skin and a sweeter flavour. Cut three Asian eggplants into finger-sized clubs and stir in 1/2 tablespoon of salt. Place it in a single layer in a colander over a plate or in a sink and let the excess water drain for 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by whisking together 2 chopped chives, 1 tablespoon grated garlic, thinly sliced green onion, 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), 2 teaspoons toasted and ground sesame seeds, ½ tablespoon. white sugar, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil. sit aside. Fry the eggplant in oil for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat, cover with sauce, season with salt and eat.
Mushroom ragu on toast
Sofia metExecutive Chef at Ormer Mayfair, London
My go-to comfort dish in January is vegan mushroom “ragu” on toast. It is easy to prepare and perfect as a nutritious lunch or a light dinner. Two pieces of sourdough are grilled until golden brown, then drizzled with olive oil. Fry the coarsely chopped banana shallot and finely chopped garlic clove with a pinch of salt. After 2-3 minutes, add 300g of wild mushrooms or champignons along with ½ teaspoon of chopped thyme. Once cooked, add 40ml of rice milk, 20ml of balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. Sauté until thickened and the mushrooms are coated with the sauce. The ragu is poured over the toasted sourdough and finished with 50g of roughly chopped pistachios, the zest of one lemon and a handful of watercress for garnish.