Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Creamy Baked Cauliflower and Broccoli with Basil & Tomato [v. 0.1]

Doing roasts without meat is a pretty fun challenge. The best part, I find, asides the awesome array of flavour, is the complete lack of preparation time and cleaning that is required. I remember in the periods where I've eaten meat (between not), the pre-time for roasting meat is much greater than for vegetables.

So when doing roasts, as I did this evening, finding a fun new centrepiece or side to take the place of the roast meat really presents some fun cooking opportunities. This recipe was served with:

  • potatoes & parsnip roasted in olive oil, garlic, onion, rosemary, and black pepper;
  • zucchini, carrots, green capsicum, roasted in canola oil, white pepper, dried oregano.
So on to the recipe.

Creamy Baked Cauliflower and Broccoli with Basil & Tomato [v. 0.1]

Creamy Sauce


1.5 tbsp tahini paste
0.5 tbsp margarine (I use the ALDI brand, because it's cheap, but Nutalex is always good)
1.0 cloves garlic
1.0 tsp English mustard
Water to thin


Melt the margarine with loosely chopped garlic, in microwave (I used a mug)
Add tahini & mustard and stir
Add water until a creamy consistency equaling around about 1.2 cups is reached.

Cauli & Broc & Whatnot


1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into whatever sized chunks you want
1 head of broccoli, chopped into whatever sized chunks you want
Fresh basil, about a cup worth
2 tomatoes, chopped into 8ths
White pepper


Put chopped cauli and broc into a baking dish
Add basil and tomatoes
Top with white pepper to your taste
Pour over the creamy sauce.
Cover with foil (or a lid if using a lidded baking dish)

Bake at 180C (Fan Forced) for about 30-40 mins, then an additional 10-20 mins without the lid.

Sorry I forgot to take a photo. It looked like it sounds like it would look.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Apple and Orange Dessert Tart (v. 0.1)

This post follows on directly from the former, and was made with the remaining 0.8x pastry sheet.

Apple and Orange Dessert Tart (v. 0.1)


0.8x pastry sheet (if making from scratch, just be brave and use a whole one/make a bigger one/whatever)
1.5x valencia oranges
2x granny smith apples
agave/maple syrup
star anise
ground cinnamon
whole cloves
coconut oil
spray oil


Preheat oven to 180C (fan-forced)

Slice the apples into rough slices (not wedges) without the core
Slice the oranges into roughly 12ths, as wedges (peel before hand if you like, or after)

Layer the pastry in a small pie/tart dish after spraying with oil if you want
Place 0.5-1x star anise on the pastry
Layer the apple on top evenly
Add a sprinkle of whole cloves (about 12)
Add the oranges (skin off) in a similar layer
Sprinkle ground cinnamon fairly liberally on top of the oranges
Drizzle agave/maple syrup (I used a mixture of the both, but you could use either)
Drizzle some coconut oil on top of that

Bake for about 50-60 minutes until somewhat reduced and cooked through.

Onion, Eggplant, & Tomato Savoury Tart (v. 0.2)

You have to start somewhere, right?

I did not really want to cook anything tonight, but got inspired by a story about the onion (which was pretty mediocre really) on some news website (either The Guardian or The Age), which in itself is unremarkable, but it made me consider what I could do with the abundance of red onions that my partner and I bought from the market the other day.

This post will also serve as somewhat of an introduction to what this blog is, or will be, if I manage to keep it up.

You see, I am terrible at noting down nice recipes that I come up with. So this serves as my own personal "recipe book", if you like. But I figure that other people might also like them. The difference – I hope – between this and other food blogs is that I will be using this to document the development of recipes, somewhat like the development of music scores, from an early version (0.1) through to a finished version (1.0), and possibly beyond. I have a suspicion that many will stay at 0.1. However! There is an opportunity here for other people to join in the experimentation and suggest changes/etc. So I liken it to "experimental music", where the outcome is potentially unknown (though sometimes anticipated), and may not actually work.

So that's the idea. Now for the first recipe. Remember, this was made up 20 minutes ago, and I have no idea how it tastes.

Onion, Eggplant, & Tomato Savoury Tart (v. 0.2)


1.2x sheets of shortcrust pastry (vegan, in my case) [the remaining 0.8 will be used in another recipe]
3x medium-large red onions
1.5x large tomatoes
0.5x medium-large aubergine/eggplant (split lengthways)
~7 oyster mushrooms
Cracked black pepper
Ground white pepper
Olive oil
Dried basil
About 10 dry bay leaves
Spray oil for tart tray (I used canola)


If using frozen pastry, thaw it. Preheat oven to 180C (fan-forced).

Top and tail the three onions, cut them in half, then slice them. Keep it reasonably rough.

With the half eggplant, slice it in half length ways, repeat, and repeat again (for each quarter), then chop the small wedges in half sideways to get ~3-4cm length wedges.

Spray a tart tray/shallow pie dish with oil. Lay the 1.2 sheets of pastry as necessary to fill the dish and neaten the edges if necessary/use the excess to complete the edges too.

Grind some black pepper all over the pastry.

Add the onions in one large layer, remember that they will reduce substantially with cooking.

Add eggplant wedges in slightly layered circle around the outer edge of the onions. Sprinkle salt over the wedges, then drizzle olive oil on top of that.

Trim the stalks off the oyster mushrooms and place them in the centre, and with any extra mushrooms cut them in half and place them every 2-3 wedges of eggplant.

Chop the tomatoes in thin slices. Place on top of the wedges, close-ish together, and then one or two slices in the centre.

Cover with white pepper, basil, asafoetida, and some more olive oil, and wedge bay leaves in/on the top layer.

Place in the oven uncovered and bake for about 80 minutes, making sure that the eggplant is cooked (use your eyes and/or a skewer)

Serve with a side of rocket/roquette lettuce, with a drizzle of lime juice, and a few slivers of avocado. I don't roquette available tonight, so it will likely be a mixed-cabbage and carrot dry slaw, with avocado.

Slaw Side

Given that my avocados were bad, and I lacked roquette, I made this slaw in place.


Red cabbage, green cabbage, carrot: all grated, not too much as it's a side.

A squeeze of lemon juice, some ground black pepper and salt, hand mixed and served on the side.


Really, really damn good.