Monday, June 02, 2008

Sunday roast

The Significant Eater had been dropping the word "roast" into conversations with persistent monotony, so with suitable prompting I crafted a roast of sorts last night. While his colleague was coming home to pork with crackling, his was more of the vegetarian variety. Life’s tough sometimes!

Using the basic nut roast template I soaked some dried shitake mushrooms, mashed a medium sized block of tofu, ground a cup of cashew nuts and set to work. This was to be lighter, with more tofu and no rice, than the earlier version. I also threw in a grated carrot, a generous handful of parsley straight from the garden and finely sliced shitakes (reserving the soaking water for the “gravy”) as well as some sautéed onion and garlic. Because I discovered the remains of a bunch of coriander in the fridge I also tossed in the finely chopped roots of a couple of pieces. This is the nice thing about a loaf - tofu having such a neutral flavour it blends with vegetables and herbs so well and is an adaptable base to a meal. For a little extra oomph I mixed in 2 teaspoons each of roasted sesame oil and tamari. Finally all the ingredients were bound with 2 beaten eggs. Simple – bung it into a medium oven and depending on how big your loaf pan is it will take about 30 minutes. Nervous types should start checking the loaf from about 25.

One roasting pan of potatoes, pumpkin and parsnip was already on the go, with a smaller dish of Brussels sprouts tossed in olive oil ready to be put in the oven for the last 15-20 minutes, there was only the gravy to make. This one is just too easy. I don’t usually have mushroom water on hand but it provided a subtle addition to the flavours.

Vegan “gravy”

1 – 3 tablespoons miso paste (light or dark depending on what you’d prefer)
1 – 3 tablespoons tahini
Warm water or shitake mushroom soaking water

Quantities depend on how much gravy you want to make. For the two of us, 1 tablespoon of tahini and another of miso is enough. Add a little warm water to start to work the two ingredients together, then keep adding more til you get the desired consistency, which is thick or thin depending on how you like your gravy. It can also be whisked together in a small pan on low heat. Miso is a wonderful ‘living’ fermented product and should never be boiled.

All in all a great roast to welcome the first day of winter. The leftover loaf is also a protein packed hit to pop in your lunchbox. While the SE has been promised a bit of crackling today from his studio mate, my roast is a lot kinder on the arteries.

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Blogger shula said...

I have a Significant Eater of my own, here, who is carrying on like a pork chop for want of meat.

2:01 pm  
Blogger Johanna said...

glad you are resurrecting the nut roast - it does fill that wintery craving for a good roast dinner and goes so well with roast vegies - I had a variation on that last night - must be the season! And I want to try out your gravy recipe too

6:02 pm  

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