To celebrate National Vegetarian Week, Home restaurant in Belfast have teamed up with Belfast Times to bring you a few vegetarian recipes to try out at home. As an ex vegetarian, for 13 years, I’m always keen to see how much vegetarian food has changed since the days when I used to go into a restaurant and get served a platter of cold vegetables or a plate of beans. Yes that’s how bad it was at one point!! But things have moved on in the 15 years since my vege days, as Home have shown us with these two great meals.
Home was founded during the Autumn of 2011 in a back street location in Belfast City Centre initially as a three month pop-up venture. Its aim and ethos was to serve homely, feel good nourishing food. The restaurant partnered with local artists and social enterprises to give a new home to previously loved furniture.
The initial pop-up venture was an instant hit with foodies so much so that the pop-up extended its tenure for a further four months, before taking up a permanent home in its current location of Wellington Place, Belfast close to the magnificent City Hall.
In the restaurant they serve a selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes, they also have a deli to the front of the premises where you can also enjoy some vegetarian and vegan option to take away.
Anyway, I’m off to prepare one of these dishes…or maybe I’ll just pop into Home and take the easier option!
Follow Home on twitter at: @homepopup
Goats Cheese and Beetroot Salad
2 beetroots washed
100mls balsamic vinegar
1tsp brown sugar
250g rindless goats cheese
2tbsp walnut oil
150mls whole milk
1 head of yellow or red chicory
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced
25g walnut halves
25g castor sugar
50g baby watercress
1 punnet pea shoots
2 stalks of blanched asparagus, thinly sliced
1tbsp cider vinegar
1tsp Dijon mustard
100mls rapeseed oil
Wrap beetroots in tin foil and roast on a bed of salt on a baking tray at 180 degrees until tender and cooked, approximately 45 minutes depending on size. When cool to touch, peel and cut into wedges.
In a saucepan, reduce balsamic by 3/4 and add brown sugar, dissolve, remove from the heat and cool.
With a spatula, whip the goats cheese, walnut oil and milk until smooth and season with freshly cracked black pepper
In a pan, dissolve castor sugar and water over high heat, add walnuts and boil for 5 mins or until the walnuts are coated, drain and deep fry @ 170 degrees for 2-3 mins until golden and allow to cool.
In a bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the rapeseed oil until emulsified.
Add ingredients to a plate or a bowl and dress with vinaigrette.
Herb gnocchi, wild mushroom ragout, rocket & fennel salad
For the herb gnocchi:
250g mashed potato
1 egg yolk
40g plain flour
40g potato starch
1tbsp chopped parsley
1tbsp chopped tarragon
Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil.
In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together, moulding into a large sausage shape, 2cm think.
Cut 3cm long “pillow” shaped pieces.
Drop the pillow pieces into the pan of boiling water. The gnocchi will sink, when they surface, remove them from the water and cool for 1 minute.
Pan fry the gnocchi in butter until golden.
For the wild mushroom ragout:
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, diced small
100g button mushrooms, quartered
100g mixed wild mushrooms E.g. girolle, shiitake, oyster
1tbsp dried porcini
175mls white wine
200mls whipping cream
1tbsp chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
Soak the dried mushrooms in 50mls of warm water for 10mins, remove the mushrooms from the water. Gentle squeeze the mushrooms removing any excess water and finely chop.
In a frying pan, saute the shallots, mushrooms in a light olive oil over a high heat for 3-6 minutes until golden and season with salt and pepper.
To the frying pan, add thyme, bay leaf, porcini and garlic and gently mix.
Cool for 2mins before adding wine and cook until the wine has almost evaporated then add cream and finish with herbs.
Combine sauce and pan fried gnocchi with 50g of baby spinach and serve in a bowl. To garnish, dress a small bunch of rocket and shaved fennel with a squeeze of lemon juice and drizzle of rapeseed oil and serve on top of gnocchi.