Harissa herb aubergine with bulgur

Harissa and herb aubergine with bulgur

Gavin Wren Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

If I had to describe this dish in one sentence, I’d say it’s like listening to opera whilst doing circuit training in a tutu. Now, taken literally, you could assume that this dish makes you feel like an utter idiot, which is not my intention. But if you look beyond that superficial lunacy, at the component elements, they all represent something within the dish to give you an idea of it’s characteristics. The harissa is the circuit training, the hit of spice that makes you sweat and gives the dish a kick. The opera is the mixed drama and high notes of the coriander, mint and lemon that give a bright, liberating, romantic flavour. And finally, the aubergine is the tutu, soft, silky and bringing it all together. By this point you might be feeling sorry for the poor bulgur wheat, for not getting a headline mention, but it’s not…
red pepper onion and lentil soup with parsley

BBQ charred pepper, onion and lentil soup

Gavin Wren Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

So the season of soup has swerved surreptitiously into softer summer styles. I would love to continue this entire post with such extravagant alliteration, however I don’t think my mind, or thesaurus for that matter, is quite up to it today. Alliteration n. the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.But, if such a thing as culinary alliteration exists, in the form of repeated use of similar sounding ingredients, then this soup would be a perfect example. You’ve got red peppers, red onions, red lentils and one of the best spices out there (in my opinion), which also happens to be red, smoked paprika. All of these red ingredients combine to make a really wholesome soup that’s got a delicately balanced set of flavours, topped with parsley oil which gives a flavour twist and a real visual makeover. Your starting point…
Spinach and walnut pesto with wholemeal pasta

Spinach and walnut pesto

Gavin Wren Basic Ingredients, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Hello folks. Another straightforward recipe for you today, one whose big, powerful flavours bely it’s simplicity. This is something that you can whizz up in the time it takes your pasta to cook and tastes a million times better than anything you might pour from a jar. You just need a blender and your ingredients to hand and you can have this pesto ready to eat in minutes. It also falls into a theme on my blog, something that’s popped up a few times over the most recent recipes. Simplicity. Keeping the ingredients list short and the preparation straightforward can be a winning combination, compared to the easily muddled complication of complex flavours. It allows the ingredients that are in the dish to find their own places and shine through, without getting lost in the fray. Now, the keen eyed among you might have noticed that I don’t include cheese…
A mountain of cooked beetroot

Beetroot, apple and horseradish soup

Gavin Wren Recipes, Soup, Vegetarian

Bee’roo.
Bee’root.
B’root.
Beet.
Root.
I just can’t seem to say it right. The first person to point this out was my girlfriend, who regularly sends up my pronounciation of the word beetroot. A typical* conversation at home might go like this: Me: “Do you fancy some bee’roo soup for lunch”
Gf: “B’ROO?”
Me: “OK, let’s try again. Would you like a bowl of homemade beeTrooT soup?”
Gf: “B’ROO?”
Me: “I’ll take that as yes.”
(* Grossly exaggerated) This linguistic laziness seems to be quite a common English tradition where people regularly drop letters from words. All over the country, people drop their h’s and t’s when they pronounce words to either sound cool, be cockney, lazy, or just because they do. Even my hairdresser’s name is an example of it, being called ‘Enry ‘Iggins, presumably in reference to the musical My Fair Lady. Anyway, pronounciation peculiarities aside, last…
Smokey Vegetarian Tofu Chilli

Super Smokey Veggie Chilli

Gavin Wren Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Good morning campers! I hope you’re having a lovely Sunday morning. It’s a clear, crisp, late winter morning here, with daffodils dancing in the breeze outside my window, so why am I sitting at a computer posting recipes for you all… good question! The reason is because today’s recipe is an utterly delicious vegetarian chilli with a smokey twist, giving it an extra dimension of flavour, and I’ve just got to share it with you. This hot, warming dish has proven to be a repeat hit at home on these cold nights, by doubling up the recipe to make a big pot-full it’s kept us stocked in flavour-filled, easy midweek dinners on a few occasions. And it’s no co-incidence that the last blog post was a beginners guide to home smoking, showing you how it’s easy to start smoking food at home, starting with vegetables or tofu. And here’s…