Gremolata is a mixture of lemon zest, garlic and parsley. Italians will know it for its use in the meat dish ossobucco, but I think it goes very well with vegetables too, for example this autumn recipe of radicchio, pumpkin and beans.
450ml vegetable stock
450g white beans (drained weight) either home cooked or from two 440g cans
head of radicchio, sliced into 8 wedges
1–2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 quantity of Roast Pumpkin (see below), cut into wedges
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the gremolata
1 teaspoon lemon zest
small bunch of parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely grated
Maple and Mustard Topping, to serve
Preheat the grill to 200ºC/gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Put the stock in a medium pan and bring to the boil. Add the beans and leave to simmer for 5–7 minutes. Then take out the beans and add them to a blender with about 100ml stock. Blend until smooth, adding a bit more stock if necessary, but be careful not to add too much liquid – you want it the same consistency as mashed potato. (You can also mash the beans with a potato masher; this will give it a more rustic look.) Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Return the beans to the pan and keep them warm on a very low heat, stirring from time to time to prevent burning. The leftover stock can be discarded.
While the beans are cooking, lay the radicchio wedges on the lined tray. Sprinkle over the balsamic vinegar and add salt and pepper.
Grill the wedges for 5–6 minutes, turning them regularly so that they don’t burn.
Make the gremolata by mixing the lemon zest, parsley, lemon zest and garlic with a good pinch of salt in a bowl.
When the radicchio wedges are cooked you can start plating. Begin by adding a bit of bean purée to the individual plates, add the grilled radicchio and pumpkin chunks on top, then sprinkle over some of the gremolata and the maple and mustard topping. Ready to be served!
Makes 1.6–1.8 litres
1 leek, washed and sliced into 3cm pieces
4 carrots, sliced into 3cm pieces
4 celery sticks, sliced into 3cm pieces
2 onions, quartered (leave the skins on if you use organic ones)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme or a few fresh sprigs
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon mushroom powder, optional
Add all the ingredients except the salt to a large pan together with 2 litres of water. Put the lid on the pan and set over a high heat. Once the water starts to boil reduce the heat to low and leave it to simmer for 60–75 minutes. Then strain the stock and return it to the pan and season it with salt or umami paste. Store in a container in the fridge up to five days or in the freezer up to three months.
1 pumpkin or squash weighing 1–1.5kg, such as butternut, red kuri or kabocha
2 red onions, peeled
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
2–3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar,
vegetable stock or water
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Halve and then quarter the pumpkin and remove the seeds with a spoon. Peel off the skin with a small knife or a swivel-head peeler. Now cut the pumpkin into 2–3cm cubes. Cut the onions into 1–2cm dice. Transfer the pumpkin and onion to a large bowl and add the chilli flakes, sea salt and the liquid of choice. Mix the vegetables until they are all coated with the spices, salt and liquid. Spread out the pumpkin mix on the lined tray allowing enough space around the cubes for them to cook evenly. Bake for about 25–30 minutes in the middle of the oven, turning halfway through the cooking time. The pumpkin is done when it is soft but still hold its shape. Use directly or cool and store in the fridge.
MAPLE MUSTARD TOPPING – Makes about 200g
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons aquafaba (chickpea cooking liquid)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
50g rolled oats
50g pine nuts
50g pumpkin seeds
50g sunflower seeds
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with baking paper. Mix the Dijon mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, aquafaba, nutritional yeast, thyme and salt in a small bowl. In another bowl combine the oats, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Now add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until all the ingredients are fully coated.
Spread the mixture on the lined tray and bake for 6–8 minutes in the middle of the oven, then turn the nuts and seeds and bake for a further 6–8 minutes until they are golden brown, and the mixture is dry in the centre. Remove the mixture from the oven and leave to cool before storing it in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. It will keep for 2–3 weeks.
This recipe is a sneak-peak from Rita Serano's upcoming book Vegan For Good, out in December. For more of Rita's simple and delicious recipes check out her debut book Vegan in 7