Cookbook 190: Everyday Vegetarian: The Complete Collection

I’m pretty sure I bought the Australian’s Women’s Weekly, Everyday Vegetarian: The Complete Collection from Aldi (apologies for the very ugly site). They have it on sale every now and again and if you’re interested you can buy it for about $20, which given how extensive the recipe collection is, is a very good deal.

As you’d expect from the name of the book, it is full of vegetarian dishes. But wait, there is more. Each dish is flagged as either vegan, ovo vegetarian, or lacto vegetarian. So if you are vegan, this cookbook actually features a good number of vegan recipes in it. I made three dishes from this book over a couple of months, though I didn’t eat all of them, because I was making them for people who actually like mushrooms or cauliflower. Notes will follow as usual, and overall 4 out of 5 stars.

Soft Polenta with Mushroom Ragu (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 30g butter
  • 500g cup mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 125ml basic vegetable stock
  • 150g soft goat’s cheese
  • 1/4 loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

Soft polenta

  • 500ml milk
  • 500ml basic vegetable stock
  • 170g instant polenta
  • 40g butter, chopped
  • 60g finely grated parmesan

Method:

  1. Heat butter in a large frying pan over a high heat; cook mushrooms, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are browned lightly and most of the liquid is evaporated. Season. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant. Stir in stock; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, for 2 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season to taste; cover to keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, make soft polenta
  3. Pour polenta immediately onto a serving board or plate; using the back of a slotted spoon, make slight hallows (no seriously, that’s what they said) in polenta. Spoon mushrooms over polenta using a slotted spoon; drizzle with some of the pan juices. Top with small chunks of goat’s cheese; sprinkle with parsley

Soft polenta

Bring milk and stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Gradually add polenta, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; cook, stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until polenta thickens. Stir in butter and parmesan. Season to taste

Notes on this recipe:

  • I really like polenta with cheese, so this was nice. Though I’d probably add more cheese.
  • Parsley doesn’t have a flavour (well it tastes more like grass than herb) so I ignored that instruction
  • The cheesy mushrooms were appreciated by those who liked them.

Vegetable cassoulet (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 shallots, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 2 medium carrots (240g), chopped coarsely
  • 200g Swiss brown mushrooms, halved
  • 250ml white wine
  • 2 medium zucchini (240g), chopped coarsely
  • 375ml vegetable stock
  • 700g bottled passata
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 400g canned borlotti beans, drained, rinsed

Bread topping:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion (80g), chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 wholegrain and seed sourdough bread (220g), torn into 2cm pieces (or any other bread you like)
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Heat oil in a large flame-proof casserole dish over medium-high heat; cook shallot, garlic, carrot and mushrooms, stirring, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Add whine; bring to the boil. Boil until liquid is reduced by half. Add zucchini, stock, passata, thyme and beans; return to the boil. Remove from heat. Cover dish, transfer to oven, cook for 50 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, made bread topping
  4. Season cassoulet to taste, sprinkle with bread topping; return to oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the bread topping is browned.

Bread topping:

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat; cook onion, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, rind, thyme and bread; cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until the bread browns lightly. Stir in parsley.

Notes:

  • This was really tasty. The vegetables were nicely tender with a tasty sauce and the bread provided a lovely crunch to the dish
  • Will definitely make again in winter

Spelt pasta with silky cauliflower sauce (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1kg cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 45g multigrain breadcrumbs
  • 1 fresh long, red chilli, seeded, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, extra, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 275g dried spelt fettuccine pasta (or regular durum wheat – whatever you can get)
  • 40g grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, extra
  • 375ml milk
  • 60g grated parmesan, extra
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Method:

  1. Place three-quarters of the cauliflower in a medium saucepan with stock and garlic; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
  2. Meanwhile, cut remaining cauliflower into tiny florets. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add florets; cook stirring, for 2 minutes until lightly golden. Add breadcrumbs, chilli and extra garlic; cook, stirring for 2 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden and crisp. Remove from the heat; stir in parsley and rind.
  3. Cook pasta in a very large saucepan of boiling salted water following packet instructions. Drain well; return to pan with parmesan and extra oil.
  4. Blend cauliflower stock mixture with milk until very smooth. Stir in extra parmesan and juice, season to taste.
  5. Spoon cauliflower sauce over pasta; serve topped with cauliflower crumbs.

Notes:

  • I’ve made this dish for Nigel twice now. On the second attempt he asked that if I make it again, that I add some passata or tinned tomatoes. He said it was a little unbalanced without something acidic.
  • He still ate it over several days, just added tomato sauce to it instead.

Let me know what you think

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.