food, Recipes

five a day: tantalising veggie recipes to cook up at home

veggies Jenny Ward, executive chef at Chefs in Cape Town is known for her delicious, daily changing menu. With a passion for traditional cooking techniques, Jenny has created five scrumptious veggie dishes that will make eating your five-a-day a whole lot more exciting. ALSO READ: Learn more about Jenny – how and why she became a top chef – in our video profile of here.

1. cauliflower and cumin fritters with cauliflower tahini crème

veggiesPrep time: 30 minutes / Cook time: 20 minutes / Serves: 6 Ingredients: For the cauliflower fritters 2 cauliflower heads 1 lare egg white 1 cup corn flour A pinch of salt 2 t cumin seeds, toasted 1 t baking powder 1 1/2 cups Sparkling water For the cauliflower tahini crème Cauliflower stalks (reserved from above) or 1 cauliflower head 1 garlic clove 5g fresh thyme Zest and juice of 1 lemon 400g tin of chickpeas, drained 4 T tahini paste Salt and black pepper to taste 4 T olive oil Method: Trim the cauliflower heads into small florets. Wash and dry them, reserving stalks for the tahini crème. Whisk the egg white until it forms a soft foam. Add the flours, salt, cumin and baking powder Slowly add the water until a thick pourable batter is formed. Coat each floret in the batter and deep fry until golden brown. Keep warm until served. Steam the cauliflower stalks in a pot with the garlic, thyme, and lemon zest until soft. Blend with chickpeas and tahini and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Drizzle the olive oil over and serve immediately as a dipping sauce for the warm cauliflower fritters.

2. spicy tomato tartare with fior di latte, smoked brinjals and sunflower seed pesto

veggiesPrep time: 20 minutes / Cook time: 45 minutes / Serves: 6 Ingredients: For the sunflower seed pesto 30g fresh basil 100g fresh rocket Juice of 1 lemon 1 garlic clove 120ml olive oil, plus a little extra for storage 30g sunflower seeds, toasted Salt and black pepper to taste For the smoked brinjals 3 large brinjals 50ml olive oil Salt to taste 1 rosemary stalk Juice of 1 lemon For the tomato tartare 12 - 15 ripe tomatoes 1 ered onion, finely choppped 1 T chopped capers 2 t fresh grated ginger root 2 t Dijon mustard 3 T good quality tomato sauce 2 ml chopped red chilli (optional) 100 ml olive oil 10g chives, chopped Maldon salt flakes, to taste 3 fior di latte cheese balls Melba toast to serve Method Blanche the basil and rocket in boiling water for 1 minute and refresh in ice water immediately. Squeeze the excess water from the herbs and pulse them in a blender with the lemon juice and garlic. Drizzle in the olive oil until it forms a green puree. Add the toasted sunflower seeds and season well. Cover with a little olive oil to prevent the colour from changing. Pierce the brinjals with a fork and place them whole onto an open gas flame or hot coals for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool down slightly, peel away the charred skin and pull the smoky flesh apart. Cover the brinjals with olive oil, salt, rosemary and lemon juice. For the tartare, blanche and peel the plum tomatoes and dice them into 1cm cubes. In a large bowl, mix the onion with the capers, ginger, mustard, tomato sauce, chilli (if desired) and olive oil. Add the diced tomatoes and mix well. Season with the Tabasco, chives and Maldon salt, and divide into portions.Top the brinjals with the pesto, arrange half a fior di latte ball on top of each tartare portion and serve with Melba toast on the side.

3. braised celery steaks with warm burnt-butter vinaigrette and a celeriac, green apple and almond salad

veggiesPrep time: 40 minutes / Cook time: 60 minutes / Serves: 6 Ingredients:

For the braised celery steaks 2 large, whole celery heads 1l rich vegetable stock 5g fresh rosemary 5g fresh thyme 5ml salt 1 garlic clove Zest of 1 lemon Salt and black pepper to taste Olive oil

For the burnt-butter vinaigrette 100g butter 5g fresh thyme 125ml warm vegetable stock (reserved from the celery heads) 1t whole-grain mustard 1t Dijon mustard Juice of 2 lemons

For the celeriac and green apple salad with almonds 1 celeriac root 1 green apple A handful of celery-stalk leaves, washed (reserved from the celery heads) 100g raw almonds, toasted 1t Dijon mustard 50ml white-wine vinegar 2t brown sugar 40ml olive oil

Method: Wash the celery heads to remove excess sand. Trim the tops of the celery leaves and reserve them for the salad. Simmer the vegetable stock in a large pot with the herbs, salt, garlic and lemon zest. Add the whole celery heads and cover them with water. Simmer for at least 45 minutes, until soft. Remove from the pot and allow to cool down slightly. Reserve the leftover stock for the vinaigrette. Using clingwrap, place the celery heads top-to-tail and roll them tightly into a long cylinder. Allow to cool down completely before cutting them. Leaving the clingwrap on, slice the celery into steaks, each about 6 to 8cm thick, season with salt and pepper, and coat them in a light layer of olive oil. Fry the steaks in a warm pan until each side is lightly charred. Remove the plastic wrap, set aside and keep warm. For the burnt-butter vinaigrette, place the butter in a pan with the thyme and heat until it turns light brown. Mix the warm vegetable stock with the mustards. Slowly add the browned butter to the mixture until it forms an emulsion. Season the blend with the lemon juice, allow to cool slightly and pour it over the warm celery steaks. To make the salad, julienne the celeriac and green apple finely. Add the reserved celery leaves and toasted raw almonds. Mix the mustard, vinegar, brown sugar and olive oil and pour over the salad. Serve as a side dish with the celery steak.

4. carrot gnocchi with pickled beetroot, chèvre and ginger dressing

veggies Prep time: 40 minutes / Cook time: 90 minutes / Serves: 6 Ingredients: For the carrot gnocchi |500g waxy potatoes, unpeeled 1kg carrots, unpeeled 5g fresh rosemary 2 large egg yolks 100g almond flour 300g cake flour 10ml salt, for boiling 120g chèvre 400g roasted baby carrots, finely sliced, to serve

For the pickled beetroot 1kg yellow beetroots, unpeeled 250ml white-wine vinegar 200ml white sugar Zest and juice of 1 orange 1 garlic clove 1 rosemary stalk 1 star anise

For the ginger dressing 3t grated ginger 3t rice-wine vinegar 3t castor sugar 1t seed mustard 3t olive oil 3t soy sauce 1t chopped chives Salt and black pepper, to taste


To make the gnocchi, wrap the potatoes, carrots and rosemary in tinfoil and bake them at 200°C until soft. Scoop all the flesh out of the potatoes and carrots and combine. Push the warm mixture through a sieve and add the egg yolks to the puree. Add the almond flour and then slowly add the cake flour until a soft dough ball forms (you may need to add more or less flour, depending on the moisture in the vegetables).  Roll the dough in small amounts to form long, thin sausages, then cut and shape these into small pieces. Place the gnocchi on a floured tray in the freezer until frozen.

Peel and boil the beetroots until soft. In a pot, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil. Add the beetroots and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow them to cool down in the poaching liquid, remove and slice thinly. Combine the ginger dressing ingredients and season to taste.

Bring a pot of salted water to a simmer and cook the frozen gnocchi until they rise to the surface. Remove from the heat, coat the gnocchi with the ginger dressing and top with the pickled beetroot, chèvre and roasted baby carrots before serving.

5. chopped broccolini tabbouleh with caper salsa, pumpkin seeds and blackened green beans

veggiesPrep time: 40 minutes / Cook time: 40 minutes / Serves: 6 Ingredients:

For the tabbouleh 1 cup instant couscous 400g broccolini 1 cucumber 100g green beans, topped and tailed 3 celery stalks 100g zucchini 50g feta cheese 120g blanched peas dice 2 lemons, and juice 30g fresh curly parsley, chopped 2t toasted cumin seeds 1 green chilli, chopped Salt and pepper, to taste 50g pumpkin seeds, toasted

For the caper salsa 50g capers 30g fresh, chopped parsley 20g fresh coriander 2t cumin powder Juice of 1 lemon 100ml olive oil 1t wholegrain mustard Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the blackened green beans  300g green beans, topped and tailed  30ml olive oil  Juice of 1 lemon

To make the tabbouleh, cook the couscous using equal parts grain and boiling water, and set aside. Blanche the broccolini and refresh in cold water. Dice the cucumber, green beans, celery, zucchini and feta into 1cm cubes, combine with the peas and lemon juice, then mix with the couscous. Separate the broccolini tips from their stalks and add them to the mixture. Grate or blend the remaining stalks until they resemble couscous and add to the tabbouleh. Stir in the parsley, cumin seeds and chilli, season to taste and top with the toasted pumpkin seeds. For the salsa, chop the capers and herbs finely and combine well with the cumin, lemon juice, olive oil and mustard, and season to taste. Blanche and refresh the green beans, and coat them in olive oil and lemon juice. Sear them in a very hot, dry pan until lightly charred. Place on top of the tabbouleh and drizzle the caper salsa over just before serving.