Five summery vegan recipes with just five ingredients

These simple tomato fritters will take you back to the Greek Islands.
These simple tomato fritters will take you back to the Greek Islands. Photo: Luke Albert

These simplified summer meals are still full of flavour and substance, despite their minimal ingredients lists (olive oil, salt and pepper don't count!).

Santorini tomato fritters

If you've been lucky enough to visit a Greek island, it's likely that you've sampled authentic tomato fritters, originating from the beautiful island of Santorini. Some varieties contain fresh mint or basil, but I love the burst of flavour that flat-leaf parsley adds.

Serve hot with cool unsweetened soya yoghurt to dip, and a wedge of lemon to squeeze over – perfect with a leafy green salad.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 300g cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil

METHOD

Five Ingredient Vegan by Katy Beskow.
Five Ingredient Vegan by Katy Beskow. Photo: Hardie Grant Books
  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and dried oregano.
     
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and flat-leaf parsley, then season with sea salt and black pepper. Add 50ml cold water and stir to form a thick batter.
     
  3. Heat the oil in a frypan until hot. Add in tablespoons of the batter (up to four at a time, to avoid the fritters touching and merging) and cook for 1 minute until golden and crisp, then carefully flip the fritters and cook on the other side. Drain on paper towels or a clean teatowel, then repeat the cooking process until all of the batter has been used. Serve hot.

Serves 2 generously

Tip: The key to perfect fritters is hot oil: if the oil isn't hot enough, the fritters will be soggy. Test the oil by dropping a small amount of the mixture into the pan; if it turns golden within a few seconds, the oil is ready.

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Roasted cherry tomato risotto. Vegan recipe extract for Good Food online from Five Ingredient Vegan by Katy Beskow published by Hardie Grant Books. Single use only. Photography © Luke Albert.

Photo: Luke Albert

Roasted cherry tomato risotto

For me, this recipe is risotto perfection. Creamy arborio rice, a hint of garlic and sweet roasted cherry tomatoes – and what's more, it's ready in just 30 minutes. Serve in warmed bowls.

INGREDIENTS

  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g arborio risotto rice
  • 500g passata
  • 800ml hot vegetable stock
  • generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
     
  2. Arrange the cherry tomatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
     
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the risotto. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic and cook over a medium heat for 1 minute until the garlic has softened and infused the oil. Pour in the rice and cook for a further minute until the edges of the rice become transparent.
     
  4. Pour the passata into a large bowl or jug and mix in the vegetable stock until combined. Ladle or pour a quarter of the passata-stock liquid into the saucepan, stirring frequently. Allow the rice to swell and cook, then add in another quarter of the liquid. Continue until all of the liquid has been used and absorbed; this should take 25-30 minutes. Remove from the heat.
     
  5. Remove the roasted cherry tomatoes from the oven, then stir them through the risotto. Season with sea salt and plenty of black pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Serves 4

Tip: Scatter over some basil leaves if you have them available, for added flavour and fragrance.

Coconut and pumpkin traybake. Vegan recipe extract for Good Food online from Five Ingredient Vegan by Katy Beskow published by Hardie Grant Books. Single use only. Photography © Luke Albert.

Photo: Luke Albert

Coconut and pumpkin traybake

Sometimes dinner is as easy as adding everything to a roasting tin and letting the oven do all the hard work. This simple traybake will be ready to serve in less than 45 minutes. I love serving it with wedges of lemon for a fresh contrast to the coconut milk.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 3cm cubes (about 500g prepared weight)
  • handful of green beans, trimmed
  • 200g basmati rice
  • 400ml canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp mild curry paste (ensure dairy free)
  • generous pinch of sea salt

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
     
  2. Arrange the butternut pumpkin and green beans in a deep roasting tin and scatter in the rice.
     
  3. In a jug, mix 200ml cold water with the coconut milk and curry paste until combined. Pour this into the roasting tin, making sure it covers all of the ingredients. Cover with foil, then bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
     
  4. Remove from the oven and carefully lift off the foil. Season with sea salt before serving.

Serves 4

Tip: This recipe also works well with frozen pumpkin, saving you peeling and chopping time.

Cumin-roasted cauliflower and mango salad

Lightly spiced and roasted cauliflower, sweet mango ribbons, coriander and watercress are combined in this refreshing lunch that is delicious either warm or coldn.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 mango, peeled, stoned and sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
  • 2 generous handfuls of watercress
  • small handful of coriander, roughly torn
  • pinch of sea salt and black pepper

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C and arrange the cauliflower florets evenly on a baking tray.
     
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the oil and ground cumin. Use a pastry brush to coat the cauliflower with the cumin oil. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp at the edges.
     
  3. In the meantime, toss the mango ribbons, watercress and coriander together on a serving plate.
     
  4. Carefully remove the roasted cauliflower florets from the oven and toss into the salad. Season with sea salt and black pepper and drizzle over any hot oil from the tray.

Serves 2 generously

Tip: For added protein and extra crunch, scatter a few toasted flaked almonds over the salad.

Coconut panna cotta with mango coulis

Cool and creamy with a fruity topping, this panna cotta recipe has a tropical twist for a taste of the summer. Panna cotta is traditionally made with cream, which I've switched to coconut milk; and gelatine, for which I've substituted vegan-friendly agar. Agar is a thickener produced from seaweed, and will give your panna cotta the all-important set and 'wobble'.

INGREDIENTS

  • 400ml canned coconut milk
  • 1½ tbsp castor sugar
  • 3 tsp agar flakes*
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp pineapple juice
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, stoned and diced

METHOD

  1. Add the coconut milk, castor sugar and agar flakes to a pan and bring to a simmer over a low-medium heat for 4-5 minutes until you can see that all of the agar flakes have fully dissolved.
     
  2. Pour the mixture into two 180ml dariole moulds, then refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours, to allow the mixture to set completely.
     
  3. To make the mango coulis, add the pineapple juice and two-thirds of the diced mango to a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes until softened and combined. Pour into a high-powered jug blender (or use a hand blender) and blitz until smooth. Chill for at least an hour.
     
  4. Remove the panna cotta from the fridge and stand the moulds in a bowl of hot water for up to a minute, to make removal easier. Place the panna cotta moulds on serving plates and gently shake to allow the panna cotta to slide onto the plates.
     
  5. Stir the remaining mango into the coulis, then pour over the panna cotta and serve immediately.

Serves 2

*Agar flakes are available in large supermarkets, and also in Asian grocers.

This is an edited extract from Five Ingredient Vegan by Katy Beskow published by Hardie Grant Books, $39.99, available in stores nationally. Photography: © Luke Albert