Plant-based platters for party season

This vegan-friendly tortilla (bottom left) is made with aquafaba.
This vegan-friendly tortilla (bottom left) is made with aquafaba. Photo: Lizzie Mayson

Britain's Bosh! boys share a pair of vegan-friendly platters: a tapas spread and a Middle Eastern mezze board.

Speedy tapas platter

This spread is super-quick and tasty! You need lots of pans on the go at once, so it's best to be organised and have all the ingredients ready and to hand. Using the aquafaba from the chickpeas for your tortilla is also a brilliant, waste-free use of ingredients. Try to
get good-quality Spanish jarred chickpeas (garbanzos), if you can find them. Most Spanish delis and large supermarkets sell them. This spread is perfect  for a hot summer's day, sat in the garden with a jug of sangria.

Elements

Speedy Bosh by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby.
Speedy Bosh by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby. Photo: HQ
  • Catalan spinach, chickpeas and garlic
  • Quick tortilla
  • Padron peppers
  • Marinated olives and almonds

To assemble

  1. Preheat oven to a low warming heat.
  2. Drain the chickpeas for the Catalan spinach, chickpeas and garlic, reserving the liquid (aquafaba), set aside.
  3. Start by cooking the Quick tortilla.
  4. While the tortilla is cooking, start the Padron peppers.
  5. Keep the peppers warm in the oven while you make the Marinated olives & almonds.
  6. Finally, make the Catalan spinach, chickpeas and garlic.
  7. To serve bring the dishes to the table for your guests to pick and choose from.

Serves 4-6

Quick tortilla

INGREDIENTS

  • handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • 300g aquafaba from 2 x 400g cans chickpeas (see Catalan spinach, chickpeas and garlic recipe, above)
  • 6 tbsp gram (chickpea) or plain flour
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • handful of pre-grated dairy-free cheese
  • 120g thick crinkle-cut crisps (any flavour)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red capsicum
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METHOD

  1. Chop the stalks from the parsley and set the leaves aside.
  2. Put the aquafaba, flour, smoked paprika, dairy-free cheese and chopped parsley stalks into a bowl and mix to a smooth paste.
  3. Tip in the crisps and carefully mix until coated.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Finely slice the capsicum then tip into the pan and fry for a few minutes, until softened.
  6. Tip in the tortilla mixture and flatten with a spatula.
  7. Cook for 5-6 minutes until well browned on the bottom and solid enough to flip.
  8. Flip, then cook until well browned on the other side and cooked through.
  9. Carefully place a serving plate upside down over the pan and flip the pan, with the plate, so that the tortilla drops onto the plate. Serve with the reserved parsley leaves sprinkled on top.

Makes 1 large tortilla

Padron peppers

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp Spanish olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 100g Padron peppers sea salt

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 140C.
  2. Heat the oil in the hot frying pan over high heat. Put the peppers in the hot pan with pinch of salt and let them blacken and blister, turning them occasionally.
  3. Transfer the peppers to a heatproof bowl and keep warm in the oven on the lowest shelf until ready to serve.
  4. To serve, remove the peppers from the oven and place on a serving plate • Sprinkle with some more sea salt and drizzle with olive oil

Makes 100g

Marinated olives and almonds

INGREDIENTS

  • 80g skin-on almonds pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 150g high-quality green olives
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ orange
  • Spanish olive oil, for drizzling

METHOD

  1. Place a frying pan (the same one you used to cook the Padron peppers) on a low heat. Put the almonds in the hot frying pan with the salt, chilli flakes, and a drizzle of oil and fry until lightly browned.
  2. Drain the olives and put them in a serving bowl. Tip over the almonds and toss together. Zest over the lemon and orange and squeeze over a little juice from each. Add another drizzle of olive oil and take to the table to serve.

Makes 240g

Catalan spinach, chickpeas and garlic

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and black pepper

METHOD

  1. Heat a frying pan (the same one you used to cook the Padron peppers and almonds) over a medium heat.
  2. Add the olive oil to the hot pan. Peel and slice the garlic cloves and add them to the hot oil.
  3. When the garlic is sizzling, add the drained chickpeas, turn up the heat and stir for a few minutes until well heated through. Add the tomato puree, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and ground cumin. Stir to mix the spices with the chickpeas.
  4. Add the spinach and stir over the heat while the leaves wilt. Halve the lemon and squeeze in the juice. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low until you are ready to serve.
  5. Tip into a serving bowl and serve.

Makes about 500g

Vegan recipe extract for Good Food online from Speedy Bosh by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby (HQ Non Fiction, $35). Single use only. photography Lizzie Mayson. November 2020

A colourful selection of vegan dips and veg. Photo: Lizzie Mayson

Mezze

Perfect for entertaining, nibbling or eating for lunch at your desk, little mezze dips are a weekly staple in the BOSH! household. We've combined some newly discovered flavours with a few classics, and for the full Levantine effect we've matched the dips with flatbreads , shop-bought dolmades and dippy veg. You'll definitely need a food processor here and, if you're making them all, having a silicone spatula to hand would be very helpful to speed up the process.

Elements

  • Pea, feta and mint dip
  • Beetroot, tahini and dill dip
  • Muhammara
  • Crudites, dolmades, pickled chillies and flatbreads

To assemble

  • Remove the peas for the Pea, feta and mint dip from the freezer and set aside to thaw slightly until needed.
  • Next, make the Beetroot, tahini and dill dip.
  • Now make the Muhammara.
  • Assemble the Pea, feta and mint dip.
  • Prepare the Crudites, dolmades, pickled chillies and flatbreads
  • Bring everything to the table and let your guests tuck in!

Serves 4-6

Beetroot, Tahini & Dill Dip

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ lime
  • 2 cooked beetroot
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • a small handful of dill
  • ½ tsp sesame seeds
  • salt

METHOD

  1. Squeeze the lime juice into the food processor. Add the beetroot, tahini and a generous sprinkling of salt. Blitz until smooth.
  2. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary, then scrape the dip into a serving bowl.
  3. Roughly chop the feathery fronds of the dill and sprinkle them over the dip along with the sesame seeds.

Muhammara

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ lemon
  • 1 roasted red pepper from a jar
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 80g walnuts

For the topping

  • 10g walnuts
  • handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley

METHOD

  1. Squeeze the juice of the lemon half into the food processor.
  2. Add all the rest of the muhammara ingredients and blitz until smooth.
  3. Scrape into a serving bowl.
  4. Chop the walnuts and sprinkle them over the dip, then garnish with the parsley leaves.

Pea, feta and mint dip

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ lemon
  • 80g frozen baby peas, slightly thawed
  • 100g dairy-free feta
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • handful of fresh mint leaves

For the topping

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • small handful of fresh mint leaves

METHOD

  1. Squeeze the lemon juice into the food processor.
  2. Add the slightly thawed peas, feta, oil and mint leaves. Blitz until well combined, but still retaining some texture.
  3. Scrape into a serving bowl and swirl the top with the back of a spoon to make a small indent.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil into the dip and garnish with mint leaves.

Crudites, dolmades, pickled chillies & flatbreads

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 flatbreads
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ cucumber
  • ½ fennel bulb
  • 6 celery sticks
  • a bunch of radishes with leaves
  • pinch of dried mint
  • ½ lemon
  • 300g jar pickled green chillies
  • 280g can dolmades

METHOD

  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Toast the flatbreads under the hot grill for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Trim and slice the carrot, cucumber, fennel and celery into sticks or wedges for dipping.
  4. Rinse and halve the radishes, retaining their leaves.
  5. Arrange the vegetables on a platter, sprinkle over the dried mint and squeeze over a little lemon juice.
  6. Drain the  pickled chillies and dolmades and transfer to small serving dishes.

This is an edited extract from Speedy Bosh! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, published by HQ, RRP $35, buy now.