Recipe: Shiitake mushroom, caramelised onion and chickpea bake with Swiss chard

24 October 2019

Serves 4 to 6

  • 3tbs extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 680g shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
  • 2tbs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 medium onions, quartered and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • ½tsp fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 170g sliced Swiss chard (tough stems removed)
  • 215g cooked chickpeas, drained,
  • 60ml cooking liquid reserved, or one 425g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 1tbs tamari
  • 2tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 60ml filtered water if using canned chickpeas
  • 2tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1tbs filtered water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cauliflower bake topping (below)

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Warm a large frying pan over medium-high heat and pour in one tablespoon of the oil. Add half the shiitake and the thyme, stir to coat with oil, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring only every minute or two, until the shiitake are golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Repeat with another tablespoon of oil and the remaining mushrooms. Wash and dry the skillet if there are blackened bits on the bottom.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the onions and cook over medium heat for eight minutes or until beginning to brown. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and lightly browned. Remove the lid, add the salt, and cook uncovered for another five minutes or until the onions are caramelised. Add the chard, cover and allow to steam for three minutes or until tender.

Add the chickpeas, cooked mushrooms, tamari, balsamic vinegar and chickpea cooking liquid or 60ml water, raise the heat and bring to a simmer. Dissolve the arrowroot in one tablespoon of water, stir, and drizzle into the simmering mixture, stirring constantly.

When the mixture has returned to a simmer, remove from the heat and season to taste. Transfer the mixture to a 20cm square or equivalent baking dish and smooth the surface. Spread the cauliflower topping evenly over the filling. Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the topping has begun to set. Grill for 3-6 minutes until the topping is golden and browning in parts. Remove from the grill and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

Cauliflower bake topping

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into 4cm florets
  • 75g raw pine nuts, cashews, or macadamia nuts
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 15g nutritional yeast, plus more to taste (see note)
  • ½tsp fine sea salt, plus more to taste

Set up a steamer pot with about 5cm of filtered water in the bottom and bring to a boil. Arrange the cauliflower florets in the steamer basket, cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked through but not falling apart. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Put the nuts, olive oil, yeast and salt in a high-powered blender and add the steamed cauliflower. Starting on low speed and, using the tamper stick to help press the cauliflower down, blend, gradually increasing the speed to high, until completely smooth and thick; use the tamper stick to keep the mixture moving and to scrape down the sides as you go. This will take a couple of minutes. Season with more nutritional yeast and salt to taste and blend to combine.

The topping is ready to be baked on a filling of your choice, or it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or frozen for up to three months.

Note: You can skip the nutritional yeast and the topping will still be delicious, but be sure to eason it with extra salt.

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