The Food of Romance

We don’t do Valentine’s day at our place, but we do celebrate our love! (too cheesy?)

Every now and then I get a fit of vegan gourmet wrapped in a lovegush for Mr, and this usually turns into some heart shaped food.

Last week I had an exceptionally large lovegush/fooddream collision, and the results were fresh tomato soup, beet ravioli, strawberry carpaccio and a caramelised onion, pear and walnut tart. All with some pink or some hearts, of course.

Fresh tomato soup

Fresh Tomato Soup

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 very ripe tomatoes
  • tomato paste, as needed
  • filtered water
  • pepper and salt, to taste

This is so easy to make. Fry the onion in some oil, until translucent (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic, and fry for a further 3 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, adding water if it dries out a little. Add about 1 cup of water, and blend. Taste – if the tomatoes are not super ripe, or if they’re from the supermarket, you’ll need to add some tomato paste. Then heat, stir and season.

Home made vegan beet ravioli

I borrowed this concept from Flavours of Venice, by Rosalba Gioffre, and borrowed from the Moreland Library. I made many changes to the recipe in order to veganise it.

I used my own pasta recipe, rather than the egg pasta suggested. For the filling I used some boiled beetroot, a teensy bit of cheesly, some mashed tofu, and some nutmeg. I had intended to make heart shapes, but my rolling was a little off, and I settled for any basic polygon instead.

I served the ravioli with just some margarine, olive oil, salt, and herbs from the garden.

Strawberry and Zucchini Carpaccio

Strawberry and Zucchini Carpaccio

Carpaccio is usually raw meat, cut very thinly. I think its better this way.

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 small zucchini
  • small bunch mint leaves
  • 1 tbs agave syrup
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs olive oil

Slice the zucchini very thinly and set aside. To make hearts, cut a triangle underneath the strawberry “cap” to remove it, leave a pointy heart. Very carefully, slice the strawberries.

Mince the mint, and combine in a bowl with the oil, agave and vinegar. Muddle, then gently toss the zucchini and strawberries in it, and set aside for the flavour to develop for at least 30 minutes (60 if you can).

Heart Tart

Caramelised Onion, Pear and Walnut Tart (makes 4)

  • 2 sheets vegan pastry
  • 1 large red onion
  • oil
  • 2 tbs agave syrup
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup beetroot water (from boiling the beetroot for the ravioli – can be replaces with water or juice)
  • 1 pear
  • 4 tbs crushed walnuts
  • 4 tbs vegan cheese
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 160 degrees. Take the pastry out of the freezer to thaw.
  2. In a frying pan heat a little olive oil, then add the onion. Fry for 5 minutes, then add the vinegar, agave and sugar.
  3. Continue to cook, stirring as necessary, until the sugar begins to dissolve. Add the beetroot water a little at a time, over 20 minutes of cooking.
  4. If your pear is firm, add slices into the onion mixture at about the 15 minute mark. If it is soft, don’t add it.
  5. Cut the pastry sheets in half so they each form 2 triangles. Chop the acute corners (the two corners on the long edge of the triangle) to blunt them. Roll the edges in, little by little, and press into the middle to form a heart shape. You will have to do some molding to form the top.
  6. Arrange the onion and pear mixture (or pear slices) onto the pastry. Sprinkle with walnuts and cheezly, and place in the oven.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, and allow to cool a little before serving.

Whatever you’re making, have a crack at making shapes – its fun, and definitley worth the effort to make your dining partner smile.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Johanna GGG says:

    lovely dinner (no pun intended)

    I think if you have romance during the year you don’t need valentine’s day – though it is still fun to celebrate

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