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Recipes: Have a plant-based Hallowe'en party




Now, more than ever, every meal shared with family and friends feels like a reason to celebrate. That’s the ethos behind Celebrate: Plant-Based Recipes for Every Occasion, the latest book from culinary wellness guru Bettina Campolucci Bordi. With Hallowe’en on the horizon, here are three of her top dishes for the party table

Whole Roasted Stuffed Marrow

Serves 4–6, depending on the size of the marrow

Celebrate by Bettina Campolucci Bordi - Stuffed Marrow (50792677)
Celebrate by Bettina Campolucci Bordi - Stuffed Marrow (50792677)

The marrow is such an underestimated vegetable and not used or praised enough. It can be daunting because of its size and mysterious spongy flavour. Cooking it low and slow is the key here. This turned out to be one of everyone’s favourite dishes when we were testing the recipes for the book – as I’m sure you will all agree!

Ingredients:

1 large marrow (if you can't find marrow use 2 large white courgettes/zucchinis)

1⁄2 red onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

75 g (21⁄2 oz) almonds, blitzed

1 tablespoon barbecue spice

1⁄2 teaspoon chilli (hot pepper) flakes

Salt and pepper, to taste

Dill fronds, to garnish

Method:

If you are barbecuing the marrow, prepare and heat up the barbecue in advance or, alternatively, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).

Prepare the marrow by slicing it in half and scooping out the insides with a spoon, then set aside the two halves. Chop the scooped insides into small pieces (about 2 cm/3⁄4 in) and add to a bowl.

Add the onion, olive oil, blitzed almonds and spices to the bowl of chopped marrow and mix well. Start adding the mixture to one half of the scooped-out marrow shell.

Once the marrow is filled, place the other half on top to close and shut the marrow. Seal the marrow securely with string (making sure you use a double knot) or wrap tightly in aluminium foil if you are barbecuing it.

Place the marrow in a large baking tray (pan) lined with baking parchment and cook in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Alternatively, pop in a lidded barbecue for a good 45 minutes. If you’re going for the barbecue option, make sure this is sealed properly!

Once the marrow is cooked, it will be nice and soft, and easily sliced into lovely pieces to be eaten as a side dish or as it is.

Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Serves 6-8

Celebrate by Bettina Campolucci Bordi - Pumpkin Pie (50792676)
Celebrate by Bettina Campolucci Bordi - Pumpkin Pie (50792676)

I couldn’t leave the pumpkin pie out, could I? This lovely pie includes a pinch of spice and has lots of creamy texture. It goes well with ice cream or some whipped cream! It’s a must in my humble opinion.

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

250 g (9 oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour

Pinch of salt

Pinch of sugar

115 g (4 oz) vegan butter, chopped into small pieces, plus extra for greasing

60 ml (2 fl oz/1⁄4 cup) plant milk (I like oat milk)

For the filling:

480 g (1 lb 1 oz) pumpkin purée (see Cook’s Tips)

120 g (4 oz/11⁄4 cups) ground almonds (almond meal)

100 g (31⁄2 oz/1⁄2 cup) brown or coconut sugar

100 ml (31⁄2 fl oz/scant 1⁄2 cup) plant milk

60 g (2 oz) vegan butter

60 g (2 oz/1⁄2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour

2 cm (3⁄4 in) piece of ginger root, peeled and grated

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves

1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

To serve:

280 ml (10 fl oz/11⁄4 cups) whippable plant cream

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 vanilla pod (bean), split and the seeds scraped out, or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Grease a cake or pie pan (with a removable base so the pie will come out easily) with some butter.

Make the pastry by adding all the dry ingredients to a bowl. Use your hands to rub the chopped butter into the flour mix. Then add the milk little by little and mix well to form a dough. You can either use the pastry straightaway or, if you have time, rest it somewhere warm for 15–20 minutes. Alternatively, keep in the fridge overnight.

Roll the pastry dough into a disc that’s larger than the base of the cake/pie pan, with enough to go up the sides. Put the pastry in the pan and use your index fingers and thumbs to press into the base and sides so it lines the whole pan. Trim off any excess dough that comes over the edges with a knife. You can use the excess dough to create a criss cross pattern on top of the pie if you like.

Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and pre-cook in the oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add all the ingredients for the filling to a food processor or blender and blitz until well combined.

When the pie case is ready, remove from the oven and add the pumpkin filling. Smooth the filling flat with a palette knife, then bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

While the pie is baking, whip the cream with the maple syrup and vanilla. Chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Once the pie is ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving with the whipped cream.

COOK’S TIP:

An easy way to cook a whole pumpkin, skin and all, is to roast it in the oven at 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) for 1 hour. Once cooked, simply cut off the top, remove the seeds and use the cooked pumpkin for this and other recipes, such as risottos and salads. The pumpkin will last a week in the fridge and you can dip into it whenever you need it!

Cinnamon Caramel Toffee Apples

Serves 12

Celebrate by Bettina Campolucci Bordi - Toffee Apple (50792678)
Celebrate by Bettina Campolucci Bordi - Toffee Apple (50792678)

A homage to my childhood but made slightly better for you. This is a great recipe to make with your children – it will look good and taste even better.

Ingredients:

12 (very) small apples

12 wooden popsicle sticks

For the cinnamon caramel:

400 g (14 oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk

280 g (10 oz/11⁄2 cups) brown or coconut sugar

1⁄2 vanilla pod (bean), split and the seeds scraped out, or 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Suggested toppings:

Pistachios

Pumpkin seeds

Hemp hearts

Sesame seeds

Hazelnuts

Dried flower petals

Method:

Line a plate or tray (that will fit in the fridge) with greaseproof (waxed) paper.

To make the caramel, warm the coconut milk and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Add the vanilla, cinnamon and salt to the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes until the caramel has thickened. Stir occasionally to make sure the caramel doesn’t burn. A great way of knowing if the caramel is ready is to see if it sticks to the back of a spoon.

Prepare the toppings by chopping them into small pieces and putting each one in a separate bowl.

Insert a popsicle stick into each of the apples.

Once the caramel sauce is ready, dip the apples in the sauce, making sure you coat as much of the surface as possible, then dip them in your favourite toppings.

Sit the coated apples on the lined plate/tray, with the stick facing up, and keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours until the caramel hardens.

Celebrate: Plant-Based Recipes for Every Occasion by Bettina Campolucci Bordi is out now, published in hardback by Hardie Grant and priced £20


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