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Cooking Session 33
How To Confit Tomatoes + Spiced Pear Cake For The Weekend + Homegrown Mangoes + Quick Chopped Salads + Ways To Boost Protein on Veg Diet
We’ve just harvested our first dozen mangoes. From our lone, little mango tree which almost didn’t survive!
We planted a Bowen mango tree roughly 14 years ago smack in the middle of our front garden in the flight path of the harsh summer sun. We thought it would give it the heat it required to thrive in Sydney’s summer which is far cry from the harsher Northern territory summers where all the mangoes grow. Oh, how wrong we were!
In the second week of summer since its first planting, the four mango leaves that were on the sapling burnt to a brown crisp. But new ones sprouted and we persisted, only to have the reedy young trunk of the tree repeatedly used as a bumper for reversing Tonka trucks by our sons. I was very sure the tree was going to snap into two. After two years of domestic and environmental abuse, we dug up the mango tree and moved it to the side of the house where it promptly went into shock and hibernated for a few years. We thought it had finally died.
But then, suddenly a few years ago it woke up and grew and grew and this year we first saw flowers a few months ago that quickly became fruit. We picked them still green from the burgeoning branches. We wrapped them up in brown paper and packed them in a cardboard box to ripen. But a couple I’ve saved to use up raw in these salads. It adds a burst of tangy freshness to a quick chopped salad (something we have with every meal!). I’ve shared some of my favourite, easy, chopped salad variations below.
shaved green mango, sliced cucumber, shredded cabbage, fresh chilli, coriander, spring onions, lime juice, palm sugar, oil, salt and pepper.
diced raw mango, halved cherry tomatoes, diced red onion, chopped cabbage, coriander, lemon juice, salt, sugar, mint.
shredded green mango, diced red onion, chopped red capsicum, green chilli, cabbage, coriander, fish sauce, palm sugar, salt, lemon. (pictured above)
With a sourness akin to raw papaya, raw mango has a softer flesh that is almost like a creamy lemon sorbet. As a devout mango lover growing up in India, raw mangoes were always sliced and rubbed in chilli and salt before eating. A brave but addictive eating exercise that we love partaking in even today!
Now let’s get cracking with Cooking Session No 33 and enjoy today’s free Confit Tomato Recipe!
What’s Cooking In My Kitchen!
I adore plain cakes (ones that have enough flavour without needing icings or glazes!). Perhaps, it is because I am a lazy baker and have an allergy to non-unrefined sugar (true story!). But I love baking cakes with seasonal fruit, spices and nuts. These are the best kind of cakes. Golden crumb, sticky edges from the caramelization of fruit, aromatic from the warming spices! And if you’ve baked it with a more robust flour like rye - then the cake evokes European bakeries in the wee hours of the morning or a rustic farmhouse dotting the mist-laden horizon in peak autumn. This Spiced Pear Cake is a decade-old recipe that has stood the test of time - baked with rye flour and Beurre Bosc pears. Bake it this weekend and tell me how much you love it!
and it’s vegan too!
I don’t know if you can tell from the sticky, jammy, risotto liquid at the bottom of the pan but this Mushroom risotto is packed with all the umami flavour! I love using a mix of mushrooms .. button, cap, portobello, Swiss brown, dried porcini and some enoki (for texture!). Braised in red wine (oh dear Lord! that heartiness ..) with miso and saffron creates the most unbelievably delicious flavour profile. The best thing! Whack everything in a pot and bake in the oven. Truly easy, truly delicious.
Members, you shall be receiving this delicious salad in your inbox next week (the creamy dressing is to die for!) along with a HUGE first-ever veg box inspiration and recipe section to sort out your weekly cooking! Don’t miss out!
I send out beautiful veg recipes every week via email to my paid members. They are easy, nutritious and absolutely delicious - you’ll want to make them ASAP! To receive these, lots of other exclusive content and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Meal Prep Sunday
So let’s get sorted for the week. I am getting so many emails from you lot asking me how I get more protein in on a vego diet. That is easy! Chickpeas, quinoa, tofu … and more chickpeas! Prepping two salads on Sunday with these ingredients means I can boost my protein at every meal throughout the week. Let’s meal prep this Sunday to celebrate protein in all its vegetarian glory - with these 4 easy to make dishes! If you are meal prepping, share your prep with me on Instagram #mealprepwithcookrepublic.
Vegetables Used - Spinach, beetroot, onion, green peas, kale, spring onions.
Spinach Garlic Butter Beans - Made entirely with pantry ingredients, this protein bomb lasts in the fridge for almost 5 days and is great warmed up on some toasted sourdough. From there, you can boost protein further by adding a dollop of ricotta/cottage cheese or a fried egg. Absolutely delicious!
A Good Beetroot Hummus - A whole can of chickpeas in this easy-to-blend hummus that can be slathered on every sandwich or wrap you make during the week. Also if you don’t like beetroot, cook carrot and add that instead for a bright orange hummus!
Supergreen Falafels w Turmeric Tahini Sauce - Packed with green veggies, this dish is incredibly flavourful and has a lot of protein from chickpeas and tahini. Lasts a whole week and you can make a big batch for a nourishing snack or light meal when the hunger strikes!
Tofu Larb - The incredibly delicious veg version of Thai Larb Gai! Scrambled spicy tofu in the most delicious Thai sauce, topped with toasted crushed rice and lots of aromatics and herbs. Heats up really well, lasts almost a week in the fridge and is packed with protein!
Watching BEEF on Netflix
Until next week! Be well, eat well and get some sun!
How To Confit Tomatoes
750g cherry tomatoes, washed
8 garlic cloves
6 sprigs of fresh thyme + 3 sprigs of fresh oregano (or 1 tsp each of dried)
1 tsp flaky salt + cracked black pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place 3 sprigs of thyme and 2 sprigs of oregano in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Add tomatoes and garlic.
Top with remaining herbs, salt and pepper. Drizzle with all the oil. Mix gently.
Roast in a preheated oven at 130°C (260°F) for 2 hours. Remove and cool completely. Spoon in a glass jar, add extra herb sprigs. Cover with a tight seal and use up within 2 weeks.
Great on - Ricotta Sourdough Toast, Pizza and Pasta.
Thank you for reading and being a part of my little food community. Please feel free to share this deliciousness. x
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