A little while ago Irish celebrity food writer and food photographer Donal Skehan asked be to put together a guest menu for his veggie friendly followers. Donal has his own cookery programme on RTE and is quite simply Ireland’s coolest food blogger. I had great fun putting together this menu and set of photos for him. Thank you Donal for the opportunity to showcase my work to your many many dedicated fans.
So… here it goes… My Donal Skehan Veggies and Me Menu.
Veggie Kebabs with Vegan Pesto Sauce
BBQs are an Australian national obsession and most Australians would have a signature BBQ recipe. Veggie Kebabs would have to be my ‘go to’ recipe if I am ever hosting or am invited to BBQ. Traditional Pesto is not technically vegetarian because of the Parmesan cheese so this pesto sauce has all the flavor that you love from pesto but keeps the vegetarians happy.
½ large aubergine
½ large courgette
16 cherry tomatoes
½ red pepper
½ yellow pepper
250g packet of halloumi cheese
8 kebab sticks
If you are using wooden kebab sticks soak them in water for at least an hour.
Chop the halloumi cheese into 3cm squares.
Slice the vegetables into 1cm slices.
Slide the vegetables and cheese onto the kebab sticks in a regular pattern.
Repeat the pattern on each of the kebabs so they appear uniform.
Lay the kebabs on a hot griddle or BBQ.
Turn the kebabs to grill each of the sides for a couple of minutes each.
The kebabs are cooked when the vegetables are soft.
Vegan Pesto Sauce
1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup water
salt and pepper
Add all the ingredients to a large jug and puree with a hand blender.
Drizzle the sauce over the kebabs just before you serve them.
Quinoa and Green Salad with Mango Dressing
Quinoa is such a nutritious and versatile pantry item. It makes great salads and who could say no to a fresh summery dressing made with beautiful mangos.
½ cup quinoa
2 large handfuls of green beans
3 cups mixed salad leaves
2 ripe mangos
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 cup fresh basil leaves
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions.
Set the cooked quinoa aside and allow to cool.
Blanch the green beans and refresh them in cold water to keep the bright green colour.
Add the flesh from the mangos, balsamic vinegar, basil leaves and olive oil to a large jug and blend with a hand blender briefly.
Add the cold quinoa, beans and salad leaves to a large bowl.
Pour a generous amount of the mango dressing onto the salad and toss.
Grilled Peaches with Lemon Butter
One of my favorite things about summer is stone fruit. I think warm peaches with smooth, zesty lemon butter is a great way of topping off a summery feat with friends.
4 fresh ripe peaches
4 free-range organic eggs
¾ cup rapadura whole cane sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water
125g handmade country butter
Lemon Butter: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir continuously.
Stir until the mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Poor into a hot sterilized jar and seal when cold.
This lemon butter keeps for 4 weeks in the fridge.
Cut the peaches in half and remove the stones.
Lay the peach halves on an oven tray and grill for 10 minutes.
Spoon 2 teaspoons of the lemon butter into the center of the peach halves and return to the grill for another 2 minutes.
Serve with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice-cream.
Tune in for Donal’s Kitchen Hero cookery programme… 8.30pm on RTÉ One