The most recent addition to my collection of old vegetarian cookbooks is The Bryngoleu Cookery Book by Lily L. Allen, published in England in 1906. It focuses around menus, rather than catergorised recipes, and today’s lunch was based on one part of one course of one of the dinner menus (they didn’t half eat a lot back then!). I had to veganise part of it, as you will see
First, the original:
A delicious stew can be made thus:—Run some walnuts through the nut mill and brown them in butter in a saucepan, add a grated onion, half a tin of tomato rubbed through a sieve, and vegetable stock to make a thick gravy. Add pieces of cooked Nuttose or other nut meat and, last of all—about twenty minutes before serving, some forcemeat balls prepared from bread-crumbs, parsley, sweet herbs, lemon-peel, seasoning, butter reduced to oil and one egg to bind. The balls must be fried in butter before they are added to the stew.
And now, my modernised, vegan version.
A handful of walnuts, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes with basil
The remains of a tin of Nuttolene (about 1/3 of a tin)
Vegetable stock powder
Olive oil for frying
Fry the walnuts and onion in olive oil until the nuts start to brown. Add the tinned tomatoes and the vegetable stock powder, and simmer. Make the balls (see below). If it begins to stick, or get too thick, add a splash of water. When the balls are ready, add the Nuttolene and the balls, and stew another 10 minutes or so. The sauce should be dark and thick.
1 thin slice wholemeal bread, beginning to go a bit stale.
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl wholemeal flour
water to bind.
Herbs to taste
Yuzu (Japanese citron peel seasoning)
Turn the bread into breadcrumbs using a Swiss chopper, food processor etc. Add the flour and herbs, then rub in the olive oil. Add just enough water to bind it and form into four small flattened balls. Fry the balls slowly in olive oil until nice and golden. Add them to the stew to finish.
This served one as a complete meal. Originally it was served with Yorkshire pudding, cabbage and potatoes as part of a substantial three course meal – in that circumstance, it would be two generous portions at least.