Living a more bucolic way of life has made me more sensitive to the provenance of animal products. My diet is mainly plant based but when I do buy meat, as far as possible I make sure it is ethically sourced and that all cuts are used.
I believe it a great malfeasance to only use select parts of the animal. If it is to surrender its life for our sustenance, then it should not be in vain. Yes, this can work out more expensive, so I eat it very rarely.
On such days, its dishes like this that make my senses come alive. Punchy, fresh and wholly satisfying, especially if you make your own baguettes.
Make, enjoy and wonder why you don’t eat more plant-based foods often…
½ Butternut Squash, cut into 1 cm wedges
1 sweet Potato, cut into 1 cm discs
200g Tender stem Broccoli
2 Red Peppers, cut into chunks
1 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tsp Ginger, minced
4 tbsp Char Siu sauce
1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 ½ tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Palm Sugar
2 Carrots, shredded
2 Spring Onions, thinly sliced
20g Coriander, chopped
Large Handful Beansprouts
10g Vietnamese Coriander, leaves picked
2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
1 tsp Palm Sugar
1 tsp Soy Sauce
4 Demi Baguettes
Kewpie or Vegan Mayo
1. Heat the oven 180C. Rub the squash, potato, broccoli and peppers with the oil and roast 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, char Siu, rice vinegar, soy and sugar in a small pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes then tumble over the vegetables. Roast the vegetables for 5 minutes more or until cooked through and sticky with the glaze. Remove the lemongrass and set aside.
3. Meanwhile combine the vegetables for the slaw in a large bowl. Mix the vinegar, sweet chilli, palm sugar and soy and pour over. Mix to combine.
4. Split your baguettes lengthways and spoon in the veggies, followed by the slaw, hot sauce, peanuts and mayo.
5. Serve with lime wedges and plenty of napkins.