Take the new potatoes: boiled in their feathery skins and slathered in best butter or olive oil they are essentially perfect – especially if you are lucky enough to be able to dig your own spuds, scrub them clean, and cook them in a matter of moments. Heavenly.
We used to have an allotment overlooking Edinburgh Castle (what a magical view when sipping from a welcome flask of tea!) where we grew experimental potato varieties. Cropping from June to October, we never tired of eating them.
And broccoli: we grow a few varieties of long-stemmed broccoli most years, and rarely bother with more than a quick blanch before anointing with lemon juice and sprinkling on some flaky Maldon salt.
Good ingredients rarely need much fuss made of them.
But this year both vegetables will have a hard time escaping being at least associated with our new food to glow obsession: homemade, vegan aquafaba mayonnnaise. It is so wonderful – lick off the spoon-able, in fact – that I have dubbed it mega-nnaise. Don’t believe me? Drain a tin of chickpeas, blend the liquid from the chickpeas (yes, the liquid) with the short list of ingredients below, and tell me that it isn’t at least as good as very good French mayonnaise. Andrew thinks it is better, and pretty much ate the first batch within two days. Who even cares that it is vegan? But of course it is good to know, and a great recipe for anyone who can’t eat eggs.
These ingredients are basically store cupboard stuff, so what have you got to lose? It only takes a couple of minutes, so you aren’t even eating into time you could be doing something more important (as if). Besides, it is curiously fun watching the unpromising looking liquid billow up into a creamy, unctuous condiment with the help of an immersion blender.
I have been whizzing this mayonnaise with horseradish, tapenade, preserved lemon in a few little happy experiments. Firstly I make a plain batch, and then customise according to how it will be used. My mega-nnaise goes wherever any egg-based mayo goes – sandwiches, dips, sauces, cakes.
It’s not just bloggers like me who have caught the aquafaba bug: just this morning I saw the tail-end of a TV segment where they made a frothy cocktail using aquafaba instead of egg white And the testers approved. Has anyone tried this yet? I’m willing to try this soon and report back!
Have you made anything with aquafaba yet? How was it for you?
Crispy Smashed Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli and Vegan Aioli
I urge you to make the incredibly simple vegan doppelganger for mayonnaise. That is all. xx
–Mayonnnaise recipe adapted from peanutbutterandvegan.com.
400g evenly sized new/baby potatoes, scrubbed
3 cloves of garlic, peeled but kept whole
200g Tenderstem broccoli, purple-sprouting broccoli, or lengths of green large-head broccoli (include some stem) – trimmed
2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil, divided use
Watercress or pea shoots, to serve
Lemon, to serve
Salt and pepper, to taste
Vegan Aquafaba Mayonnaise/Aioli
3 tbsp chickpea liquid/aquafaba (if you need to, see my previous posts using aquafaba for more information about its uses/properties)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (I prefer the vinegar)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp maple syrup or sugar
165ml (3/4 cup) organic, cold-pressed rapeseed oil or good quality mild olive oil
Optional: two of the boiled cloves of garlic from the potatoes (above), mashed; poached eggs to make it a meal rather than a side dish. Obviously this last step makes it unsuitable for vegans.
Special equipment needed: immersion/hand blender
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
2. Prepare the mayonnaise by adding all but the oil into a steep-sided jug. Blend for a few seconds, then slowly and in a thin stream, add the oil. Keep blending until it is thick and creamy. Set aside to wait for the garlic, which you will soften and tame by boiling with the potatoes. Here is what it looks like while making it (press the arrow to view the video):
3. Boil the potatoes in salted water with the garlic cloves until they are tender when pierced, but not falling apart. Drain and let cool slightly. Fish out the garlic and mash two of them. Add the garlic to the mayonnaise and blend in thoroughly.
5. Heat the remaining oil in a large non-stick/cast iron skillet. While the pan is heating, lay the potatoes on your work surface and cover the potatoes with a tea towel; use your palm to gently press and crack each potato. Or you could use the bottom of a clean bowl. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes in a single layer and brown on each side until crispy. Sprinkle with flaky salt.
6. To serve, add the broccoli to the potato pan or add both to a warmed serving dish, top with watercress or pea shoots, squeeze over lemon and either dot with some of the garlic mayonnaise, or serve the mayo separately in a jug. Top with poached eggs if you wish. You should have plenty of mayo left for other uses. Keep refrigerated in a jar and use within two weeks.
See how creamy it is in this video:
Other Aquafaba Recipes on Food To Glow (and more to come!):
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