3 Vegan Recipes From One Of London’s Best Veggie Restaurants
3 Vegan Recipes From One Of London’s Best Veggie Restaurants

3 Vegan Recipes From One Of London’s Best Veggie Restaurants

Plant-based restaurant group, Mildreds, has just launched a cookbook. Easy Vegan draws on the team’s wealth of experience and creativity in vegan cooking, bringing together an impressive collection of more than 100 simple recipes. From an autumnal supper to a fun bake, here are three recipes to try at home.
By Heather Steele

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The first Mildreds opened in Soho in 1988 as a cool, casual restaurant that didn’t serve any meat. Our food is colourful, international, seasonal and, most importantly, tasty. Vegan cooking may feel daunting at first, but our new book has been written to make sure plant-based food is accessible, delicious and, of course, easy. Whether you follow a completely vegan diet or not, you will find these recipes are the perfect way to introduce new ideas into your kitchen. With this book, we want to show you how exciting vegan cooking can be. When you eat these dishes, you will never feel like you are missing out on meat and dairy. Instead, you will be opening yourself up to new ingredients, techniques and experiences. 

These recipes are written by our chefs, from our homes to yours. We want to share how we cook in our own time, as busy working people who need to make something nice when they get home after a long day, feed hungry kids in a hurry, whip up a date-night dinner or create a quick, impressive meal for guests at the weekend without spending all day in the kitchen. We cooked all these dishes at home for our friends and loved ones, and nothing made it into the book if it wasn’t a hit with them. Of course, we have also included some favourites with our customers at the restaurants, too, while making sure they’re all super simple to recreate at home.


Here are three recipes to make at home…

Butternut Squash Arancini

Arancini are a Sicilian fried snack made by rolling leftover risotto into balls, then coating the risotto balls in breadcrumbs and frying them. They make a great appetiser served with drinks. The risotto recipe below is delicious in its own right, so this is really two dishes in one. Ideally, make the risotto with homemade vegetable stock, but if you don’t have time, you can buy a good fresh stock from the supermarket.

For the risotto:
750ml of vegetable stock
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 large sage leaves, chopped
150g of butternut squash, cubed
150g of arborio rice
1 tsp of nutritional yeast
100g of vegan parmesan-style cheese, grated
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the arancini:
200g of plain flour, plus extra for rolling if needed
1 pinch of salt
300ml of water
200g of panko breadcrumbs
Rapeseed or sunflower oil, for frying
10 sage leaves
Step 1

Bring the vegetable stock to the boil in a small saucepan over a medium heat, then reduce the heat so that it is barely simmering.

Step 2

Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a low-medium heat. Add the onion and cook gently for 2 minutes until soft and translucent but not coloured.

Step 3

Increase the heat to medium–high and add the sage and butternut squash. Cook for 5 minutes to caramelise the squash, then ladle in about two thirds of the stock. Cover with a lid and cook for 10-12 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the squash is soft.

Step 4

Smash the butternut squash with a wooden spoon to create a chunky mash, then add the rice and stir until well coated with the squash. Add the remaining stock, a ladleful at a time, adding just enough to cover the rice each time. Keep stirring until the rice has fully absorbed the stock before adding the next ladleful. The rice is ready when it has plumped up and is tender on the outside but retains a slight firmness at the centre (al dente). This will take around 15 minutes.

Step 5

Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the nutritional yeast, then take off the heat. The risotto is ready to serve, but if you want to use it to make arancini, it needs to cool completely. Spread the risotto in a thin layer on a tray and put it in the fridge so it cools quickly and doesn’t lose its bite.

Step 6

Once the rice is completely cold (this will take about 2 hours), stir in the vegan parmesan cheese.

Step 7

To shape the arancini, keep a bowl of water close by so you can moisten your hands to help you during the process. Take a couple of tablespoons of rice at a time (around 40g) and shape into a ball. Set aside on a plate or tray while you roll the rest. (If you find the mixture is too wet to shape properly, you can roll the balls in a little flour to help.)

Step 8

To make the batter, combine the flour, salt and water in a bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whisk to prevent any lumps from forming. Scatter the panko breadcrumbs on to a plate or into a shallow bowl.

Step 9

Dip the arancini into the batter, one at a time, making sure that you cover them completely, then roll in the panko breadcrumbs to coat.

Step 10

Pour oil into a large saucepan to a depth of 7.5cm-10cm and place over a medium heat. Heat the oil to 180°C. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, you can test to see if it’s ready by dropping in a small cube of white bread. It should bubble and turn golden, but the oils should not spit or smoke.

Step 11

Fry the arancini one at a time, or two at a time at most, so as not to lower the temperature of the oil by overcrowding the pan. Fry for 5-8 minutes until golden brown, then drain on a plate lined with paper towels while you cook the rest.

Step 12

Turn off the heat and allow the temperature of the oil to come down to 160°C (this will take 2-5 minutes), then deep-fry the sage leaves for 2 minutes until crisp

Step 13

Serve the arancini with the fried sage and a side of aioli or romesco, for dipping.

Chilli Miso Butter Udon

Requiring just five minutes and one pot, this is a deliciously quick dinner with minimal washing-up. Prepared udon usually comes in pre-packed portions of 200g, so this recipe serves one but can easily be multiplied. Gochujang has a warm, medium heat, but if you don’t like spice, you can replace the gochujang with regular red or white miso paste.

1 tbsp of gochujang paste
½ tbsp of soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp of sesame oil
80g of tenderstem broccoli, trimmed and cut into 2cm slices
200g of udon noodles
1 garlic clove, grated
6 shiitake mushrooms, cut into razor-thin slivers
1 tbsp of plant-based butter
1 large handful of baby spinach
2 spring onions, very finely sliced
Step 1

In a small bowl, combine the gochujang, soy sauce or tamari and sesame oil.

Step 2

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil over a medium heat. Add the broccoli and udon noodles and cook for 3 minutes.

Step 3

Drain the noodles and broccoli and return to the pan, still over a medium heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms, along with the gochujang mixture and butter. Cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine

Step 4

Stir in the spinach, then transfer to a bowl and serve, topped with the spring onions.

Dark Chocolate Chip & Sea Salt Cookies

The best chocolate chip cookies are golden and crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle. There is a very simple trick to ensuring that you get this result, which is easy but requires patience. If you cook the dough straight away, the cookies will puff in the middle and then collapse and either taste dry or cakey. However, if you allow the dough to rest in the fridge for 24-48 hours, the gluten has time to form, meaning the middle will be both fully cooked and gooey. The rolls of cookie dough can be cut into slices and stored in the freezer, which means you can have freshly baked cookies whenever you want.

275g of plant-based butter, at room temperature
100g of caster sugar
300g of soft light brown sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
90ml of soy milk
300g of plain flour
240g of strong white bread flour
¼ tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp of sea salt flakes, plus extra to decorate
300g of dark chocolate chips
Step 1

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, both sugars and the vanilla extract until pale and fluffy. Alternatively, use a stand mixer, making sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly add the milk, beating between each addition until well incorporated.

Step 2

In a separate bowl, combine both flours with the bicarbonate of soda, salt and chocolate chips. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat slowly to combine until you have a thick dough with no lumps of flour left.

Step 3

Cut out 2 long sheets of baking parchment. Separate the dough into 2 balls, then shape each one into a roll and roll tightly in the baking parchment. The rolls should be about 10cm in diameter. Twist the ends of the baking parchment so the rolls are tightly closed, then chill in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

Step 4

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas mark 4 and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.

Step 5

Cut the cookie dough into discs of around 50g each (about 1cm/½in thick) and arrange on the prepared trays, spacing them out evenly and pressing them down slightly.

Step 6

Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden around the edges but not browning, then cool for 10 minutes before eating. If baking from frozen, allow to defrost on the tray for 10 minutes, then bake for 18 minutes. Decorate with a sprinkling of sea salt flakes. These are best consumed warm with a cold glass of plant-based milk.

Mildreds Easy Vegan is out now and is available to buy here.

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