One of the most amazing things one will discover following a plant-rich diet is that it surely doesn’t limit the range of recipes and dining experiences one may have, as soon as there is a great variety of plant-based dishes that are as tasty and memorable as the animal-based. Besides the creation of composite recipes, the use of spices and the art of cooking are not privileges of those who consume animal products, but have their roots back in the human history and the desire to turn a vital need –food- into a delight.
So trying to find a gourmet stuffing for our sandwiches, a topping for our pizzas or our pasta, I occasionally experiment with several recipes for vegan cold cuts. Here I wanted to make something easy, delicious and nutritious without gluten or hard-to-find ingredients and so I ended on this vegan pepperoni. Usually I make it with dry fava-beans –a pulse that is very common in Greece, as I believe that their taste is engaged nicely with the spices, giving a delicious result. But if one cannot eat fava-beans or do not like them, he/she can simply use the same amount of other kinds of beans. Giant beans, especially black giant-beans, or any kind of red beans are good choices.
I prefer soaking and cooking the beans by myself, but if you like you can use canned beans as well.
- 1 ½ cups fava beans or other kind of beans, cooked and drained
- 3 tbsp chickpea flour
- 3 tbsp rice flour or corn flour
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 6-7 sun-dried tomatoes in olive-oil, chopped
- 4-5 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 small chili pepper chopped
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground dry chili
- 8-10 green Kalamata olives pitted, cut into large pieces
- Place the beans in the food processor and process for a few minutes until mashed. Alternatively mash with a fork or the puree machine.
- Add the remaining ingredients except olives, and process for 1-2 more minutes until they incorporate.
- Finally add the olives and process lightly.
- Put the mixture on a large shit of baking paper and form into log, twisting the ends of the paper to seal into a tight sausage shape.
- Steam for 1 hour. If you don’t have a steamer, you can place it in a metal sieve that sits atop a large stockpot of boiling water, and cover it with the pot lid.
- Allow to cool before serve.
- Aubergine parmigiana (Melanzane alla parmigiana), vegan and with a gluten-free option
- Vegan pasta with cherry tomatoes, olives, rosemary and capers
- Baked giant beans with spinach (gigantes plaki)
- Traditional Greek Fava
- Warm pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and rosemary
- Baked eggplant boats stuffed with fava and topped with an amazing bread crumb crust!
- Vegan faux “tuna” salad with black-eyed peas and fresh herbs