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From tarte tatin to blue cheese salad: Joe Woodhouse’s vegetarian recipes for early spring | Food

Shallot and wholegrain mustard tatin

This is very simple to pull together and really celebrates the shallots. If you love your wholegrain mustard, add an extra tablespoon.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 20 min
Serves 6

1kg banana shallots, peeled, larger ones cut in half lengthways
325g shop-bought puff pastry
, either pre-rolled or a block
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp
whole milk
100g creme fraiche
finely chopped chives (about 3⅓ tbsp)
Flaky sea salt

Put the oil in a 28cm ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat, add the shallots and a generous pinch of salt, then turn the heat down low and cover the pan, so the shallots steam while they cook – this makes them plumper. Cook gently for 30-40 minutes, until the shallots are soft and starting to caramelise.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a roughly 30cm x 30cm square (if your pastry is a ready-rolled rectangle, fold it in half back on itself along its length first, to make more of a square) – it doesn’t need to be too symmetrical, because the edges will hide any sins once they are tucked in later. Brush the mustard evenly over the pastry’s surface.

Beat the egg yolk and milk. Once the shallots are cooked, arrange them as neatly as possible in the pan, because they will be the top of the tart later. Carefully lay the pastry mustard-side down on top, tuck in the edges so they nestle around the shallots, then brush the top with the egg wash. Bake the tatin for 35-45 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through, until the pastry is risen, golden and cooked through.

Transfer the pan to the stovetop, and gently push around the edges of the pastry, to ensure it is loose from the pan. Place a serving plate or chopping board over the pan and invert it in one swift, smooth movement. Lay the plate or board flat on a work surface and gently lift the pan: the pastry should fall out freely with the shallots on top. If any remain stuck in the pan, retrieve them and arrange on top of the tatin in their original place.

Spoon six portions of creme fraiche clockwise around the tatin, sprinkle the chopped chives over the top and serve.

Chicory and parsley salad with blue cheese dressing

This is so quick to pull together. The sauce can also double as a dip or a burger filling.

Prep 10 min
Serves 6, as a side

450g chicory, or other bitter leaves such as radicchio
100g blue cheese
(such as vegetarian stilton)
200g full-fat natural yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
, or vinegar (cider, sherry or red wine are all good)
1 tsp heaped English mustard
, or dijon works
Sea salt flakes and black pepper
15g parsley
, leaves and soft stalks finely chopped

Trim the roots off the chicory, separate the leaves and put in a bowl or platter.

In a blender or food processor, blitz the cheese, yoghurt, lemon juice and mustard with a pinch of salt until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning or lemon juice to taste.

Add the parsley and sauce to the chicory bowl, toss to coat everything evenly, then serve.

A crunchy salad of kohlrabi, radish and spring greens

This also works well with toasted sesame seeds, or shaved parmesan, depending on which direction you want to take it. Keep this recipe in mind for the summer, because it’s great at a barbecue.

Prep 15 min
Serves 6, as a side

225g greens – kale, cavolo nero, spring greens all work well

3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
150g radishes
, trimmed and cut into thin slices
Sea salt flakes
300g kohlrabi

Submerge the greens in cold water in the sink, leave for five minutes, then give the water a good swish to dislodge any hidden soil. Drain really well to get rid of all moisture (if you have one, a salad spinner is perfect for this; otherwise, lay out the greens on some clean tea towels).

Put the lemon juice and oil in a large bowl (or straight into the salad serving bowl), then add the radishes and a good pinch of salt.

Remove and discard any really tough ends from the stalks of the greens, shred what’s left, stalks included and add to the bowl.

Peel the kohlrabi. The easiest way is to top and tail it, then put it on a board on a cut side and slice downwards, just under the skin, from top to bottom and remove the tough outer skin. Cut the peeled kohlrabi into rough 1cm cubes, or cut it first into rounds and then slice across lengthways to leave you with ½cm batons. Add the kohlrabi to the bowl.

Mix to coat everything, then serve; alternatively, leave it to sit for a while and macerate until you’re ready to serve, tossing it again before serving.

Joe Woodhouse is the author of Your Daily Veg: Modern, Fuss-Free Vegetarian Food, published by Octopus on 31 March at £22. To order a copy for £19.14, go to guardianbookshop.com

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