This is the first recipe I'm publishing for the #penumbracookclub series - the crazy project I made up to motivate me to finish the new vegan product series. Find a quick introduction to this project here.
When I sat down to develop the first recipes, I knew I had to use this collar. I love the vibrant red; I think it makes such a good eye-catcher combined with the geometrical cut-outs.
Besides, I immediately had a picture in my head, one of my favorite summer recipes! Watermelon and Feta Salad.
Why would I think of that? That's pretty easy to answer: the color red is the first obvious answer. Plus, we use cork for the pattern background, which makes me think of a watermelon's seedy part. Furthermore, the geometry of all the triangles just reminded me of cut watermelon pieces. So this was purely inspired by optics.
You might have guessed the apparent problem with this: Feta is absolutely fabulous but definitely not vegan.
And without Feta, this whole salad won't work. So I had to find a solution. I asked Dr. Google for help, and voilá: many recipes for vegan Feta popped up. How exciting!
It was disappointing to find out that most of them were just pickled pieces of Tofu, which didn't seem like a good substitute at all. So I dug deeper and finally found some recipes that sounded promising. I took the parts I liked and combined them to make my own Feta alternative.
That made the preparations for this usually pretty simple meal a bit more challenging, but it was worth it.
I probably wouldn't dare to call the outcome a real substitute for Feta - neither taste nor texture were suited for that, but it was surprisingly yummy!
The saltiness complements the watermelon's sweetness so well, I really advise you to give it a try.
The texture was more hummus-like, but I guess you can change that by adding more Agar-Agar (I was very cautious with that).
What you'll need:
For the "Feta":
100g soybeans (dried)
100 g Tofu
150 ml oat milk
1 tsp Agar Agar (probably more to get a more cheesy consistency)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp apple vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
75 g cashew puree
1 tsp white miso paste
1 tbsp yeast flakes
1 clove of garlic
- Start two days before you want to eat by soaking your soybeans in water. I put them into the water in the morning.
- In the evening, you need to peel the beans. I put them in a large pan with water and squeezed them with my fingers. That way, the skin gets removed and swims on the water surface to simply be skimmed off. You don't have to get rid of all the peels - just try to get as many as you can.
- After that, you should cook the soybeans until they are soft. This takes about an hour. Be careful, it really fumes at the beginning.
- After cooking, cover the beans with water and add 1 tsp of salt plus 2 tbsp of apple vinegar. Let it sit in your fridge until the next evening.
- Once that is over, add all your ingredients, except for the oat milk and Agar-Agar, in a blender and mix until really smooth. If you need to add some liquid to do that, it's fine.
- Bring the oat milk and Agar Agar to a simmer and add it to the mixture. Blend it very well.
- Check if you like the taste. Now would be the time to add more seasonings if you feel you need them.
- Once you're satisfied with the taste, fill the mixture in a mold and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
For the salad:
1 mini watermelon (or a piece of a regular-sized one, suited to your hunger )
about 2 spring onions
spices of your choice
This recipe is so simple that I don't want to use measurements. Just go with your gut - I think you know best how big a portion you want.
Cut the melon into pieces and the spring onion into fine rings. Put them on a dish and add some of the vegan Feta.
Make a dressing out of vinegar, olive oil, and salt, and drizzle over the salad.
I like to add some freshly ground black pepper because I think it compliments the meal very well.
Add spices of your choice, preferably fresh, to make it extra special. I used mint this time, but others like basil or thyme work very well as well!
I made some Guinness bread rolls to go with the salad, but you can choose whichever baked goods you prefer :)