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Celebrate Vegetables with these Veggie-Loaded Recipe Stunners

Celebrate Vegetables with these Veggie-Loaded Recipe Stunners

Vegetables are so diverse and versatile. Celebrate the vast range and deliciousness of veggies with these meat-free dishes that really put the produce in the spotlight.

Rich Harris is a chef and food stylist that has developed his skills working on food TV programs in the UK. His most recent cookbook, Root and Leaf: Big, Bold Vegetarian Food, puts beautiful veggie-loaded dishes in the spotlight. We’re in love with how much this new book has inspired us to reconnect with the vast world of vegetables and never stop exploring new leaves or roots we haven’t tried. The book is loaded with dishes that play with color, texture and of course flavor to create vibrant vegetable dishes.

Here are some ideas from the book to inspire your next cooking adventure: (We truly had a hard time picking just a few to share here. The whole book is mouth-watering.)

Crispy Chickpeas
Need a good snack that packs nutrients? Try these zesty crispy chickpeas on a salad, for a snack, or with happy hour drinks.

Whipped Yellow Peas with Spicy Aubergine and Fennel
Just look at this yellow bowl of sunshine! It’s a silky-smooth, comforting dish with spicy eggplant to bring it all together beautifully. Check out the recipe below!

Spinach and Blue Cheese Polenta with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
This polenta is all about simple ingredeints. The secret? Roasting the tomatoes makes them jammy in a whole new way.

See Also

Chargrilled Broccoli with Miso Dressing and Hazelnuts
This beautiful broccoli side is about to get you really excited about broccoli. Who would have thought broccoli could do that? We love to eat this as a main dish too with beans or a fried egg on top.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls
Sneak some delicious sweet potatoes into your next breakfast treat. These rolls are fluffy, soft and perfect with coffee.


Whipped Yellow Peas with Spicy Aubergine and Fennel

The trick to this dish is not overcooking the aubergines. They need to be just cooked through so that they’re fairly soft, but still holding their shape. If you take them too ?far you won’t get the contrast in texture between them and the silky smooth peas. ?A cautionary note about harissa; the level of heat varies greatly depending on where you buy it (the supermarket stuff tends to be more gentle, whereas the Tunisian variety in tubes is pretty fiery stuff). With that in mind, add it gradually and to taste.

  • Author: Rich Harris
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main, Side



For the split peas:

  • 350 g dried yellow ? split peas
  • 1 teaspoon ground ? turmeric
  • 3 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 750 ml Vegetable Stock ? (page 200)
  • 3 tablespoons extra ? virgin olive oil

For the spicy aubergine:

  • 4 medium aubergines
  • olive oil (for frying)
  • 3 garlic cloves (? peeled and crushed)
  • 2 teaspoons ? cumin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons ? tomato purée
  • 12 tablespoons ? harissa paste
  • 450 ml Vegetable Stock ? (page 200)
  • 2 teaspoons red wine ? vinegar

For the fennel:

  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • pinch of sea salt
  • juice of ½ lemon


  1. Rinse the split peas, then leave them to soak in cold water for 1 hour. Drain, then tip into a heavy-based saucepan with the turmeric, garlic and salt. Pour over the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 1 hour until almost all the liquid has been absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the spicy aubergine. Cut each aubergine widthways into thirds, then slice each piece into wedges. ?Heat a splash of oil in a deep frying pan and fry, in batches, over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until golden, transferring to a plate lined with kitchen paper as you go. Return all the aubergine to the pan, then increase the heat, add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds and fry for a further minute, then add the tomato purée and harissa to taste and fry for 2 minutes. Pour over the stock – it will bubble up viciously at this point, so stand back to avoid getting splattered – and cook for 3–4 minutes until the liquid has mostly been absorbed. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar.
  3. Thinly slice the fennel on a mandolin or using a very sharp knife, then toss with the salt in a bowl. Massage the fennel for a minute or so until it begins to soften slightly, then squeeze over the lemon juice.
  4. Pour the cooked split peas into a liquidiser, add the extra virgin olive oil and blend to a smooth purée – add a little water if it needs some encouragement. Pour into a clean pan and set aside.
  5. To serve, gently reheat the split pea purée, divide between warmed serving bowls, spoon over the spicy aubergine and top with the fennel.

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