Rachel Demuth is the chef proprietor of the award-
winning Demuths vegetarian restaurant in Bath. With over 30 years’ experience, this self-taught chef and cookery teacher has also been running the Vegetarian Cookery School (VCS) for the past decade. In 2010 Demuths was awarded Best Vegetarian Restaurant by Gourmet Britain and Rachel was awarded Best Bath Businesswoman of the Year.
Rachel Demuth’s five top tips about how to get your family enthused about eating more meat-free meals
- Children love to cook, in particular to make bread. It’s the total immersion in flour, stickiness and mess that miraculously – through kneading and baking – results in a beautiful puffed up warm loaf of bread that can be eaten almost straight away.
- Make your food colourful – create vibrant salads and stir fries with a rainbow of colours. Try cherry tomatoes, slices of red pepper, carrots and for greenery, peas always go down a treat.
- Try to eat together as a family. Children like to copy the grown ups, and if you are eating a vegetable tagine, they will want to join in too.
- Don’t underestimate what children will eat, be more adventurous and offer them everything from olives to chillies. Educate their tastebuds!
- Children love to eat with their fingers, so make up tasty dips and prepare vegetable sticks to dip in – try asparagus spears, carrots, courgette and cucumber.
This recipe is one of Jo Ingleby’s childhood favourites so thanks to her Mum, Sue, for sharing it with us, it’s also popular in the restaurant and has a comforting and homely quality to it. Jo is a head tutor at The Vegetarian Cookery School.
Spinach, Feta and Cherry Tomato Tart
200g plain flour
100g butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
cold water to mix
6 spring onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
200g feta, cubed
¼ tsp nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/Gas6.
First make the pastry case.
Grease a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin.
Place the flour and the butter into the food processor or mix by hand. (or see pastry making in techniques)
Add the egg yolk to the flour and mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the cold water, a little at a time and mix for only a few seconds until the pastry forms a soft ball.
Remove from the processor, wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
On a well-floured work surface roll out the pastry to 3mm thick into a circular shape a little bigger than the tart tin.
Roll up the pastry onto your rolling pin and gently unroll the pastry over the tart tin. Ease the pastry into the tin, pushing it into the sides, but not stretching it, as it will shrink back when it cooks. Trim the edges around the rim and fill any holes with spare pastry. Prick all over with a fork.
Line the pastry case with silver foil or baking parchment so that the silver foil covers the whole case. Fill with dried beans and bake ‘blind’ in the pre-heat the oven for 12-15minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Lift out the silver foil and the beans and keep to use again. Put the pastry case back in the oven for a further 5 minutes, or until the base is cooked.
To make the filling, wilt the spinach in a big saucepan, drain and squeeze out excess water.
Fry the spring onions and garlic in the olive oil until soft.
Put the spinach in a blender with the eggs, half the feta, nutmeg and pepper and blend till smooth. Decant into a mixing bowl.
Stir in the remaining feta cubes and the spring onion mix.
Pour into the tart case and cover with cherry tomatoes.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30minutes.
Recipe from Green Seasons by Rachel Demuth.
For more information about Demuths restaurant in Bath or to buy a copy of Green Seasons, visit: www.demuths.co.uk
For information about Rachel Demuth’s Vegetarian Cookery School, including courses for young chefs, visit: www.vegetariancookeryschool.com