Tibits, the vegetarian restaurant just off Regent Street in the heart of London, have published a stylish book full of their favourite dishes to mark their 10th anniversary in the UK and I got my hands on a copy!
I thought it would be fun to share the recipes with you, the photos taken from Tibits at Home and my photos of the results I achieved so you can clearly see that these delicious dishes are, indeed, easily achievable at home.
I found it hard to choose, settling finally on these three which offer a certain Spring zing which I feel much in need of as, although the sun is out, it’s still mighty chilly!
I started with Pea Soup with Fresh Mint, such a simple dish, easily made with the fruits of my garden labours (I used frozen peas this time but, later in the year, we will be podding like billy-oh!) I served it hot with thick slabs of homemade sourdough bread and every drop vanished. Even my reluctant soup eater wolfed it down! I’m very much looking forward to filling a thermos with it and drinking it cold on a summer picnic in the dappled shade – a girl can dream!
Pea Soup with Fresh Mint by Tibits
2 sprigs of fresh mint
1 kg fresh (unshelled) peas or
400 g frozen peas
200 g potatoes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
700 ml vegetable stock
50 ml whipping cream
sea salt and freshly
ground white pepper
1 Peel and finely chop the shallots. Wash the mint, pick off the leaves and cut into fine strips.
2 If you use fresh peas, peel then blanch in boiling salted water, drain and rinse under running cold water. If using frozen peas, this step is unnecessary.
3 Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into 1.5 cm dice.
4 Sweat the shallots in the hot olive oil and sprinkle over the mint. Then add peas and potato and cook until they draw water. Pour in the vegetable stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
5 Puree all the ingredients in the food processor or use a hand blender, then pass through a fine sieve.
6 Add the cream and bring to the boil, very briefly. Season to taste with sea salt and white pepper.
Tip: serve with peeled and finely chopped tomatoes and garnish with a fresh mint leaf or two.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Pea Soup with Fresh Mint by Thinly Spread
Next I had a go at making Ginger Carrot and Apple Juice, sweet and spicy it is a fabulous palette cleanser and a fantastic energy booster. The children preferred it with a bit of maple syrup to sweeten it, I thought it was perfect without.
Ginger, Carrot and Apple Juice by Tibits
100 g fresh ginger
1.2 kg carrots
2 apples (Jonagold; 200 g)
2 fennel bulbs (200 g)
1 Peel the ginger and lemons. Wash and peel the carrots. Cut the apples and the fennel into halves or quarters so that they fit into the juice extractor.
2 Put all the ingredients into the juice extractor. Stir the juice well, leave to settle for 5 minutes and then skim off the foam.
3 Put the juice in the refrigerator. Before serving, stir well.
Tip: sweeten to taste, with maple syrup.
Makes 1 litre
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Ginger, Carrot and Apple Juice by Thinly Spread
Finally Beluga Lentil Salad allowed me to investigate a lentil I have never used! They were a bit hard to track down in my home town but I managed to find them in the end (I’m rarely let down, we have a fabulous range of independent shops and wonderful weekly markets). I had to use ready cooked belugas but that meant that the preparation time was cut by 18 minutes which is a massive bonus in a house full of huge appetites like mine! This one really appeals to my spice loving teenage boys and it took moments to throw together. It will be reappearing frequently!
Beluga Lentil Salad by Tibits
200 g beluga lentils
60 g sundried tomatoes in oil
20 g ginger, freshly ground
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Tikka curry paste (see tip)
1 tbsp chilli oil
freshly ground fine sea salt and white pepper
1 Cook the lentils in salted water, for about 18 minutes.
2 Wash and peel the carrots and chop into 1 cm dice. Add to the lentils and cook for another two minutes, then drain immediately. Rinse under running cold water and drain well.
3 Wash the courgettes, chop into 1 cm dice and add to the lentils.
4 Finely chop the sundried tomatoes. Mix all remaining dressing ingredients and add the chopped tomatoes.
5 Mix the lentils with the dressing and season to taste, with salt and pepper.
Tip: these small, black lentils glisten when they cook, which makes them look like Beluga caviar. Since they do not disintegrate when cooked, they work equally well in appetisers, side dishes or as garnish. Tikka curry paste is a popular ingredient in Northern Indian cuisine and mainly used for sauces and marinades. Add some olive oil if desired.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Beluga Lentil Salad by Thinly Spread
Laid out by season, packed with lovely photographs taken in the homes of some of Tibits’ faithful customers and full of simple, tasty vegetarian dishes which can be reproduced at home with ease, this is a book I would thoroughly recommend.
At first glance I thought it didn’t really offer anything new to the experienced vegetarian, I was wrong. I need to feature more of these tempting dishes by Tibits and will be running some more recipes over on Life is Delicious very soon!
I haven’t been to the restaurant in London and I intend to put that right at the earliest opportunity! It was established in London a decade ago by three brothers – Christian, Daniel and Reto Frei – and Rolf Hitl, the owner of the Zurich restaurant of the same name that is, according to Guiness World Records, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. I’d quite like to go there too!
Disclosure: I received a copy of Tibits at Home for the purposes of this review. All the words in between the recipes are my own, the recipes are courtesy of Tibits.