LAWRENCE MURPHY: Cater for those daunting dietary demands

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There has been a growing number of people who have decided not to eat meat in their diets.

Some will still eat fish, cheese and milk, and then there are a few that have decided not to eat any animal products at all. Some of these decisions are due to diet, the effects on the planet and animal welfare.

If we are notified that a customer with a vegan diet is coming to dine at the restaurant then I normally try to speak to them, as sometimes there are some vegetables they don’t like.

It probably won’t surprise you that most vegetarians are bored with eating vegetable curry or lasagne, so we try to cook them something a bit different.

At this time of year, families will gather and you may find yourself catering for someone who has decided to abstain from animal products, so I thought I’d give you a fairly simple but impressive vegan recipe to keep up your sleeve if you need it.


For the sauce

3 red peppers, roasted with skin and seeds removed

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove, garlic chopped

50ml white wine

100ml water

1 bay leaf

For the gateau

2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced

1/2 celeriac, peeled and sliced

16 black olives, chopped

1 small onion, finely sliced

Olive oil


1. Start with the sauce – gently cook the onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil for two minutes.

2. Add the wine, water, peppers and bay leaf and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Remove the bay leaf and liquidise the sauce. Taste and season. You can now allow the sauce to cool and store in the fridge until you need to use it. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

4. For the gateaux – blanch the sliced celeriac in salted water for one minute and refresh in cold water.

5. Oil four metal rings and layer the potato slices, celeriac, onion and olives until you fill the ring to the top. Season with a little pepper in the mid layers. If you want to you can cut the potato into small round discs and lay them on top for a 'professional' look.

6. Brush with olive oil and bake in a preheated oven (180C, gas 5) for 20 minutes or until cooked.

7. Heat the sauce and spoon into bowls, remove the metal rings and place the gateau in the centre.

Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives, Emsworth. Visit or call 01243 377 914.