I’ve never fasted before for Christmas, but sometimes it just feels right, you know? When I say fast, I’m following the Greek Orthodox nativity fast, which basically consists of me following a vegan diet until Christmas, with fish allowed on certain days, but no meat or dairy (milk, cheese, eggs, butter etc)
Now, I’ve made this savoury olive cake many times before, it’s one of my absolute favourites! But never a vegan version!
I used a powdered egg replacer instead of the four eggs and a tin of evaporated coconut milk (I didn’t even know this was a thing, so was thrilled when I found it while doing my online Ocado shop!) in place of the tin of evaporated ‘normal’ milk
It worked perfectly! And will make a welcome snack at any time of the day
Do let me know if you try either the original version or the vegan version Cypriot olive cake
This dish can be considered the ‘egg and chips’ of the average Cypriot kitchen. It’s a basic, no-frills, inexpensive and nutritious family dish, made regularly by many. And loved.
It’s a great dish for meat-free Mondays, or indeed any day of the week and we all know we should be eating less animal protein and more pulses (legumes) High fibre and nutritious.
Cannelini beans are soaked overnight to soften. Around 250g of dried beans will be enough for about 3 servings as a main dish.
Once the beans have soaked, tip away the water and rinse them clean.
I always cook pulses in the pressure cooker. I find they cook quickly and easily.
Cook the beans until they are almost, but not quite, tender. This takes about 10 minutes in my pressure cooker, but this varies depending on how old the beans are.
While the beans are cooking, fry 1lg onion which has been peeled and thinly sliced in about 3-4tbsp of olive oil until golden.
To the browned onions add 1, 400g tin of chopped tomatoes and about a tablespoon of tomato purée, simmer, stirring occasionally until any wateriness in the tomatoes has evaporated away. You can tell when the tomato mixture is ready because it appears to sizzle and little bubbles pop on the surface.
Tip into the beans and keep cooking for further time, until the sauce has reduced until it’s nice and thick and the beans are tender. This time varies greatly, so keep an eye on them.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with great bread for mopping up.