Mediterranean Flavors - Show #505

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Lemon “Buttermilk” Cake with Maple Glaze

Makes 10 servings


11⁄3 cups plus 2 teaspoons nondairy milk

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 medium lemons; zest the lemons first, before squeezing)

1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Sucanat or brown sugar

1⁄3 cup maple syrup


2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)

3 heaping tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

GARNISH (optional)

Lemon zest from 2 lemons

Candied Lemon Slices (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch round cake pan with vegan margarine.

Pour 1 cup of the nondairy milk and 1⁄4 cup of lemon juice (make sure to zest the lemons first) into a small bowl. Let stand for about 5 minutes to make vegan “buttermilk.”

Meanwhile, put the whole wheat pastry flour, whole wheat flour, coconut, baking powder and baking soda in a large mixing bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the Sucanat (or brown sugar) and stir with the whisk to combine. Stir in the “buttermilk,” remaining nondairy milk and maple syrup; mix just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30 minutes. Decrease the heat to 350 degrees F. and bake for 7 to 9 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Put the pan on a wire rack and loosen the sides of the cake with a knife. Let cool for 30 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a pretty plate or cake stand.

To make the glaze, pour 2 tablespoons lemon juice into a blender. Add the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon maple syrup; process until smooth. Pour the glaze into a small bowl. Poke 10 or 12 holes in the top of the cake, using a toothpick. Spread the glaze over the cooled cake, using a pastry brush or back of a spoon.


Candied Lemon Slices

Makes 10 to 14 slices

1 cup filtered or spring water

1 cup vegan sugar

2 medium lemons, seeds removed and cut in 1⁄8-inch slices

Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Put the water and sugar in a large sauté pan. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, to let the sugar dissolve. Decrease the heat to medium-low. Add the lemon slices in a single layer and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly translucent. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the lined sheet and refrigerate 2 hours before using.


Chickpea-Tomato Salad with Tofu “Feta”

Makes 4 servings


8 ounces firm or extra-firm regular tofu, well-drained

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed


1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cubed

1 cup diced sweet red bell pepper

½ pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

½ cup diced onion

2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend

¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

To make the “feta,” put the tofu in a medium-sized bowl. Using your fingers or a fork, crumble the tofu until it resembles the texture of feta cheese. Add the lemon juice, oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt. Gently stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

To make the salad, put the chickpeas, cucumber, red pepper, tomatoes, onion, capers, parsley, Italian seasoning and sea salt in a large bowl. Gently stir to combine. Put the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk briskly to emulsify. Add the dressing to the salad and gently stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 3 hours to allow the flavors to marry.

To assemble the salad, add the “feta” to the chickpea mixture. Gently stir to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.


Escarole with Kalamata Olives

Makes 4 servings

1 large bunch escarole, washed and coarsely chopped

1 cup pitted Kalamata olives

3 small cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed

1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Put the escarole, olives, garlic, water and pepper flakes in a large skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. If the skillet becomes dry, add water, 2 tablespoons at a time, to keep the escarole from sticking. Add the lemon juice, cover and cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until the escarole is wilted and olives are heated through. 


Lots of Garlic Hummus

Makes 4 servings

1 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons filtered or spring water, plus more as needed

5 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons sesame tahini

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon chili powder, plus more for garnish

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Add a bit more water if needed to achieve desired consistency. Transfer the hummus to a pretty bowl and sprinkle the top with a pinch more chili powder, if desired, for a festive presentation.