I have a couple of signature dishes if I have people coming over. For something speedy that’s going to be comforting and delicious – kind of like soul food – I go for tofu butter chicken. The tofu is pressed to remove some of the water, then it's tossed in corn starch, and baked in the oven so it gets a nice crunchy outer layer but is still soft in the middle. I serve that with a curry sauce made with onions, garlic and ginger, a little bit tomato paste and some coconut milk, cooked until it thickens, then I toss it with the crispy tofu. It’s so crunchy, warming and luxurious. I’ll serve it with some rice and poppadoms or naan. If I'm trying to impress, I would go for my stuffed mushroom ravioli. Making a homemade pasta from scratch is really simple, but always impresses. I make the pasta using chickpea water (aquafaba), which most people throw down the drain. I then stuff it with some sautéed mushrooms. The base is a tofu and asparagus whip – the tops of the asparagus heads are sautéed with garlic and thyme – then I top it all off with lemon zest. I'm a big fan of microplane graters. I love just adding a little bit of zest to any dish for a little bit of an extra pick-up.
I love having a lot of friends over for brunch. I love coffee, so I have a nice coffee machine and will make everyone whichever coffee they want. Over lockdown, I really practised my latte art, so I love impressing people with my skills. I also love feeding people, so it's either going to be something sweet or savoury, or most likely both – maybe pancakes, waffles or French toast, and then I’ll do a riff on a full English with scrambled tofu, toast, sautéed mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, spinach and baked beans. I’ll fill the table with as much food and coffee as possible.
I grew up having pizza on Friday nights, usually made from scratch. I have a Gozney pizza oven, so for a fun Friday evening I like to make some pizza and serve it up for everyone before we sit down to watch a movie and have a drink. My topping choices depend on what mood I'm in – I’m a simple guy, so it could just be some marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella. Other times, I’ll add vegan sausages crumbled on top of roasted peppers and mushrooms.
On a Sunday, I like to be surrounded by people. Typically, I would like to be cooking, that's where I feel most comfortable. On a Sunday, I’d go for a nut roast, roasted potatoes, roasted veg on the side as well as some steamed kale or spinach with garlic, olive oil and lemon zest. The new book has a good recipe for a nut roast, where you caramelise roasted carrots at the base of the roast and then when it comes out the oven, you flip it over so it's kind of like a tarte tatin. If I said this to an American, they would have no idea what the hell I was talking about, as we don’t do roasts in the US. But these days, I love to head to a farm shop and make a big roast at home.