Top chef van Zeller’s delicious vegetarian recipe

Van Zeller's latest recipe - Carrots and Beremeal.
Van Zeller's latest recipe - Carrots and Beremeal.

National Vegetarian Week is from May19-25 so it seems fitting to share a delicious main course vegetarian recipe with you. Who said vegetarian food was boring!

Carrots and Beremeal

Serves 6


Beremeal crackers:

60g caster sugar

3 egg yolks

80g soft butter

180g beremeal flour

40g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1tsp maldon sea salt

1 tbsp caraway seeds

Salt baked carrots:

500g beremeal flour

500g rock salt

3 large purple carrots

3 large orange carrots

Fresh cheese (paneer):

1000ml fall fat fresh milk

1 tsp maldon salt

125g live plain yoghurt

100g fresh buttermilk

Juice of half lemon

Pickled chantennays:

300g chantennays

150ml white wine vinegar

150g caster sugar

100ml white wine

1 tsp salt

2 star anise

2 sprigs thyme

2 garlic cloves, crushed

12 tsp each coriander, cumin, fennel and caraway seeds

1 dried red chilli

Buttermilk and rapeseed oil sorbet:

120ml double cream

60g glucose

30g milk powder

30g caster sugar

2 tsp maldon salt

Zest of half a lemon

Pinch of citric acid

420ml buttermilk

120ml extra virgin rapeseed oil


Beremeal crackers

Place the egg yolks and sugar in an upright mixer (or use an electric whisk) and whip together for 5minutes until light and fluffy. Add the butter, a spoon at a time until well combined. Gently fold the rest of the ingredients in.

Place the dough between two sheets of baking parchment on a baking tray and roll out evenly.

Place the baking sheet in the oven at 180C (no fan) for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 80C to let the crackers dry out and crisp up for a further 30 minutes.

Allow to cool then break into a few shards. Blend some in a spice grinder to a fine powder.

Salt baked carrots

Toast the beremeal in a 180C oven for 12 – 15 minutes until golden and toasty!

Once cool, place the beremeal in a large bowl with 500 rock salt and add 250 – 300ml water to form a dough. Divide the dough into two equal balls.

Roll each ball out on a piece of parchment, to around 3cm in depth.

Lay 3 large purple carrots on 1 side of the dough and fold the other half over. Crimp the edges to seal a tight parcel and place on a parchment lined baking tray.

Repeat the process with three large orange carrots and the other rolled out dough.

Bake the carrots at 200C for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 160C and cook for a further 15 minutes.

To test whether the carrots are cooked, pierce with a skewer; it should be quite soft yet retain a slight bite when pierced. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes.

Crack open the dough, and remove and wipe the carrots with a damp cloth to remove any doughy residue.

Punch out rings of carrot with a pastry ring and cut the discs in half to reveal crescents of bright, perfectly cooked and seasoned carrots……..hopefully!

Fresh cheese (paneer)

Bring the milk to a boil in a large pan with the salt.

When the milk is just up to the boil add the other ingredients and whisk thoroughly; it should immediately curdle and separate into curds and whey. Turn the heat off and leave to stand for 2 minutes.

Line a large colander set over a large bowl with a double layer of damp muslin cloth.

Pour the contents of the pan into the muslin. Discard the whey and rinse the curds of fresh cheese with plenty of cold water.

Gently squeeze any excess moisture out of the cheese. Place the cheese flat in the cloth and place in the bottom of the colander.

Fill a bowl with fresh cold water and place on top of the fresh cheese and press for 1 hour.

Remove the cheese from the muslin, place in a tub and cover with cling film to ready to serve.

Pickled chantennays:

Prepare the chantennays; top, tail, scrub and rinsed in cold water.

Blanch the carrots in boiling salted water for two minutes. Remove and place in a pickling jar or screw top jam jars ready for the pickling syrup.

Bring all the pickling ingredients up to boil and pour straight onto the cooked chantennays.

Seal the jars and leave for at least 24 hours. These will keep indefinitely and the pickling syrup is useful for most veg – sliced beetroots, cauliflower florets, shallot rings etc.

Buttermilk and rapeseed oil sorbet

Combine the cream, glucose, milk powder, caster sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring up to the boil.

Pour the mix straight into an upright blender. Add the zest of half a lemon and a pinch of citric acid. Start the blender and turn up to a medium speed. Pour in the buttermilk and then the extra virgin rapeseed oil in a slow, steady stream to emulsify. Pass through a fine sieve and churn in an ice-cream machine before freezing.

About Tom

Tom van Zeller is a multi-award winning chef owner of van Zeller Restaurant in Harrogate.

For any culinary questions, tweet @van_zellers using #askTom.