Right before we went vegan we spent some time in London staying with my sister and BIL. They were living in a beautiful apartment in Southwark which is right next to the Borough Markets. If you have never been to London or visited Borough Markets it is this fantastic covered market with hundreds of stalls selling fresh fruit, vegies, meat and dairy along with specialties like a kebab stand and a stall devoted just to mushrooms!
Each day I would wander down to the markets and buy a sangria then mosey through the stalls picking up whatever looked good that day. Usually some fancy bread, a pastry or two, lots of olives and a mass of cheese. The cheese stalls were my favorite, one in particular was owned by a sweet old Italian man that would give the best descriptions of the cheeses and what they are best paired with. By the end of the holiday I was giving pairing advise to other cheese fanatics in front of the stall myself!
I got it in my head that I was going to come back to Australia, save a bucket of money then move back to London and set up my own cheese stall that would be open Monday to Friday (instead of Borrow Markets’ Wednesday to Sunday) and sell fantastic cheese. Of course that didn’t end up happening. I came home, three weeks later we watched ‘Earthlings’ and the half block of cheddar in our fridge got thrown straight in the bin. Cheese just doesn’t look the same any more. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss the flavour, or more the texture, of a fine cheese.
I’ve tried the replacements from Tofutti slices to Sheese rounds but nothing works for me. So far the best replacement we have found is our own home made Tofetta. Most established vegans out there will have their own recipe for Tofetta but for any newbies or omni’s out there give this a shot and see what you think. It is so yummy and a really good stand in for fetta! It can be used in salads, on its own on crackers or stirred through a pasta. Pretty much anything that you would use a marinated fetta for this will work as well.
For this you will need:
1/2 cup olive oil
Vegetable oil, I use sunflower oil
200g firm tofu
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vegan parmesan
Start by chopping the tofu into small cubes and rinsing it really well. You want to get all of the brine that it has been soaking in out.
Then drain the tofu well. Remove as much water as you can. Wrapping the tofu in a tea towel and squishing it with a heavy book works well.
Or you can twist it up in the tea towel and keep twisting it until all of the water drains out.
Get an old, clean jar and add the olive oil.
Along with the garlic,
herbs, onion powder, lemon juice and salt.
Give it a good shake around so that it all combines.
Add in the tofu.
Fill with vegetable oil and top with the parmesan.
Shake it around again and invert it so that the flavours mix through.
Leave it in the fridge for a couple of days so that the tofu can soak up all of the flavours and then serve how you wish. Each time you open the fridge just invert the jar so that the flavours don’t all just sink to the bottom.