5 Chilean feasts for vegetarians

Quick, simple and easy to cook, these five recipes will give you a tasty glimpse at Chilean cuisine

4 mins

1. Cheese, olive and raisin empanadas

Makes: about 24


For the pastry:

300g plain flour
1 egg yolk (retain the white and lightly whisk until frothy)
110g melted butter
180ml whole milk
½ tsp salt

For the filling:

225g feta cheese, crumbled
Handful of green olives, sliced
Small handful of raisins
Ground cumin
Small handful of chives
Chopped pebre mixed with diced plum
Tomatoes to taste, to serve

To prepare:

1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas mark 6. Combine all the pastry ingredients together in a bowl until a dough has formed. Leave to rest for ten minutes.

2. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and cut into 10cm discs. In the centre of each pastry disc place a little feta cheese, a few olive slices and raisins with a pinch of ground cumin, black pepper and chopped chives.

3. Brush whisked egg white around the edge of each empanada, fold in half, press the edges together and crimp with a fork. Brush the top with a little egg white.

4. Bake them in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or so, until they are golden. Serve while still hot, dipped in pebre and plum tomato salsa.

2. Vegetarian charquican


450g peeled, cubed potatoes
450g peeled, deseeded, cubed pumpkin
4 carrots, cubed
Olive oil
Black pepper
110g frozen corn
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 tsp pimentón
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 heaped tbsp chopped oregano leaves
3 medium tomatoes, diced handful of chopped coriander

To serve:

Fried eggs
Handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sliced spring onions

For the pino:

4 tbsp olive oil
2 medium red onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium red pepper, diced
200g fine green beans, sliced into 1cm/½in pieces

To prepare:

1. Simmer the potatoes, pumpkin and carrots in salted water until soft, drain and then mash together with a knob of butter, a drizzle of olive oil and plenty of ground black pepper, until broken down but with chunky bits, not smooth.

2. Fry the red onion, garlic and red pepper in olive oil until caramelised. Add the chopped beans and corn, and saute for a further few minutes. Stir in the cumin, paprika, chilli and oregano until the vegetables are coated in the spices. Add the diced tomato and salt to taste.

3. Gently simmer until the tomatoes are soft and reduced. Stir into the mashed potato, pumpkin and carrot, along with the chopped coriander.

4. Serve in individual portions, topped with a fried egg and with chopped parsley and sliced spring onions sprinkled on top.

3. Chilean trekkers' breakfast

Ingredients per person:

2 slices hot buttered toast
1 large ripe avocado, sliced
2 eggs, fried in olive oil
A small handful of crumbled feta cheese

To prepare:

1. On the hot buttered toast lay the avocado slices, followed by fried eggs, crumbled feta cheese and black pepper.

2. Top with a generous serving of pebre.

4. Porontas granados: Chilean bean stew


4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 leeks, sliced
1 scant dessertspoon pimentón
1 dessertspoon dried oregano
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 dessertspoon fine polenta
450g peeled, deseeded cubed pumpkin
3 corn cobs, cut into 2cm/ ¾in slices
400g tin of haricot beans, drained and rinsed
400g tin of lima or butter beans, drained and rinsed
725ml vegetable stock
Handful of chopped basil leaves
Salt to taste

To garnish:

Chopped coriander
Chilean salad

To prepare:

1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. When hot, add the onion, pepper and leeks, and sauté until soft.

2. Stir in the pimentón, oregano, pepper and polenta. Add the pumpkin, corn, drained beans and vegetable stock. Simmer until the pumpkin is soft (but not breaking down) and the sauce is thick and hearty, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and adding a little more water if necessary. Add the chopped basil and season to taste.

3. Serve in a bowl topped with Chilean salad and chopped coriander leaves.

5. Quinoa salad


350g quinoa
725ml vegetable stock
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 medium avocados, diced
12 cherry tomatoes, diced
Handful of chopped chives

For the dressing:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lime juice
Salt and black pepper to taste

To garnish:

A good handful of toasted pumpkin seeds
A handful of chopped coriander

To prepare:

1. Bring the quinoa and vegetable stock to the boil, cover the pan and simmer for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the covered pan to stand for a further ten minutes.

2. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork, to separate the grains, and leave to cool. Meanwhile heat the olive oil and fry the onion, sweet potato, peppers and garlic until soft.

3. Stir in the spices and allow to cool a little before combining with the quinoa, avocado, tomato and chopped chives. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and carefully stir into the salad. Garnish with the toasted pumpkin seeds and chopped coriander leaves.

World Food CafeThese recipes have been taken from Carolyn and Chris Caldicott's new book, World Food Cafe: Quick and Easy (Frances Lincoln, £20). The ultimate cookbook for preparing delicious worldwide vegetarian food at home – order your copy on Amazon now.

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