National Vegetarian Week: Recipes Inspiration from Oxford Indies

 In Inspiration, Recipes

To celebrate National Vegetarian Week from 15th to 21st May, three Oxford indies have shared delicious recipes from their kitchens to inspire you to eat veggie, cut carbon and drive change! >>


Pompette cervelle de canut

This signature dip it’s been on Pompette‘s menu since day one.

Cervelle de canut literally translates as ‘the brain of the silk worker’. There are many differing theories as to why this humble dip got given such a bizarre name. The favoured one is that in the 19th century the city had a thriving silk industry. The weavers (‘Canuts’) would take the inexpensive dish with them to work, and the affluent upper-class members of the city would look down on them and the name reflects their low opinions of them. Another favourite is that the Canuts were too poor to afford actual lamb brains for their dinner, and this is what took it’s place. Whatever the reason we feel this Lyonnaise classic is incredible easy to prepare, delicious and incredibly moreish.

Cervelle de canut


  • 500g fromage blanc
  • 50g crème fraiche
  • 50g double cream
  • 40ml cider vinegar
  • 15ml walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon – finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chervil – finely chopped (if you can’t find chervil, please use extra tarragon)
  • 1 shallot – finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove – pureed
  • 8g fine sea salt
  • Fresh milled black pepper

To finish –

  • Extra walnut oil
  • Chopped chives
  • Chopped walnuts


  • Simply combine all the ingredients together. Place in a suitable serving bowl (the prettier the better!) and top with extra walnut oil, chives and chopped walnuts.
  • Serve with crudites and croutons. Also makes a delicious lunch or supper paired with sauté potatoes and a green salad, perhaps with a chilled glass of Northern Rhone white wine.


Waste2Taste Tortilla Oxford

Sandra from Waste2Taste shares a recipe for a deliciously light and summery vegetarian tortilla.

Vegetarian Tortilla


For 6/8 portions

  • 10 eggs
  • 3 medium potatoes – halved & thinly sliced
  • 2 medium onions
  • seasonal veg like Medley Manor Farm asparagus
  • 1 bunch fresh herbs (you can use what you like here – parsley, tarragon, chives)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Good quality olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 200 Degrees / Gas Mark 6.
  • Prepare a oven proof dish with non stick paper (wet the paper first as it makes it easier to mold to the dish).
  • Add potatoes, onions & peppers sliced thinly in layers. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with a bit of olive oil.
  • Cook low in the oven for about 20 min or so to cook the vegetables.
  • In a bowl whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper to your taste and the fresh herbs thinly chopped.
  • Give the eggs a little whisk, pour on top of the cooked veg and gently press to distribute throughout the pan. Add more eggs if you think it needs.
  • Put in the oven until the egg is cooked. Watch it carefully so doesn’t burn.
  • Transfer to a serving platter.
  • Serve warm with a salad or eat cold for breakfast, lunch or dinner.


Waste2Taste provide affordable and ethical food, and have just moved to a new cafe at Shotover View, Craufurd Rd, Oxford , OX4 2SQ (just off Hollow Way). It also provides a catering service with a vision towards a vibrant, healthy and sustainable food culture, committed to reducing food waste.

Oli’s Thai

Olis Thai Apple Salad

Ru and Ladd Thurston share the secrets for their light and refreshing Apple Salad which works on its own, or even better as an accompaniment to curries and stir-fries.

Apple Salad

Serves 2


  • Three Granny Smith apples
  • Two limes, juiced
  • A small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
  • A small handful of mint, roughly chopped
  • Half a large red chilli cut into thin discs
  • Two tablespoons of roasted salted cashew nuts
  • One large shallot thinly sliced, to crispy fry for garnish (optional)

For the dressing

  • Two tablespoons of caster sugar
  • Two tablespoons of lime juice
  • Four tablespoons of soy sauce
  • Four tablespoons of tamarind water


  • Cut two of the apples into two-inch cubes, the other into thin sticks. Take two tablespoons of lime juice to marinade the apples. This will prevent them from going brown and also give them a perfumed flavour.
  • Mix the coriander, chilli and mint together and set aside.
  • Combine the dressing ingredients together.
  • Fry the shallots in vegetable oil until crispy and set aside on kitchen paper. This is not an essential ingredient but adds a delicious crunch to the completed dish.
  • Assemble the salad by combining the apple, herbs and sauce together and then add the cashew nuts.  Mix well, and let it sit for a couple of minutes before transferring to a serving bowl. Garnish with crispy shallots.

Oli’s Thai food is available for takeaway or to enjoy on the terrace at Elle’s Deli on Magdalen Road from Tuesday to Saturday.

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