Make no mistake, for unsurpassed, velvety texture, butter is king. Creamy and deeply satisfying, butter serves countless functions in cooking from breakfast to baking. Thanks to its fat content, butter plays an important role in providing satiety, but it also provides moisture, helps bind, and adds flavor. When butter is a recipe’s centerpiece, turns out, you can replicate it with plant-based buttery spreads like Earth Balance for the rich, dairy-based mouthfeel you crave, whether it’s an aioli, sour cream, butter, or mayo you are trying to replicate. Vegan or not, we think you’ll be drooling over the exorbitantly stellar recipes from Earth Balance’s new cookbook with jaw-dropping photographs enough to make even the staunchest butter-enthusiasts melt.
1. Rustic Vegetable Tart
Guaranteed to make a wonderful impression on guests and family, this rustic vegetable tart combines a buttery crust with the full bounty of the harvest. For a new experience each time use local or seasonal vegetables.
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup Earth Balance® Shortening Sticks
- ⅓ cup Earth Balance® Vegan Buttery Sticks
- 5 ounces vegan cream cheese
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
Pine nut cheese
- ¾ cup raw pine nuts (optional: soak for 1 to 4 hours)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon mellow white miso
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 3 tablespoons water
- ½ tablespoon Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread
- 2 medium yellow onions, sliced very thin
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 3 medium zucchini, sliced into ⅛ inch discs
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved (optional)
- 1 handful of baby arugula
Directions: Tart dough: Place both flours and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Cut cold shortening and buttery sticks into small chunks, and place in the food processor. Pulse mixture until the flour has a cohesive texture. Next, add in the vegan cream cheese, and pulse again. Add in the ice water just until the dough forms into a ball. Be careful not to add too much water or the dough will become sticky and hard to handle. Make sure not to overprocess the mixture. Overprocessing will develop too much gluten and make a tough crust. Remove the dough from the food processor, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Once wrapped, slightly flatten the ball into a disc shape. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes. This dough freezes well for several months and lasts in the fridge about three to four days.
Pine nut cheese: If time allows, soaking the pine nuts assists in creating a creamy spread but is not required. In a food processor, combine pine nuts, garlic, miso, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and zest, and basil. Process until creamy. Drizzle water in as needed until the pine nut cheese becomes smooth and spreadable.
Caramelized onions: Heat a saute pan over low heat. Add Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread, onions, and a pinch of salt. Stir to coat the onions, and cover with a lid. Cook the onions for approximately 30 minutes over very low heat until they are buttery, translucent, and soft. Stir onions frequently to avoid the development of too much color. Once the onions are cooked down and light golden, remove the lid and cook for an additional 2 minutes to lightly caramelize the onions. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Roasted zucchini: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss the sliced zucchini with olive oil and salt. Arrange zucchini in a single layer on a baking sheet. Use 2 baking sheets if necessary to maintain a single layer. Roast for approximately 15 minutes, flip zucchini, and then roast for an additional 10 minutes. Cook until the zucchini is just starting to caramelize. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Roasted tomatoes: Toss the cherry tomatoes with olive oil and salt. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes at 375 degrees for approximately 15 minutes, flip, and then roast for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and set aside.
To make the tart: Increase oven to 415 degrees. Roll out tart dough into a circle about ¼-inch thick. To eliminate dough sticking to the roller, roll dough between 2 pieces of floured wax paper. Place dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread the pine nut cheese from the center of the tart, leaving a few inches around the edges without cheese. Top with caramelized onions. Arrange the zucchini over the onions in a single, overlapping layer.
Sprinkle with the tomatoes and olives (optional). Fold two sides of the dough inward, and then fold the other two sides inward, pressing to seal the folded dough together to form the tart. Be sure to expose the filling. If there is too much dough, trim some extra. Bake the tart until the dough is golden brown, about 25 to 35 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle a handful of baby arugula on top.
2. Mediterranean Cauliflower with Saffron Aioli
Cauliflower is the new kale. Trust us. This fire-roasted cauliflower seasoned with Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread, lemon, and a bit of panko is the life of the flavor party. Dip in saffron aioli for a kick of indulgence.
- 3 tablespoons Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread, melted
- 2 heads cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-size florets
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup panko
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dill, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
- Zest of 2 lemons, reserve the juice for aioli
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 1 tablespoon boiling water
- ⅓ cup Earth® Balance MindfulMayo™
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Black pepper
Directions: Cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread, and place in a large mixing bowl. If the bowl is heat-safe, you can place the bowl over a pot of boiling water to melt the spread. Add the cauliflower, onion, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables with the spread. Place the cauliflower and onions on a baking sheet in a single layer. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden and a little crispy, flipping half way.
Panko: Combine panko, garlic, dill, parsley, and lemon zest in a skillet, and toast until lightly golden. Set aside to serve over the cauliflower. Serve the warm cauliflower with the panko mixture sprinkled on top.
Aioli: Place saffron threads in a small bowl, and pour the boiling water over the threads. Allow the saffron to bloom for several minutes. Combine the saffron water with the remaining ingredients, and whisk well. Serve a dollop of saffron aioli with the roasted cauliflower.
3. Golden Beet Salad
We’ve all had beets, but not like this. Tender roasted beets tossed in a creamy miso sauce served over mizuna greens will turn non-believers into beet-worshipers. Earth Balance MindfulMayo pairs perfectly with these earthy gems.
- 9 medium golden beets, whole and unpeeled
- Pinch of salt
- 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced, reserve some fronds for garnish
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch mizuna, torn into bite-size pieces (arugula is a great substitute)
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar
- ¼ cup Earth Balance MindfulMayo
- ½ tablespoon mellow white miso or chickpea miso
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ½ tablespoon agave
Directions: Beet salad: Place whole beets in a wide pan with a tight-fitting lid. The best pan is one in which the beets fit in a single layer, filling the bottom of the pan. Cover with water to the top of the beets, add a pinch of salt, and cover. Cook on medium-high until all of the water is absorbed into the beets. You can add more water as needed until the beets are tender but not overcooked and all of the water is gone. Be careful to check often when the water is almost gone.
The sugar from the beets will burn quickly without water. This method maintains all of the nutrients in the beets, instead of losing nutrition in the cooking water when boiling. The beets are finished when you can insert a toothpick into the center of the beet with minimal resistance. As soon as they are finished, remove them from the pan. When they are cool enough to handle but still hot, slide the skins off the beets using your hands or a paper towel. They should slide off easily. Place the beets aside to cool. Once cool, cut the beets into bite-size wedges.
Umeboshi seeds: In a skillet or cast iron pan, add the sunflower seeds, and toast on medium, stirring constantly until nutty and fragrant. This should take 5 minutes or so. Once the seeds are toasted, turn off the heat, and immediately drizzle the ume plum vinegar over the seeds. Stir to coat, and set aside.
Vinaigrette: In a large bowl, whisk together the Earth Balance MindfulMayo, miso, lemon zest and juice, rice vinegar, and agave. Add the shallots, fennel, and beets. Toss well. Serve the beets over greens, and top with the sunflower seeds and fennel fronds.