Greek shortbread biscuits

Trying to choose a recipe out of Luscious Vegetarian, a new and most fabulous cook book by Sonia Cabano and Jade de Waal, was rather difficult for me to do. I eventually settled on their ‘Greek walnut shortbread’ recipe because this is one of my all-time favourite baked things, and I was in the mood to do some baking.

Before we get onto this exquisite recipe, which I feel so privileged to share on Drizzle & Dip, I want to talk a bit about this book.

I grew up in an era where vegetarian eating was not at all main stream, and making a variety of delicious meat-free meals was challenging. Seeking out restaurants that catered for vegetarians was also difficult and this I knew only too well as my older sister decided to become one at age 16. Thank goodness the times have changed and vegetables and vegetarianism are fully mainstream now.

Despite this, many vegetarian recipe books have a distinct ‘hippy’ vibe to them with a focus on very wholesome earthy recipes that often require complicated cooking techniques. Luscious Vegetarian is not anything like that. Its fresh, modern and has a set of recipes that will appeal to a health conscious eater as well as a person looking for a delicious non-meat feast. It has a bit of everything in it. The recipes are all entirely manageable and most will slot perfectly into any persons busy schedule.

I was complete taken with this book the moment I clapped eyes on the cover.

Beautifully styled by Brita du Plessis and photographed by Sean Calitz, the images make you want to jump into each page and scoop out the contents. I love the way the chapters are arranged into: quick, light, pure, feast, relax, bake and basic. Each chapter filled with recipes that entice you to want to run into the kitchen and make.

I cant wait to try the falafel with tahini in pita, the potato chive and pea pancakes, the ricotta puffs with honey & almonds and the wild mushroom lasagne (amongst many others). This is an inspiring vegetarian cookbook for the vegevore and the carnivore alike.

I’m lucky enough to know both the authors – Sonia Cabano and her niece Jade de Waal, and this book is a heart warming family collaboration between these two wonderful women.

Sonia lived in London and Europe for 12 years, training at various famous restaurants. After returning to South Africa she ran a successful catering business in Cape Town with numerous high-profile clients and worked as a freelance stylist and journalist for various South African publications. Currently in demand as a demonstration chef she is a very busy working mother of two young children. Sonia is the author of Easy, Simple & Delicious and Relish, also by Struik Lifestyle. Luscious Vegetarian is Sonia’s fourth cookbook.

Jade is a jazz music student with a passion for food. During her matric year she started Eat Your Heart Out, a ‘made for the web’ cooking show. Jade also hosts regular ‘Food Jams’ at which attendees are invited to improvise and explore their cookery skills. Jade reached the Top 9 contestants in the first season of MasterChef South Africa, and was aptly named the quirkiest contestant.

I am thrilled to giving away 2 copies of this fabulous book to my readers. Please enter by leaving a comment below with what your favourite vegetarian dish is – to either make or enjoy. This giveaway closes on Wed 13 Feb.
Luscious Vegetarian by Sonia Cabano & Jade de Waal (Random House Struik)

Recipe | makes 24 – 26 biscuits

  • 250g unsalted butter (I used salted)
  • 11og icing sugar sifted twice, plus extra for dusting
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk (free-range of course)
  • 300g cake flour sifted
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 90g walnuts, very finely chopped (I used almonds here instead)
  • 2T orange flower water (I left this out as I could not find this ingredient and htey still tasted amazing, I can only imagine that this would have added an extra lovely layer of flavour)

Pre heat the oven to 160 C and line your baking trays with baking paper or silicone baking sheets. I managed to get this onto 1 large tray, but you could use 3 smaller ones.

Beat the butter until it is pale and fluffy, then add the icing sugar, vanilla extract and egg yolk. Beat until well combined.

Add the flour, baking powder and nuts and stir until these are incorporated.

Roll tablespoons of dough into sausage shapes, and then bend into a half-moon shape. Place them 3 cm apart on the baking tray and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until light golden brown.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle over the orange flower water and then dust with the icing sugar while they are still warm. Once they are cool, dust with more icing sugar. Store in an airtight container, and I guarantee that they wont last for long.

Greek shortbread cookies

I look forward to connecting with you again

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85 Comments

  1. barbara n

    My favourite vegetarian dish is eggplant parm….yum

  2. Wish I knew a vegetarian dish or two, except for vegetarian pizza and salad. My husband don’t think much of vegetables and can go on for weeks without eating anything vegetarian. My 3 year old daughter thinks noodles, rice and ‘hoenderballetjie’ (chicken drumsticks) are all the rage. Not a great veggie eater as well.

  3. My mouth is watering reading this shortbread recipe…so tempted to get stuck into baking them right now!
    My favourite vegetarian meal to make at home has to be a divine melt-in-your-mouth dish of Creamed Spinach and Feta Cannelloni. Mmm..yum. And I’m not particularly a fan of spinach!

  4. My favorite vegetarian dish is a chickpea curry of sorts.

  5. My favourite veg dish is a roasted butternut salad, that works well as a main – it has a base of baby spinach leaves with honey and balsamic roasted butternut and red onion, roasted pecan nuts and avo. Sometimes I add sliced Camembert too. Jade and Sonia’s book looks stunning!

  6. Marianne

    Spicy Butternut Lasagne is my winning vege dish. Would love some more vege winners tho …!!!

  7. falafel! falafel! falafel! i even called my unborn baby falafel. with tahini to make it even more beautiful and radio-active purple cabbage pickle in a pita. outdoors. with cold beer. oh my…

  8. Esau’s noodles – fresh taglietelle, black lentils, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander and grated cheddar cheese. Once eaten, never forgotten! Take care!

  9. Tabouli. I love it. I am crossing my fingers to win this book – thanks for giving us such a great showing of it. Off to google orange flower water and see if there’s any in this neck of the woods.
    Cheers,
    Pam

  10. I am deeply invested in trying recipes from ‘Ottolenghi, The Cookbook’. Wildly inspirational for vegetarians, although not as such a vegetarian cookbook. One of my favourite vegetables is the humble aubergine, Ottolenghi certainly delivers with ‘Marinated Aubergine with Tahini and Oregano.” Delicious served with good bread as a starter.
    Leftovers tossed with a few fresh tomatoes, a sprinkling of parmesan and a robust pasta happily score 10/10 for my son’s lunchtime snack!

  11. We luuuurv The Wednesday Chef’s roasted carrot and red lentil soup: you roast up some carrots and some sliced onions until the carrots have deliciously sweet, caramelized outside bits (around half an hour), then you toss them into a soup pot with a bit of olive oil, red lentils, some smoked paprika, pepper and chili, and then add stock and simmer until the lentils soften. It’s wonderfully sweet at spicy at the same time: perfect for winter.

    (www.thewednesdaychef.com)

  12. Linda Grothe

    I love vegetarian lasagna with fresh lasagna noodles, zucchini, cauliflower, tomatoes, mushrooms,ricotta, white sauce and oodles of cheese. Thank you

  13. For me nothing can beat a great big mixed salad with everything completely fresh. It doesn’t need any meat at all.
    This book has glorious photography, which I love in a cooking book. The visual is so important.

  14. My absolute fav veg dish =
    Honey Baked Lentils
    2 1/3 cups lentils, 2 small bay leaves, 5 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon dry mustard,
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 cup chopped onions, 1 cup water, 1/3 cup honey
    Directions
    In a saucepan combine lentils, bay leaf, 5 cups water and salt. Cook for approx 30 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 180 C. In a bowl combine dry mustard, ginger, soy sauce, onions and 1 cup water.
    Add to lentils. Then pour honey on top. Cover and bake for 60 minutes. Serve with rice/ or on wholewheat bread toasted – Yummy!!!!

  15. Vegetable lasagna with spinach, mushrooms and lots of tomato sauce (homemade of course).
    I have been looking at their book and the recipes and photographs are mouth watering.

  16. Sam

    HI Sandy, I am deeply in love with Ottolenghi too. 🙂

  17. Sam

    Thanks karen that sounds totally amazing, I think I remember you mentioning this, or Rowan, I am defs goign to give it a try. I am a fan of the humble carrot when roasted. Sam

  18. Ina Malherbe

    Salt & pepper tofu. It can be bland to be honest, but the one I prefer is crispy, spicy, soft inside – plus a top source of protein. Njammies

  19. Sam

    Thanks Maria – this sounds awesome!

  20. Sam

    Hi Anna – Essau’s noodles? sounds amazing…

  21. for summer my favourite vegetarian dish is what my family calls a ‘braai slaai’: grill some peppers / aubergines / mushroom / mielies / baby marrows on the fire, mix with olives, feta & rocket and enjoy. great option for a vegetarian when invited to a braai 🙂 the book looks divine!

  22. Sam

    Hi Eunice – Falafel is also a big favourite of mine and Sonia & Jade have included a lovely recipe in their book which I am dying to try. I would have to say its my all time favourite street food.

  23. I could eat lentil curries and falafels every day. Or vegetable soups. Or steamed vegetables with tahini sauce and toasted nuts on top. I can’t decide…… The book looks amazing.

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  25. Roasted eEggplant and peppers with dill, salt and olive oil
    Tarator (tzatsiki) learned this from a Bulgarion, can add water to make a cold soup delicious in summer
    Fresh salad I add fruit to it as well to brighten it up
    Veggie platter with biscuits and olives and cheeses, this is our fav Fri no cook movie, chill out meal

  26. What a great review! I would love to win a copy of this book Sam. My favourite vegetarian dish to make has always been the one I had the most while I was a non meat eater. It is stuffed teenage marrow as the possibilities are endless. It is then baked with some fresh breadcrumbs on top to get that lovely texture.

  27. Karyn Craw

    My favorite vegetarian meal is falfalel. And hummus with warm pita bread. Yum 🙂

  28. Tarah Darge

    My absolute favourite veg dish I love to make is my butternut and zucchini lasagne with creme fraiche and mozarella. It’s herby, hearty, tasty and wonderful 🙂 This book would really help me expand my range of dishes which I’m always looking to do!

  29. My husband and I are not vegetarians but have many friends and family members who are so my go to vegetarian dish is Vegetable Lasagne which I make with a combination of roasted vegetables including butternut, eggplant and whatever else is available together with the “mince” part made with tinned cherry tomatoes, onions and lentils etc all layered with homemade pasta sheets and topped with a thick cheese sauce. Even the non-vegetarians love it.

  30. Oh Wow, This looks amazing, the Shortbread and the Recipe book.
    Have been a Veg for almost 18 years and not seen a Recipe book this appealing. Where to start, My fav Veg Dish… Wow, an Asparagus Au-Gratin, a Wild Mushroom Risotto, or Gnocchi Tricolor… But My ultimate fave veg dish has to be Paneer Mahknee (Indian Cheeses in a Tomato, butter chutney)… MMMmmmmm WOW! Would love to try the Mushroom Lasagne you mention… 🙂 Hungry Now Thank you,

  31. Niks is lekkerder as eiervrug nie, óf dit nou met knoffel lank en stadig gebak word en later op ‘n roosterbroodjie troon, en óf dit laag na laag tussen tamatie en kaas in die oond prut…

  32. Sam

    Oh wow Flee, didn’t know you were a veggie – cool :-), this book is light, fresh, contemporary, relevant and just plain flipping awesome x

  33. Hey Sam, Yup, I are… But the Man, well now he is my reason for “Trolling” the sites for Meat …. Should have mentioned your mushroom Phylo Strudels as well, Those have become a weekly insert for me. Divine!!

  34. Hi there..I love experimenting with recipe ideas. I have been a veggie for most of my life and know that you can get stuck in a rut with vegetarian cooking. This books looks really inspiring. When I cook I look for inspiration from my cookbook collection and the Internet… Although a lovely cookbook in your hands is much better..I look at the colourful pictures and think about how I can fit the lovely recipes into my week.i take great pleasure sourcing the ingredients and cooking them into a veggie storm! I can’t pick one dish I like the best but I can tell you a style of cooking that I love to eat the most and that would be Mediterranean for sure although recently I have branched out a bit into North African! I would love this book to add to my collection

  35. My absolute favourite vegetarian recipe to make is Baked Vegetable and Cheese Tortilla wraps 🙂

  36. Hi

    I love awesome quinoa salads with butternut, feta & pumpkin seeds & sometimes some chickpeas, drizzled with a balsamic reduction! So easy to make, but so delicious!! 🙂 🙂

    Kristin

  37. Is the measurement for the biscuits 110g of icing sugar?

  38. My favourite vegetarian dish is Melanzane Parmigiana. I simply love brinjals and add my own home made bolognaise sauce to this “lasagne”.

  39. Michelle

    I love matkinga Ratatouille with some sharp Cheddar grated over the top. Its a filling low calorie dish that’s absolutely delicious!

  40. Michelle

    I love making a Ratatouille with some sharp Cheddar grated over the top. Its a filling low calorie dish that’s absolutely delicious!

  41. Hey Sam, oh my gosh, I want this book so badly! I love vegetarian food and I love experimenting with all the great ingredients and combinations that people are not normally familiar with. But my all time favourite, seeing as its IDEAL for our hot Cape Town weather, is a jam packed rock ‘n roll salad, gorgeous, crunchy and colourful. And you feel like a millions dollars after eating it! I make a basic salad, then add some fresh peas, sugar snaps, sprouts, baby mielies, mushrooms, apple, sometimes pineapple, sunflower seeds and crispy roasted garlic and rosemary new potatoes. Yum yum, think Im gonna make one for dinner!

  42. I enjoy a pasta made with baby marrow & lots of creamy sauce – would love to try more veg meals.

  43. I’m a big red lentil fan, from a curry-laced Dahl to a lentil and butternut lasagna, they rock my world.

  44. I bake halved baby aubergines with loads of basil, garlic and olive oil. Make a good tomato sauce while the aubergines are baking. Add some cooked lentils to the aubergines, cover with the sauce and bake again. Serve with some grilled Haloumi cheese.

  45. Love any dish with aubergines. Also love pumpkin and lentil pie as well as butternut and spinach lasagne.

  46. I just love making a good vegetarian chili, especially during summer when I can find beautiful and fresh vegetables at the farmers market. It’s so tasty and comforting. I always add a little bit of Pasilla de Oaxaca chile in it, the smokey savour is absolutely delicious!!

  47. I love some caramelized brussel sprouts! Right now it’s my favorite vegetarian dish!

  48. Having been a vegetarian for 30 years, I don’t know where to start … so many good dishes to choose from … but my ultimate has to be Madhur Jaffery’s Courgette ‘Meatballs’ (no meat included), ‘exquisitely elegant’, consisting of tender ‘meatballs’ made out of grated courgette bathed in a creamy, spicy sauce. Perfect.

  49. rehana seedat

    My favourite vegetarian dish is: Pasta with Feta cheese and green Beans and I also love Creamy carrot Coconut soup. Yummylicious! Have shared the compeition post to facebook and tweeted as well. Twittername: @online61524 #fingersandtoescrossed

  50. My favourite vegetarian dish: Butternut and lentil lasagna or chickpea cakes (similar to fishcakes). Best of all my kids love it!

  51. OOh and a butternut Frittata – simple and easy to cook, yet so delicious. Perfect for a working mom 🙂

  52. Veggie dishes can run the gamut, a staple favorite in our house are patacos…sweet potatoes covered in taco fixings (black beans, kale, salsa, avocado and sour cream).

  53. My favourite vegetarian dish to prepare is a vegetarian biryani, I am vegetarian since birth and would love to have this book so i could learn to some other vegetarian dishes.

  54. I would so love this book, we have committed to meat-free Mondays this year. Chick pea curry and Melanzane Parmigano my all time favs.

  55. Anna Popof

    I would love to have the opportunity to own this book. Meat free Mondays will never be dull again. 😀

  56. I’m vegetarian so I would love this book! So many delicious favourites to choose from, but my absolute favourites are Dhal Makhni (best left to the amazing cooks at Thava restaurant), Imam Bayildi ( a turkish dish of aubergines, tomatoes, garlic, lemon and olive oil – the name means ‘the Imam fainted’) and courgette tart (puff pastry, creme fraiche, grated cheese, lemon juice and zest, lemon thyme, courgette ribbons and olive oil).

  57. Kathy Makgill

    As I’ve gotten older, I’m drawn more to vegetarian cooking. Not only for health reasons, but for flavor and beauty. Just look at those photos from the book ! You could frame them! My favorite vegetarian food is the humble/simple roasted sweet potato. But I must admit my all time fav recipe is Black Olive Tapanade- it’s like eating Mediterranean sunshine, best when eaten with homemade bread. Anyone who tries it always wants the recipe… those are the recipes we call the ‘keepers’.

  58. Salted cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzerella drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and served with bruschetta.

  59. Olga Morales

    Lentils and Kale soup with lots of onion and tomato. And raw grated beet and carrot salad with drizzle of heavy cream and nuts. I was reading Aristotle’s book on happiness and he quotes Hippocrates ” Let thy food be thy medicine”.

  60. A vegan friend made me the most excellent zuchinni lasagna with cashew based ricotta cheese – the most amazing meal (vegetarian or not) I’ve in a long time!!!

  61. This cookbook looks fabulous! Stunning pictures, I can’t wait to try these recipes!

  62. I have been a pescatarian for almost 30 years and still get excited when I see a new veggie book. Any dish with lentils in it is my absolute favourite.

  63. I’m really fond of Indian vegetarian dishes, my favourite dish is a toss up between lentil dahl and palak paneer.

  64. This book looks absolutely gorgeous. I love vegetarian food. I make a fabulous spinach lasagna by simply layering creamed spinach with pasta sheets and a good home-made tomato sauce. I add a few tablespoons of cream to each layer. I top with a generous scatter of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and bake this. Its fabulous. I also love to oven roast a variety of vegetables, sprinkle on dukkah roll these up in wraps with salad and grated cheddar.

  65. Kathy Makgill

    Thanks Ana for the peri-peri sauce suggestion- I love spicy foods. Definitely lots to learn ! x

  66. I LOVE my grandmother’s homemade eggplant parmigiana, especially when made using the fresh ingredients grown in our backyard in Southern Italy.

  67. I LOVE my grandmother’s homemade eggplant parmigiana, especially when made using fresh ingredients from our garden in Southern Italy.

  68. I’m a vegetarian and found The Kitchen cookbook to have some amazing no-meat recipes. My favourite dish to make is the harissa chickpeas with courgette ribbons, lemon juice and fresh herbs. It’s a wonderful accompaniment to other salads, soya schnitzels etc – but also amazing just on its own.

  69. Sam

    I agree Tamsin, its also a fab book for veggie recipes.

  70. anything with cous cous in it!
    otherwise my favourite vegetarian comfort food – mashed potatoe, sweet potatoe and butternut with cottage cheese, sundried tomatoes and avocade. Best eaten straight from the pot!

  71. I’m a fan of anything with eggplant or sweet potatoes. But lately I’ve particularly fallen in love with beetroot and barley risotto- although I never had it as a child, the tastes really remind me of my childhood in Russia.

  72. Sam

    Thank you all for the amazing response and fabulous vegetarian recipe ideas, the winners of the books are Flee and Lauren. I will get in touch directly with you about getting the books posted. Thanks to everyone for entering and I hope you go out and get this lovely book.

    Sam

  73. Wow Thank you so much for the wonderful Surprise Sam… Look forward to trying every single recipe.
    Happy Valentines day to all…

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