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"A vegan is coming to lunch!!!"

Today I cooked a pissaladiere (without the traditional anchovies), for a vegan customer who was visiting the offices of one of my clients.

I know that people often panic at the thought of entertaining someone who follows a vegan diet, so here is a nice easy recipe that your vegan and non-vegan guests will enjoy!

Easy Vegan Pissaladiere

1 roll of ready made puff pastry (substitute for GF puff if you want to)

2 onions

Rapeseed or olive oil

1 aubergine (egg plant)

1 sweet bell pepper – deseeded and sliced (red, yellow or orange - which ever colour you prefer)

1 jar of black olive tapenade (without anchovies) – or very easy to make your own

1 tsp small capers

A few sprigs of fresh basil

Salt, pepper and turmeric

Preheat oven to 200C.

Place a deep frying pan on a medium heat with 3 tbs oil, a good pinch of salt, pepper and ¼ tsp turmeric.

Add onions to the pan – toss about in the seasoned oil, turn the heat down to low. Scrunch up a piece of greaseproof paper under the running cold tap. Shake off most of the water, then tuck the damp paper down over the onions, allowing them to gently sweat for about 10-15 minutes until soft and opaque. Set aside until cool.

While the onins are cooking, slice the aubergine into 3mm slices, toss with a little oil, a bit of salt and pepper and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Repeat with the pepper. Set roast vegetables aside until cool.

Take half the cooled onion and whizz in a food processor to a rough puree, leaving the rest as they are.

Roll out the pastry. Spread the tapenade over the whole area, leaving a margin of about 1 cm.

Spread the pureed onion over the tapenade, top with the in-pureed onion slices, then scatter the aubergine, red pepper and capers over the top. (sometimes I add sliced artichoke hearts or pitted black olives).

Place tart on baking sheet and cook in oven for about 20 minutes – or until the pastry is cooked through.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes, then sprinkle with freshly chopped basil and enjoy!

I think it tastes best at room temperature, but it can be eaten hot or cold. Great for picnics too!

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