One of my New Year's resolutions for 2014 is to wrap up recipe development for my "vintage vegan" cookbook project. I'm veganizing trendy foods from the last century — stuff like 1970s fondue, Mad Men-style cocktails from the 1960s, war time staples of the 1940s, and crazy fusion cuisine from the 1990s. But I have quite a lot of work to do before I can even think about securing testers and such. This year is all about getting caught up.
Steak tartare, minced raw beef or horse meat (bleh) served with onions and raw egg yolks on rye, was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. It sounds perfectly disgusting, and I'll admit that I've never had (or even seen) steak tartare. But still yet, I wanted to recreate it. At first, I considered using raw nut meat to replace the raw beef. But nut meat on rye didn't sound very delicious.
After a little internet research, I found that Portland's famed Portobello Vegan Trattoria serves a beet tartare appetizer with cashew cheese and toast. And there are a few vegan recipes for beet tartare online. I hesitated at first to make something that has already been done, but it just sounded so good! And of course, I put my own spin on it by adding roasted carrots too. Here's my Roasted Root Veggie Tartare with Cashew Cheese on Jewish Rye.
It's an elegant dish, but honestly it's super easy to prepare. Just roasted beets (I used red and yellow beets, but they all turned red) and carrots tossed with a little marinade and served atop a simple cashew spread. I got the Jewish Rye from the Whole Foods bakery.
Sticking with the 1920s theme, I also created a recipe for a tomato-based French Salad Dressing, which according to the Food Timeline, was a popular dressing back then. I kept my salad simple with just cucumbers and romaine.
This dressing has both chopped olives and pickle relish, and it's based off an old 1920s recipe that I found on the Food Timeline website (an amazing resource for this project!). The recipe on that page was taken from Bettina's Best Salads and What to Serve With Them by Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen
Cowles LeCron (1923). I stayed within the framework of that recipe, but I made mine much healthier.