Today's Vegan Mofo challenge was to make a retro recipe. Well, hello?! I just so happen to be smack dab in the middle of writing a retro vegan cookbook, filled with veganized versions of trendy foods from the 20th century. I've developed around 75 so far, ranging from all manner of 1970s fondues to World War II-era breads to 1990s sushi.
But this week, I whipped up two new retro recipes. One is for Tomato Pie. Italian-American immigrants created tomato pie — a thick focaccia-like bread topped with tomato sauce — in the early 20th century, somewhere around 1910.
It looks a bit like pizza with no cheese, but it's actually more complex than that. The dough is thicker and softer. It's baked in a rectangle, rather than a wheel. And it's often served at room temp. Some people sprinkle a little parm on top, so upon serving, I sprinkled mine with nooch. Isn't it cool that this traditional pie is made with little or no cheese?
I also developed a new retro salad recipe for the cookbook this week — Salad a la Russe.
I found a very non-vegan recipe for this salad a la russe, which translates to "salad Russian-style," on this website. It's originally from a 1939 Mazola oil cook booklet! And I've no idea if this salad is actually Russian-style or not, but that's the name.
It's a cabbage slaw with green peas, carrots, and sausages. I used my homemade steamed seitan sausages, but any vegan sausage link will do. Those things are mixed together and tossed with a homemade French dressing and allowed to marinate for several hours. I followed the recipe pretty closely with this part, except of course subbing the vegan sausage for meat sausage.
But then the original recipe tells you how to make homemade mayo using Mazola oil, vinegar, and spices. And, of course, it calls for eggs. Instead, I used Just Mayo and added the spices — parsley, onion powder, salt, cayenne. To serve, you plate the marinated slaw and add a dollop of the mayo dressing. It sounds weird as hell, but once that mayo gets mixed in, it turns into a bowl of creamy goodness!