Michael Olivier is a well-known South African wine and food commentator who has had a decades long career in the food industry, including training at Le Cordon Bleu London and running several award winning restaurants. His cookbook Friends. Food. Flavour is illustrated by Roelienn Immelman, who also added her distinctive style of food illustrations to the nostalgic Share by Errieda du Toit which I wrote about here.
Friends. Food. Flavor is a cookbook that is as much about the stories food tell as it is about the recipes themselves. He includes his own recipes sprinkled amongst recipes from his friends – Nadia Graves, Ina Paarman, Zola Nene, Samantha Linsell, Mark Dodson, and his grandmother amongst others. It’s a unique cookbook, not just because it’s a wonderful collaboration between so many cooks, but because Oliver has brought his wine origins into every recipe by paring most dishes with a wine.
The recipes are distinctly South African and include local delights like waterblommetjiebredie, snoek pate, pampoenkoekies, peppermint crisp ice-cream parfait, milk tart and more…
Dietary wise there’s a bit of everything, so it’s best suited for those that don’t follow any restrictions and love South African flavors.
The recipe I’m sharing is Mira Weiner’s vegan French toast. It’s a simple recipe but her genius hack of grinding up chia seeds and whisking them with milk, create a gloopy texture that perfectly mimics eggs. I served it with fresh fruit and this OKJA vegan chocolate hazelnut spread.
Vegan French Toast
- 250 ml plant based milk
- 15 ml chia seeds ground
- 2.5 ml vanilla extract
- 4 slices bread of your choice the drier the bread, the better
- fresh fruit, fruit compote, chocolate spread or whipped cconut cream for topping
- Whisk together the milk, ground chia seeeds and vanilla extract. Refigerate for 10-15 minutes. Take out of the refridgerator and whisk again.
- Dip the bread slices into the milk mixture for a few seconds on each side. You don't want the bread to get so soggy that it falls apart, but each slice must be nicely coated with the mixture.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and fry the bread slices for a few minutes on each side or until golden.
- Serve with your choice of fresh fruit, syrup, spread etc.
Recipe is reprinted with permission from the publisher. Images are by Nutreats Food Photography Studio.