18 May 2022

Sophie Gordon on her dad’s childhood pasta, fake meats and vegan chocolate truffles

Sophie Gordon on her dad’s childhood pasta, fake meats and vegan chocolate truffles

Vegan food writer and super club host Sophie Gordon is all about making meat-free meals delicious and sustainable.

Her debut cookbook, The Whole Vegetable: Sustainable Recipes For A Healthier Planet, encourages a less-waste approach by using as much of the vegetable as possible – skins, stalks and all.

We caught up with the Brighton-based 29-year-old based to talk home-cooking, hangover cures, and what she really eats late at night…

What would your death row meal be? “I’d always go for something very simple, a really nice quality pasta with just a really simple tomato ragu sauce and some Tenderstem broccoli.”

Is there anything you still can’t cook? “Sometimes patties or burgers. I wouldn’t say I can’t do them, I just find them more of a challenge. [For vegan burgers] getting the right flavour and the consistency, and depending on if you’re going to fry them or put them in the oven, it’s one of those difficult things.”

What’s your favourite store cupboard essential? “Tahini.”

What’s the kitchen utensil you can’t live without? “My Vitamix, it’s a blender/food processor.”

What’s your favourite late night snack of choice? “Either a vegan chocolate truffle, or what me and my boyfriend have been into recently is sweet and salted popcorn.”

What’s your signature dish? “Probably a variation of my chickpea and celery dish [from her cookbook]. I always have pulses in. I do it with lentils or chickpeas or butter beans, and then just kind of a creamy sauce using tahini and lots of garlic, herbs. That’s my go-to.”

Favourite childhood dish? “My dad used to make this pasta all the time; there’s a similar one in the book but it was basically any pasta that we had, and then any vegetable that was left in the fridge. He’d make a tomato-y creamy sauce with loads of garlic, and we used to have that all the time. Sometimes as a one-pot or sometimes a bake. And then when I was vegetarian, he’d put cheese on it. I love it, it gives me very good memories.”

What did you have for dinner last night? “Pizza – we went out. I had cherry tomatoes, garlic, broccoli and artichokes.”

What’s your favourite takeout? “Either a Thai or a Mexican.”

Is there anything you don’t like eating? “I’m not hugely into fake meats.”

What’s your ultimate hangover cure? “This might sound a bit silly but probably a green juice or a smoothie.”

The Whole Vegetable: Sustainable Recipes For A Healthier Planet by Sophie Gordon is published by Michael Joseph, priced £25. Available now.

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