Today I’m sharing a vegan casserole recipe from the 10th anniversary edition of Veganomicon. This baked farro with tomatoes is the kind of warming dish that October needs.
Unbelievably, 10 years have passed since Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, came on the scene. Written by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, it was one of the first vegan cookbooks in my collection.
To celebrate this milestone, they have released a 10th anniversary edition that includes 25 brand new dishes, updated recipes, and lots of photos throughout.
(The original edition just included a photo insert with a few highlighted dishes in the middle.)
With over 250 recipes in total, there’s everything from basics to lengthy cooking projects. It’s also newly formatted, so that there’s just one recipe per page, which makes for easier cooking and reading.
These are all reasons that the 10th anniversary edition has 432 pages, and the original has 298.
10th anniversary edition of Veganomicon
Reading the 10th anniversary edition of Veganomicon was like being whisked back in time to my Glendale apartment, where David and I lived when we first got married.
I got the original Veganomicon as a Christmas gift from my cousin when it first came out.
It was one of my favorite presents that year. I could hardly wait to tear into it.
When I wasn’t cooking out of it, this 3-pound book served double duty as my first tofu press. That was back in the days before a variety of tofu presses were available for sale.
Instead, I’d cover a plate with a towel, cut water-packed tofu into 6 slices, cover the tofu in another towel, and top that with Veganomicon. On top of that, I’d put a 10-pound kettlebell. Then the whole thing would go in my refrigerator!
You know you’re vegan if you have a kettlebell in your refrigerator…
Nowadays, I just use vacuum-packed tofu, so that I don’t have to press it. But in a pinch, Veganomicon works. Plus, you get a cookbook out of the deal as well. Bonus!
Some of my old Veganomicon favorites included samosa stuffed baked potatoes, lemony roasted potatoes, and hot sauce glazed tempeh, which pairs wonderfully with smoky sweet vegan collard greens.
But like so many other people, my #1 favorite would have to be the chickpea cutlets. They’re a vegan main dish that you can really dig into with a fork and knife.
I revisited the recipe again after getting the new edition of Veganomicon. I always like to do the baked version, as opposed to the fried one. I served them with a salad topped with lemon tahini dressing.
Gravy isn’t a necessity on the chickpea cutlet, but it was on this particularly drizzly fall day. I made sage & pepper gravy from Vegan Diner, an easy gravy that uses pantry staples and is ready in minutes.
Chickpea cutlets are also really lovely with orange-cranberry sauce.
Salt and pepper tofu
Then I revisited another old favorite – salt and pepper tofu.
This recipe wasn’t in the original book, but it was available on the Post Punk Kitchen forum when the book was released.
It was a tester recipe that people loved, but for whatever reason didn’t make it into the first edition. Luckily, it did make it into the 10th anniversary edition.
This salt and pepper tofu has lots of texture and crispiness from being coated with cornstarch. It has a peppery edge from red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, and a splash of rice vinegar.
(Instead of frying the tofu this time, I used the air fryer, and then finished it off in a skillet with sautéed garlic and ginger. I’d say it’s a little tastier making the recipe as written, but you can’t beat the clean-up of the air fryer.)
I served the salt and pepper tofu with sautéed broccolini and pink rice. (I love using pink rice, because it cooks in just 20 minutes.)
On the side, vegetable spring rolls from Trader Joe’s, also cooked in the air fryer. (They’re one of my favorite vegan Trader Joe’s products.)
Baked farro vegan casserole
Today I’m sharing a new recipe for you from the 10th anniversary edition – baked farro with tomatoes and herbs.
This vegan casserole tastes like a pasta bake with the flavors of diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, and nutritional yeast. That makes it an excellent choice for serving to vegans and non-vegans alike.
The farro in this vegan casserole gives it a wonderful bite. Farro doesn’t have the popularity it deserves. But for people like me who prefer a chewy grain, it is worthy of higher billing. It has a dense texture, similar to wheat berries or barley.
This vegan casserole recipe serves six, but I went ahead and made the full allotment, even though I’m cooking for two.
The flavors had a chance to meld as the days passed, making it excellent for leftovers and as a packed lunch option.
I served the baked farro with a simple salad on the side. It would also do well with roasted broccoli or sautéed spinach.
Baked farro with tomatoes & herbs
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups uncooked farro
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups vegetable broth purchased or homemade, or water
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices (do not drain)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley or fresh basil
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
- Sort through the farro to remove any broken grains and rinse in a colander. In a large saucepan over medium, saute the garlic and shallot in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 2 minutes to soften the shallot. Stir in the farro and the bay leaf and saute for another minute, then pour in the vegetable broth and the tomatoes. Increase the heat to high and bring to a rapid simmer. Cook for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add oregano, thyme, and salt. Remove bay leaf. Taste and season with a little more salt, if desired (if using water, you may want to), then stir in the parsley and nutritional yeast.
- Pour the farro mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the farro has absorbed almost all of the liquid.
- Pulse together the topping ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor (or pound with a mortar and pestle) into coarse crumbs. Take the casserole out of the oven, remove the foil, and cover the top evenly with the walnut topping. Drizzle those 2 tablespoons of olive oil on top and bake for 10 minutes to lightly brown the top of the casserole. For best results, allow the farro to sit for 10 minutes to cool slightly and firm up a bit. Serve warm; this casserole tastes even better the next day after the flavors have blended a bit more.