Mood-Boosting Recipes from Wild by Tart

We all need a bit of inspiration to eat well at the moment. Wild by Tart share their top recipes for January including an energy-giving Asian salad, a restorative mushroom soup and a comforting spicy peanut and aubergine curry. Plus a teatime treat of crunchy, nutty millionaire’s shortbread.

Asian crunchy salad (serves 4-6)

Tofu marinade:

Tofu 340g
4 tbs Sesame oil
4 tbs Soy sauce
2 tbs Rice wine vinegar
Ginger, 2 inches, grated
1 garlic, pressed
1 chili, finely chopped
2 lime juice and zest
1 lemon grass, finely diced
1 tbs maple syrup

1 Brocoli, cut into florets
1 avocado, cut into cubes
Handful sugar snaps, cut lengthways
½ Cucumber, peeled, sliced lengthways, deseeded and cut into crescents
Shitaki mushrooms, rough sliced
Radishes, cut into quarters
Small bunch coriander and mint leaves
2 lime leaves, finely stripped
5 spring onions, finely chopped
Peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Sesame seeds, toasted
Brown rice (cook for 4-6 people), cooked to instructions. Drizzled in sesame oil

Sauce (all ingredients to be blitzed in a magimix or blender):
2 carrots
1 lemon grass
2 inches, ginger
1 garlic
1 tbs peanut butter
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 shallot
1 tbs honey
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs miso paste
2 tbs water

Make sure you get most of the water out of the tofu by pressing it in kitchen towel, then cut it into 2cm cubes and marinate for at least an hour.

Blanch the broccoli, so its still crunchy and then mix together with the other salad ingredients.

Divide the rice between your  bowls, top with the mixed salad. Sprinkle the seeds over the top and added coriander. Drizzle any remaining marinade over the top. Serve with the carrot sauce.

Spicy Peanut Aubergine Curry (serves 4)

Healthy curries are the ultimate way to give yourself a dose of comfort any night of the week. This recipe is wonderfully rich and filling with a smoky spice and satisfying crunch of peanut, that is heightened and harmonised with a zingy yoghurt.

For the curry paste:

2 red peppers (from a jar)
5 garlic cloves
thumb ginger
2 lemon grass (bottom chopped and tough outer layer removed)
3 shallots
4 lime leaves
medium bunch coriander stalks
5 red chillies- deseded
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander

For the curry itself:

1 tin coconut milk
250ml stock
1 tbsp tamarind
2 big aubergine- cut into large chunks (2 inches)
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp of crunchy peanut butter
Squeeze maple syrup
1 lime- juice


4tbsp yoghurt
2 limes zested and juice.
1 tbsp of finely chopped shallot.
1 tsp ground cumin

Blitz your curry paste to a smooth paste, add a little water if needs be.

Heat a large frying pan and in batches fry your aubergine over a high heat in a little groundnut oil until golden all over, adding cumin seeds at the last few minutes to crisp up with it.

Now in a pot heat some coconut butter over a medium heat and add your paste making sure it doesn’t catch (lower the heat if needs be). Keep cooking until fragrant. If starting to dry or catch you might add a little water.

Now add the stock, coconut milk and tamarind and simmer for 5 minutes until infused. Then add the aubergine and a good squirt of honey and slowly simmer for a further 15 minutes, then add peanut butter and mix through and infuse for a few more minutes.

Finish with a good squeeze of lime, now taste to see for adjustments- maybe more spice, salt or tang needed.

Mix yoghurt mixture and season. Serve with steamed rice and garnish with toasted chopped peanuts, freshly chopped coriander and chilli and a dollop of yoghurt mixture.

Restorative mushroom soup (serves 4)

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
3 shallots
2 red chilies
2 lemon grass sticks
3 garlic cloves
2 lime leaves
Stalks from a bunch of coriander
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Handful of dried porchini mushrooms
2 limes – zest and juice
750ml Stock (vegetable or chicken)
1 tsp tamerind paste
1 tsp Fish sauce
1 tbsp Soy sauce
1 ½ tsp palm sugar (or maple syrup)
Garlic clove, thinly sliced
250g Shitake mushrooms – chopped into quarters
250g enoki mushrooms

Sesame oil
Udon noodles
Spring onions
Coriander leaves
Sesame seeds

Finely chop the shallots, ginger, chilies, garlic, lemon grass and coriander stalks (or blitz in a food processor).

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the above, sauté for 5 minutes then add the spices, lime leaves, shitake and enoki mushrooms and lime zest, heat for another 2 mins, keep stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Then add the stock, tamarind, fish sauce and soy sauce. Simmer keeping to a medium heat for at least 20 minutes to allow the soup to infuse.

Next dry the tofu between paper towel and cut into cubes, fry in a pan with ground nut oil until crisp and golden then add a splash of soy sauce and sesame oil. While these cook, slice up the spring onions, radishes, coriander and chilies for your topping.

Cook your noodles according to the packet instructions. Serve in a deep bowl with the broth, mushrooms and tofu, adding all the pretty toppings, finishing with a few coriander leaves and toasted sesame seeds.

Crunchy nutty millionaires shortbread

For the base:
250g pecans, toasted
200g Gluten Free digestive biscuits
250g prunes
2 tbsp coconut oil

For the middle:
300g almond butter
300g peanut butter
200ml maple syrup
good pinch of sea salt

For the top:
250g good quality dark chocolate – we use Green and black
2 tbsp coconut oil
sea salt

Bash the pecans and the biscuits until they’re quite fine (either in a food processor, or put in a bag and hit with rolling pin).

Heat the prunes in a small pan with a glass of water and the coconut oil till simmering then place in the food processor and pulse. Add the prune mixture to the pecan and digestives and mix with your hands till combined.

Line a 20cm x 20cm tin with cling film and press the mixture into the tin evenly, place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Mix together the almond butter, peanut butter, maple syrup and salt then take the tray out of the freezer and poor in the mixture.

Lastly melt the chocolate and the coconut oil carefully in a small pan then poor into the tin, spread evenly and sprinkle with salt. Place back in the freezer for 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. Keep in the fridge covered for a week.

For more recipes, the book A Love of Eating: Recipes from Tart London by Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones, £25 is available here

— Daisy Allsup
12th January 2021