This recipe has vegan friendly replacements for the typical bagel fillings of cream cheese and smoked salmon. The Tahini helps bring back some of the rich, creamy flavours and the peppers and carrots provide a variety of texture. The secret weapon in the whole combination though, is the Grape Must Mustard, with its balance of warmth, sweetness and sharpness that marks it out as being quite different from usual mustards. Avocado and roast mushrooms would make a great alternative filling.
150g cashew nuts
½ lemon, juiced
2 red or yellow peppers, sliced in half, stalk and seeds removed
2 carrots, stalk removed, cut in half width ways, then into thin slices
2tbsp Capers, chopped (optional)
Few pinches Smoked Paprika, cayenne pepper/chilli flakes
A small bunch of dill or basil (approx. 30g), roughly chopped
½ small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1tbsp Merlot Vinegar (or good quality red wine vinegar with a few pinches of sugar added)
4tsp Grape Must Mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place the cashew nuts in a small bowl or container and cover with water. Soak for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.
Drain the cashews and place in a small food processor, blitz until finely chopped, stopping and scraping down the edges from time to time. Keep blitzing until you achieve a smooth paste, then add the Tahini, 2tbsp Olive Oil, ½tsp salt and lemon juice and blitz again to combine. Add a little water if it looks too thick. Scrape into a bowl and place in the fridge to cool.
Heat an oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas Mark 6. Toss the peppers with 1tbsp Olive Oil and salt and pepper. Lay on a baking tray and place in the hot oven for 10 minutes. Toss the carrot slices in the remaining Olive Oil and season with salt and pepper. Add to the same tray as the peppers (after the peppers have cooked for 10 minutes) then cook both for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the peppers have softened and both having begun to caramelise around the edges.
Remove from the oven and when cool enough, season with the chopped Capers, Smoked Paprika, cayenne pepper/chilli flakes and half of the chopped herbs and set aside.
Whilst the vegetables are roasting, soak the onion in cold water for 5 minutes to remove some of its sting, then cover with the vinegar and toss to coat.
When ready to serve, split the bagels in half then lightly toast or warm in the oven. Spread the lower half with some of the cashew cheese then top with some of the pepper and carrot mixture. Sprinkle a few more herbs on top, followed by the pickled onion. Spread the Mustard on the inside of the upper halves of the bagels and place on top.