Here are seven easy recipes – one for every day of the week – which can be cooked in a camper van, perhaps even just on a gas stove (if you have plenty of gas!). Each has a somewhat glamorous twist to your standard camping fare, but then, just because you’re a vegetarian, doesn’t mean you don’t like the nicer things in life! Why have cotton?
1) Wild Sroom Omelette with Brie, fresh Basil and Truffle oil
Fry some (wild) mushrooms in butter or oil. Add in three whisked eggs and towards end of cooking add slices of Brie cheese. If you have a cooker in your camper, stick it under the grill for a couple of minutes. Serve with basil sprigs and a drizzle of truffle oil. (I actually took a small bottle from home with me – seems a bit extravagant but was worth it – really pepped up this dish and others).
2) White Asparagus and Parmesan salad
Simply boil or steam and when drained, drizzle with truffle oil (or olive oil) and layer with basil leaves and shavings of Parmesan (or other French hard cheese, I happen to take some Parmesan with me so that’s what we used). Lovely with some bread or a as a side dish to cheese stuffed tortellini.
3) Three-Cheese on Toast
Take some local bread and top with a mixture of three cheeses and dried herbs. Simples.
4) Champagne Truffle Hot Chocolate
Before I left the UK, I bought some Charbonnel et Walker Champagne truffles which I found in John Lewis half price. One evening camping I was desperate for a dessert, so I melted down three truffles into some soya milk (not very French I realise – but tasted lovely btw) and topped with some miniature Haribo marshmallows I also had for such emergencies. (And yes, I took my own mug, much to my partner’s dismay.)
5) Stuffed Globe Artichoke
I realise the below shot doesn’t look particularly inspiring, but trust me, this dish is the tastiest on the list. These globe artichokes are everywhere here. The French usually cook these with Hollandaise sauce, but this recipe actually has more of an Italian twist. In fact, it’s a Maltese recipe, one my Nona and Mum would always make. I’ll post the full recipe to this in a separate post, if you like. But here’s a quick summary. You can stuff the leaves with anything you have to hand. I used black olives, garlic, breadcrumbs (made roughly using my fingers), parsley and olive oil. Push the stuffing in between each leaf. Pop two inches of water in a pan, carefully place the artichoke up-right (try to stand it up on its stalk) so the stuffing doesn’t fall out and pop the lid on for 30 – 40 mins. Maybe longer if it’s a big one. The leaves should pull off the stalk easily when ready. Douse the cooked artichoke with olive oil. Serve with bread and wine.
6) Fromage & Frites Baguette (Cheese and Chip Butty)
Oh yes. Now we’re talking. I have to say, this supper, which was a complete accident, was an absolute winner! We bought some frites from our campsite reception and armed with only some leftover baguette and Munster Lisbeth AOP cheese (a bit like Brie but more yellow in colour and with a deeper and creamy flavour) – we stuffed the bread with chips, cheese and French mayonnaise. Served with a glass of Burgundy, I was in food heaven.
7) Vegetarian Two-Bean and Fennel chilli
For a break from all that cheese we found some local vegetables. In a pan we mixed, garlic, onion, fennel, two tins of different beans, a tin of tomato, two red chilli peppers and some yellow bell peppers. Served with rice, a dollop of sour cream and some fresh coriander.