Vegan Arayes Grilled Cheese

The best vegan grilled cheese recipe this side of the Levant.

Done in 30 mins

Mia Jacobs

Dish by Mia Jacobs

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.
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Ingredients

Arayes is a magical thing... but without all that fatty meat us vegans are missing out on some of that oily indulgence. So the Arayes Grilled Cheese was born, in answer to all our prayers, to provide a deliciously hearty, fragrant, flavour packed grilled cheese to rival all grilled cheeses. The green sauce is in there to add a bit of zing and cut through the richness of the filling and the tahini sauce is the perfect accompaniment to that acidic tomato base.

Method

Start with the sauces. In a small bowl, combine everything for the herby green sauce then set to one side. Then for the tahini sauce, begin by adding the tahini into a bowl then gradually add cold water and whisk until it reaches a smooth, slightly thick but drizzleable consistency. Take 1 tsp of your green sauce and add it into the tahini along with the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Boil a kettle with 200ml water. In a heatproof bowl or jug, add the finely chopped walnuts and cous cous, season with a pinch of salt and pour in the just boiled water. Cover the jug or bowl and set aside to soften for around 10 minutes.

Heat a medium frying pan over a medium high heat. Pour in the extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, tip in the grated onion, carrot and mushrooms and stir to coat in the oil. Fry for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until all the moisture has gone and the veg are starting to turn golden brown. Next, add the garlic and tomato paste and stir through the veg. Cook for a few minutes, until the tomato paste darkens slightly then add the seasonings - the za'atar, baharat, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Cook the spices out for 1 minute to allow them to bloom and become fragrant.

By now, the cous cous should be cooked and the walnuts softened. Drain the mixture of any remaining water then add into the pan along with the cooked veg. Stir to combine fully. Add the cornstarch and 1 tbsp water into the pan and mix fairly vigorously. Lastly, fold in the chopped parsley then remove the mixture from the pan. Don't wash the pan - keep the flavoured oil for the next step.

Butter both slices of bread then top one with the meaty mixture and all the vegan cheese (it will make a thick sandwich, so feel free to divide the mixture and cheese into two and make another toastie, if preferred). Flip over the other slice so the butter is on the bottom then, on the dry side, brush over a generous amount of the green sauce.

Reheat the same pan over a medium heat with another glug of extra virgin olive oil. Once it's hot, lower in the slice of bread that's topped with the meaty mixture and cheese. Fry for a few minutes then add a splash of water to the edge of the pan and cover with a lid to help melt the cheese. After a few minutes the cheese should be melting nicely so top with the other slice of bread, green sauce side down, then flip and fry for a few minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the pan once the cheese has melted and both sides are crisp and golden brown. Serve with the tahini dipping sauce and enjoy!

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Mia Jacobs

Mia Jacobs

Mia is a self-taught cook with an obsession with street food and an absolute hatred for parsnips. Before joining Twisted Green, Mia founded an online vegan cooking school in the midst of the global pandemic and began teaching people all over the world how to cook incredible vegan food from the comfort of their own homes. Her mission was, and still is, to help transform kitchens everywhere from a daunting space to one that’s filled with the irresistible aroma of frying garlic, and some very special plant-based grub. She also believes that crisps and hummus are a gift to humanity.

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