VEGAN FRANCESINHA
VEGAN FRANCESINHA
MAINS
MAINS

VEGAN FRANCESINHA

Are you a Francesinha lover? Learn how to make the best Vegan Francesinha at your home and surprise everyone!

Are you a Francesinha lover? Learn how to make the best Vegan Francesinha at your home and surprise everyone!

THE SECRET IS IN THE SAUCE

Yes I know, there are already 1000 vegan Francesinhas recipes, but there is always room for one more, and I couldn’t not share my version of this Portuguese loved dish!

 

It’s funny that before I went vegan, I hated Francesinha, just the idea of seeing all those types of meat and sausages together in one place made my stomach turn (I was never a meat lover). It was only when I tasted a plant based Francesinha that I was completely surrendered to the recipe charms!

 

I know there are many people who do not consider a vegan Francesinha a real Francesinha, but that’s all prejudice against those who eat exclusively plant based foods. The principle and essence of the recipe are there, we just exchange the meat for vegetables or plant based alternatives to sausages and keep rocking anyway! Yes, because people go vegan but still enjoying the traditional flavors,  we didn’t become vegan because we stopped liking meat, or fish, or seafood, or shellfish, we became vegan because we do not want to continue to be part on animal suffering and death.

 

But leaving all this behind, and taking a little trip to the roots of this recipe, Francesinha was born in the Regaleira restaurant, in Oporto, by the hands of Daniel David de Silva, the owner. Daniel emigrated to Belgium where he worked in the restoration business, but the nostalgia spoke louder and he soon returned with an enormous desire to invest in the same business. He brought the idea of croque monsieur from Belgium, but it didn’t work out well in Portuguese lands. But Daniel knew that from that recipe he was going to be able to create something amazing. And it was in mid-1952 that Daniel invited a group of friends to appear at Regaleira and taste his latest delicacy. Then he served a generous sandwich, covered in melted cheese and a deep orange sauce. All of them surrendered to that wonder, which only lacked one thing, the name.

 

 For being a spicy and delicious dish, in that circle of friends, pop the idea to give the name Francesinha to that recipe, alluding directly to the French woman, seen as more liberal and confident than the Portuguese woman that time.

 

Francesinha’s success was almost instantaneous and in a short time people were already lining up at Regaleira’s door just to enjoy the dish.

 

Of course, everything that is very successful is copied, adapted and adopted a little everywhere and it was no different with Francesinha, who also had its versions all over the country, starting obviously in Oporto, then Gaia and then from then on… The dish ended up becoming one of the most appreciated delicacies in the Oporto city and a gastronomic reference also. Going to Oporto and not eating Francesinha is the same as going to Rome and not seeing the Pope!

 

People says that the secret is in the sauce, and I agree, a good sauce makes all the difference, doesn’t it? A sauce can completely elevate or ruin a recipe.

 

But whether it’s the sauce or not, the truth is that there is a fierce competition between the Francesinhas specialty restaurants about which is the best. There was never and will never reach a consensus, because the tastes are like the As*, each one has its own right? And although the customers of these restaurants are almost like ardent supporters who wear the shirt, there are more and more versions of Francesinha appearing, including vegan ones, which increasingly widens the spectrum and choice, making choosing the best Francesinha something still less unanimous.

 

Well, what can i say is that the best vegan Francesinha is obviously mine! Modesty aside but my sauce, mamma mia!! Finger-licking!

THIS RECIPE IS:

HOT | SPICY | DELICIOUS | INTENSE

 

 

Of course I needed to make my interpretation of a recipe that is so typical and representative of Portugal. One of the most famous sandwiches in the world and one of the most appreciated as well.

 

And even though Francesinha seems like an extremely elaborate and complex recipe, the truth is that it’s not all that. It all comes down to a sauce and slices of this and that in the middle of cheese-covered slices of bread. Who doesn’t know how to make a sandwich?

 

In my Francesinha I made a point of making a sauce without adding flour or other thickeners. A sauce full of ingredients that combine beautifully and make us salivate. To give you an idea, my sauce takes 14 ingredients and none of them are water or broth. It is a rich, warm and velvety sauce. For me, the perfect sauce for a Francesinha.

 

Meats and sausages were replaced with sautéed eggplant slices and courgette, grilled tofu and pant based sausages.

 

The cheese I used was Green Vie’s Smoked Gouda slices. I met the brand recently but I’ve already become a fan. They are plant based alternatives very faithful to the traditional versions of cheese in terms of taste, behavior and texture, and are definitely my favorites at the moment. I chose smoked gouda to intensify Francesinha’s smoked aroma and taste.

 

Talking about cheese, you have to be generous when talking about Francesinha, so there are at least 4 slices per serving if we want to do it well.

 

I also used loaf bread, which you can easily find in any supermarket a version suitable for vegans. I chose to make a version without crust to make the experience smoother, but you can do it with crust if you prefer.

 

And, of course, french fries, plenty of it to enjoy with the delicious sauce.

 

Are we going to know all the ingredients you will be missing? It’s just that something tells me there’s going to be a lot of Francesinhas popping up on this side!

VEGAN FRANCESINHA
VEGAN FRANCESINHA
PREP. TIME​ 30 MINS
COOKING TIME 50 MINS
TOTAL TIME 1 HOUR AND 20 MINS
SERVES 2
SPECIAL DIET VEGAN
CUISINE PORTUGUESE
PREP. TIME​ 30 MINS
COOKING TIME 50 MINS
TOTAL TIME 1 HOUR AND 20 MINS
SERVES 2
SPECIAL DIET VEGAN
CUISINE PORTUGUESE

Ingredients:

FOR THE SAUCE

2 chopped garlic cloves

1 chopped onion

1 bay leaf

Olive oil

6 ripe tomatoes

1 red bell pepper

200ml of beer

90ml of white wine

30ml of port wine

2 tspn of salt

3 tspn of smoked paprika

1 coffee spoon of dijon mustard

Black pepper

½ coffee spoon of cayenne pepper (+/- depending on your preference for spicy)

 

FOR THE FILLING

2 hot dog vegan sausages

1 tspn of smoked paprika

1 eggplant

1 courgette

Olive oil

Black pepper

Salt

Half lemon juice

 

FOR THE TOFU

250gr of tofu

2 tspn of smoked paprika

5 tbsp soy sauce

Half orange juice

1 chopped garlic clove

1 bay leaf

Black pepper

Rice vinegar

 

10 Slices of Green Vie´s Vegan Smoked Gouda Flavour in Slices

6 slices of loaf bread

Ingredients:

FOR THE SAUCE

2 chopped garlic cloves

1 chopped onion

1 bay leaf

Olive oil

6 ripe tomatoes

1 red bell pepper

200ml of beer

90ml of white wine

30ml of port wine

2 tspn of salt

3 tspn of smoked paprika

1 coffee spoon of dijon mustard

Black pepper

½ coffee spoon of cayenne pepper (+/- depending on your preference for spicy)

 

FOR THE FILLING

2 hot dog vegan sausages

1 tspn of smoked paprika

1 eggplant

1 courgette

Olive oil

Black pepper

Salt

Half lemon juice

 

FOR THE TOFU

250gr of tofu

2 tspn of smoked paprika

5 tbsp soy sauce

Half orange juice

1 chopped garlic clove

1 bay leaf

Black pepper

Rice vinegar

 

10 Slices of Green Vie´s Vegan Smoked Gouda Flavour in Slices

6 slices of loaf bread

Instructions:

1- Marinate your tofu 8 hours before starting the recipe. Cut the tofu into two slices. Marinate the tofu with 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, 5 tablespoons of soy sauce, half orange juice, 1 clove of garlic, 1 bay leaf, black pepper and a little bit of rice vinegar. Wrap well the two slices of tofu and place in a container in the fridge.

 

2-For the sauce, start by chopping the onion and garlic and sauté with a drizzle of olive oil and a bay leaf, until the onion starts to become translucent and yellowish.

 

3- Peel and cut the tomatoes into cubes, and cut the bell pepper into cubes as well. Add to the stew, cover the pan and let the tomatoes and peppers soften, stirring occasionally.

 

4- Add the beer, white wine and port wine and let the alcohol evaporate and intensify the flavors for about 5 minutes.

 

5- Finally, add all the seasonings, stir, cover the pan again and let it cook for about 10 minutes.

 

6- With a hand blender grind the sauce until all the ingredients are crushed.

 

7- Bring the pan back to the heat and let it reduce for about 10 minutes or until it reaches the consistency you want. Rectify seasonings.

 

8- Once the sauce has reached the desired consistency, strain the sauce to eliminate all the seeds and little lumps that could remain in the sauce. You need to get a smooth and velvety sauce. Reserve.

 

9- Cut the eggplant and the courgette into slices. Prefer the wider slices. Season with lemon juice, salt and black pepper.

 

10- In a skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and fry the eggplant slices, on one side and the other, and then the courgette, again on one side and the other. Both will acquire a softer texture and a more golden color. Reserve.

 

11- In the same skillet, add a little more olive oil and fry the tofu to create a golden layer on both sides. Reserve.

 

12- Add a drizzle of olive oil in the skillet again, 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, cut the sausages in half and sauté so that they gain color.

 

13- Toast the bread. It can be done a few minutes in the oven, or in a toaster or even in a skillet, just to give it more consistency and texture.

 

14- For assembly, start by placing a slice of bread on a plate or tray suitable for the oven. Then add a layer of sausage, another layer of courgette, another slice of bread, then the eggplant, tofu, and finally another slice of bread. Bake at 180 degrees celcius for about 7 minutes.

 

15- Remove from oven and cover with 4 slices of cheese. Cover as much area as you can without breaking the cheese. Put it in the oven again for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

 

16- When it’s time to serve, heat the sauce again if it’s cold or lukewarm, and when it’s hot, pour generously onto the Francesinha.

 

17- Serve with french fries.

Instructions:

1- Marinate your tofu 8 hours before starting the recipe. Cut the tofu into two slices. Marinate the tofu with 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, 5 tablespoons of soy sauce, half orange juice, 1 clove of garlic, 1 bay leaf, black pepper and a little bit of rice vinegar. Wrap well the two slices of tofu and place in a container in the fridge.

 

2-For the sauce, start by chopping the onion and garlic and sauté with a drizzle of olive oil and a bay leaf, until the onion starts to become translucent and yellowish.

 

3- Peel and cut the tomatoes into cubes, and cut the bell pepper into cubes as well. Add to the stew, cover the pan and let the tomatoes and peppers soften, stirring occasionally.

 

4- Add the beer, white wine and port wine and let the alcohol evaporate and intensify the flavors for about 5 minutes.

 

5- Finally, add all the seasonings, stir, cover the pan again and let it cook for about 10 minutes.

 

6- With a hand blender grind the sauce until all the ingredients are crushed.

 

7- Bring the pan back to the heat and let it reduce for about 10 minutes or until it reaches the consistency you want. Rectify seasonings.

 

8- Once the sauce has reached the desired consistency, strain the sauce to eliminate all the seeds and little lumps that could remain in the sauce. You need to get a smooth and velvety sauce. Reserve.

 

9- Cut the eggplant and the courgette into slices. Prefer the wider slices. Season with lemon juice, salt and black pepper.

 

10- In a skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and fry the eggplant slices, on one side and the other, and then the courgette, again on one side and the other. Both will acquire a softer texture and a more golden color. Reserve.

 

11- In the same skillet, add a little more olive oil and fry the tofu to create a golden layer on both sides. Reserve.

 

12- Add a drizzle of olive oil in the skillet again, 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, cut the sausages in half and sauté so that they gain color.

 

13- Toast the bread. It can be done a few minutes in the oven, or in a toaster or even in a skillet, just to give it more consistency and texture.

 

14- For assembly, start by placing a slice of bread on a plate or tray suitable for the oven. Then add a layer of sausage, another layer of courgette, another slice of bread, then the eggplant, tofu, and finally another slice of bread. Bake at 180 degrees celcius for about 7 minutes.

 

15- Remove from oven and cover with 4 slices of cheese. Cover as much area as you can without breaking the cheese. Put it in the oven again for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

 

16- When it’s time to serve, heat the sauce again if it’s cold or lukewarm, and when it’s hot, pour generously onto the Francesinha.

 

17- Serve with french fries.

GET THE TIPS:

*This recipe was supported by NaturallyGreen.pt

*You can find the Green Vie Smoked Gouda Slices at Naturally Green’s online store with 10% off when using the TAVG code.

*To optimize the cheese melting process, remove it from the fridge about 15 minutes before use to reaches room temperature.

*The loaf bread I used was from Panrico and has V-Label certification.

*The port wine I used was Graham’s Vintage Quinta dos Malvedos 2009. It is suitable for vegans.

GET THE TIPS:

*This recipe was supported by NaturallyGreen.pt

*You can find the Green Vie Smoked Gouda Slices at Naturally Green’s online store with 10% off when using the TAVG code.

*To optimize the cheese melting process, remove it from the fridge about 15 minutes before use to reaches room temperature.

*The loaf bread I used was from Panrico and has V-Label certification.

*The port wine I used was Graham’s Vintage Quinta dos Malvedos 2009. It is suitable for vegans.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE SHARE IT.

Tag @things_about_a_vegan_girl on instagram and hashtag it #thingsaboutavegangirl so we can see all the masterpiece you made!!!

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DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE SHARE IT.

Tag @things_about_a_vegan_girl on instagram and hashtag it #thingsaboutavegangirl so we can see all the masterpiece you made!!!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on vk
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

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