roasted cauliflower masala
Cauliflower is a truly versatile vegetable whose mild properties make it the ideal conduit for stronger flavors. Here, it’s elevated with a few key aromatics, all of which will serve you well in a well-stocked pantry.
Homework 15 minutes
Cook 1 hour 10 minutes
It serves 4 as an entrée or to share
150ml olive oil
3 large white onionspeeled and sliced
30 g of tamarind paste
1 stick of lemongrassbeaten to bruise, then finely chopped
½ cinnamon stick
6 fresh curry leavesor 1 teaspoon curry powder
1 fresh makrut lime leaf
1 red chilisplit lengthwise, marrow and seed removed, meat finely minced
1 x 400ml can of coconut milk
200 g canned tomatoes (i.e. ½ can)
salt and black pepper
2 medium cauliflowers (about 400-500g)
Toasted almonds, fresh cilantro and lime wedgesserve
First make the masala. Put 100ml of oil in a heavy-based skillet over low heat, then add the onions, tamarind paste, lemongrass, cinnamon, curry leaves, lime leaf and chili, and fry, stirring , for 15-20 minutes, until the onions are soft. and caramelized.
Add the coconut milk and tomatoes, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for one hour. Pour into a blender (or use a hand mixer), blend gently, and season to taste; if you like, pass the sauce through a fine strainer.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut each cauliflower in half, rub half a tablespoon of oil over each piece, season, then put on the tray and roast for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through.
Pour the warm masala into a wide, shallow bowl and arrange the cauliflower pieces on top (save any leftover masala; once cool, add a little mayonnaise to make a wonderful salad dressing). Finish with a few toasted almonds, some fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime, then serve hot.
Eggplant fillets with sourdough mole
A mainstay of Mexican cuisine, mole is a rich and distinctive addition to any dish, and well worth the extra cooking time. Here, it’s paired with a simple eggplant base, mostly to leave extra room for the intricacies of the sauce. If you can’t buy ancho and pasilla chiles, most supermarkets carry a mix of Mexican chiles, so use them for a kick of heat.
Homework 15 minutes
Soak 1 hour
Cook 1 hour
It serves 4
2 garlic clovespeeled and shredded
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Some toasted seeds and lime slicesserve
For the sourdough mole
150 ml of extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic clovespeeled and shredded
30 g shelled walnuts
30 g shelled hazelnuts
25g sunflower seeds
20 g of white sesame seeds
1 wide chilesoaked in water for one hour, stem and seed removed, pulp finely chopped
5 pasilla chilessoaked in water for one hour, stems and seeds removed, pulp finely chopped
tomato puree 50g
250 g sourdoughsliced, toasted, then broken into pieces
¼ cinnamon stickground to powder
4 g (1¼ tsp) ground cumin
3 g (1 teaspoon) smoked paprika
First make the mole. Put the oil in a medium skillet, then fry the garlic, nuts, seeds and chiles one by one for a couple of minutes each, until golden brown, removing them and straining the oil between each ingredient. Stir the tomato puree into the hot oil and cook for a minute or two, until darkened and brick red.
Pour the oil-tomato mixture into a large pot, add the bread, fried garlic, nuts, seeds and chiles, and ground spices, then carefully pour in enough water to cover. Cook over low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally and topping up the water level so that it remains approximately the same throughout; the bread will absorb liquid as it cooks, so you’ll need more water to give the spices time to cook and the seeds to break down.
Pulse until smooth, pass through a strainer to remove any lumps, then season with salt, honey, and orange zest to taste.
Meanwhile, start with the eggplants. Cut a 1-inch slice along both sides of each eggplant (save these trimmings for another use), so you have a large, flat steak.
Heat a little olive oil in a wide skillet over medium-low heat, then place the aubergine fillets (in batches, if necessary), add the garlic and thyme, season with a little salt and fry until just tender. color on both sides. . Transfer to a baking sheet, then place under a low rack and cook on both sides until soft and golden.
Pour a generous pool of hot mole onto each plate, top with an aubergine steak, and finish with a few scattered toasted seeds and a squeeze of lime.
Roasted sweet pepper with miso bagna cauda
Typically made with anchovies, bagna cauda is a savory staple of northern Italy, especially Piedmont. Here, it’s been veganized by substituting one pantry ingredient for another, with the miso adding umami depth instead.
Homework 10 minutes
Cool 30 minutes
Cook 4 hours
It serves 4
4 red bell peppers
Olive oilto grease
salt and black pepper
For the miso bagna cauda
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
250 ml of olive oil
75g white miso paste
50g garlicpeeled and shredded
½ teaspoon chili flakes
First do the bagna cauda. Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer. Peel and discard the remaining skin and white pith from the grated lemon, coarsely chop the pulp and place in a metal bowl that will sit comfortably on top of the pan of water. Add the oil, miso paste, garlic, and chili flakes, mix well, and cover with cling film.
Place the bowl on top of the saucepan of water and let simmer for 45 minutes, until the garlic is super soft. Remove the bowl from the pan and allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, blend until the mixture emulsifies, then check the seasoning. It will now keep, covered, in the refrigerator for a week (also works well as a dressing for salads or hot jersey royal or pink fir potatoes).
Turn grill on to medium-high heat and heat for five minutes, until heated through. Meanwhile, cut each bell pepper in half and remove and discard the stems, pith, and seeds. Toss the bell pepper halves in a little olive oil, cover and season.
Place the peppers cut-side down on a grill, then cook for four to five minutes, until well charred. Flip and grill for another four to five minutes, until the skin is charred and blistered. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover with cling film and steam for about five minutes. Once they’re cool enough to handle, remove the skin, if you’d like, though I don’t normally bother.
Arrange the bell pepper halves on a large plate, top each with a large spoonful of bagna cauda, sprinkle some capers on top and serve.