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Recipe of the week: Cauliflower hearts with cauliflower and truffle purée

08 April 2018 by
Recipe of the week: Cauliflower hearts with cauliflower and truffle purée

Cauliflower hearts with cauliflower and truffle purée and cauliflower and almond fritters

Serves 4

For the cauliflower hearts

1 very large cauliflower or 2 medium cauliflowers

Rapeseed oil, for frying

For the purées

1 x quantity of kale purée (see below)

400g cauliflower florets (reserved from the hearts)

40ml extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

White truffle oil

For the fritter filling

25 blanched almonds

115g cauliflower offcuts from the cauliflower hearts (see above)

20ml rapeseed oil

½tsp fenugreek seeds

½tsp cumin seeds

Small pinch of cayenne pepper

200ml water

¼tsp agar powder

1.25g iota carrageenan powder (or omit and use 2g of agar powder)

Sea salt

For the batter

50g gram flour, plus extra to coat

40g potato flour

0.3g xanthan gum

1tsp caster sugar

¼tsp quick yeast

Scant ¼tsp sea salt, finely ground

150ml water at room temperature

Vegetable oil, for deep-fat frying

To serve

Pickled cauliflower (see below)

Truffle oil

Coriander or micro coriander leaves

For the pickled cauliflower

Makes a 250ml jar

30g cauliflower florets, about 1cm long

50g caster sugar

150ml white wine vinegar

150ml water

1tsp sea salt

Put the cauliflower in a large heatproof bowl. Bring the rest of the ingredients to the boil in a small saucepan, then carefully pour over the florets to cover. Leave for at least one hour before using. This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for two weeks.

For the kale purée

Makes 4 portions

100g kale, stems removed

4tsp extra virgin olive oil

25ml-75ml water

Sea salt

Blanch the kale and then shock in ice-cold water. Remove from the water and squeeze out any liquid.

Chop the kale roughly, then put in a blender with the olive oil and a little water, starting with 25ml. Blend to a very smooth purée, adding a little more water if needed.

Pass through a sieve and season with salt to taste. This will keep in the fridge for up to three days.

To make the fritter filling, soak the almonds in advance. Place the almonds in a small bowl and cover with water by at least 2cm. Leave for 12 hours, then drain.

Prepare the pickled cauliflower and the kale purée. Cut the stalk and top from the cauliflower, then cut across the cauliflower in half and then cut each half in half again to give four discs, each 1cm-1.5cm thick.

Using a 7.5cm round cookie cutter, carefully cut out the centre of the cauliflower discs. Reserve the florets and offcuts for the purée and fritters.

Bring two litres of water and 30g of salt to the boil in a large saucepan. Cook the cauliflower hearts for 4-5 minutes until soft but still al dente then shock in ice-cold water. Transfer to the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan)/180°C. Toss the cauliflower florets for the purée in the olive oil and a little salt. Place in a baking tin and roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden in colour.

Remove from the oven. Weigh the roasted cauliflower and add 15% of the weight in truffle oil (15ml of oil for every 100g of cauliflower). Weigh again and calculate 50% of the weight and measure this in water. Add the cauliflower, truffle oil and water to a blender and blend until very smooth, adding a little more water if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then chill in the fridge.

Prepare the fritters. Place eight small, cylindrical moulds on a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray. Chop the cauliflower offcuts into 1cm chunks.

Put the rapeseed oil and fenugreek seeds into a frying pan and fry gently until they begin to darken but not burn. Add the cumin seeds and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Add the cauliflower, almonds and measured water and turn down the heat. Stew gently for 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is soft and the water has evaporated.

Stir in the agar and iota powders. Bring to the boil, then transfer to a blender. Blend until very smooth, then pass through a fine sieve into a jug. Taste and season well with salt (if the fenugreek tastes bitter, then add more salt). Pour it quickly into the prepared moulds. Leave for 30 minutes, then transfer to the fridge and leave for two hours.

About an hour before serving, make the batter. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add the water and whisk to form a batter. Leave somewhere warm for an hour.

Take the roasted cauliflower purée and the kale purée out of the fridge one hour before needed to come to room temperature. Take the pickled cauliflower out of the fridge and drain away all the liquid. Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan)/ 180°C. Line a small baking tray with baking parchment. Prepare your deep-fat fryer.

Heat a little rapeseed oil in the bottom of a large frying pan. Add the cauliflower hearts and fry on a high heat until golden brown. Remove from the pan, put onto the prepared tray and keep warm in the oven.

The cauliflower and almond fritters will only keep for four minutes when cooked, so only do the following once everything else is ready. Remove the fritters from the moulds. Whisk the batter with a fork to knock the bubbles out of it. Toss the fritters in gram flour to coat, then place into the batter mix to coat. Using a fork, lower each fritter into the hot oil.

Shake the pan gently to prevent it sticking to the bottom and repeat with each fritter, taking care not to let them stick to each other (you may need to do this in batches). When they are golden brown, remove and drain on kitchen towel.

To serve, drizzle a spoonful of the kale purée around the edge of each plate. Put a spoonful of roasted cauliflower and truffle purée in the centre of each plate and drag it with the back of a spoon.

Place the cauliflower heart and cauliflower almond fritter on top of the purée. Drizzle a little truffle oil over the top and then add a few coriander leaves. Scatter eight pieces of pickled cauliflower around and serve it all together while still warm.

  • Recipe taken from Plants Taste Better by Richard Buckley

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