GARDEN STATE
Gourmet Traveller|February 2022
Make vegetables and fresh produce the star of your next dinner party with these plant-forward dishes made to share.
MAX ADEY

Japanese egg cups with miso dressing

MAKES 16 // PREP TIME 20 MINS // COOK 6 MINS

Packed with crunch and flavour, these egg cups are infinitely versatile; serve as an entrée or a light lunch.

8 eggs

16 large butter lettuce leaves

32 shiso leaves (see note)

4 baby French breakfast radishes, cut into wedges

2 spring onions, cut into julienne 1 sheet nori, toasted and finely chopped Togarashi (see note), to serve (optional)

SPICY PICKLED CUCUMBER

1 tbsp each yuzu juice, tamari and rice vinegar

2 tsp mirin

1 long green chilli, thinly sliced

3 baby cucumbers, thinly sliced into rounds on a mandolin

MISO DRESSING

1 tbsp each shiro (white) miso paste (see note), sesame oil, maple syrup and rice vinegar

2 tsp finely grated ginger

1 For spicy pickled cucumber, combine yuzu, tamari, rice vinegar, mirin and chilli in a bowl. Add sliced cucumbers and set aside to lightly pickle (15 minutes).

2 For miso dressing, whisk ingredients in a bowl; season with pepper to taste.

3 Cook eggs in a saucepan of boiling water until cooked to your liking (6 minutes for soft-boiled). Refresh in ice-water, then peel and halve lengthways.

4 Place lettuce leaves on a large platter; top each with two shiso leaves, an egg half, radish and spicy pickled cucumber. Drizzle with miso dressing and scatter with spring onion, toasted nori and togarashi to serve.

Note Shiso leaves, togarashi and shiro miso are available from Japanese grocers.

Roasted beetroot carpaccio

SERVES 6 AS A STARTER // PREP TIME 30 MINS // COOK 1 HR (PLUS SOAKING, COOLING)

This playful yet elegant plant-forward take on carpaccio blends earthy beets (both cooked and raw) with a spice mix reminiscent of pastrami and a silky nut cream. It’s balanced with peppery nasturtium leaves and an orange juice vinaigrette.

8 golden and red beetroots (about 1.2kg), trimmed and scrubbed

2 target beetroots (see note), trimmed 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar Finely grated zest and juice of ½ orange Red baby nasturtium leaves and society garlic flowers, to serve

HAZELNUT CREAM

150 gm roasted hazelnuts

60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp aged red wine vinegar

1 small garlic clove, finely grated

SPICED PEPPER MIX

1 tsp each fennel seeds, black peppercorns and pink peppercorns

2 tsp thyme leaves

1 Preheat oven to 160ËšC fan-forced. Wrap each beetroot in baking paper then foil; place on a tray and roast until tender (50 minutes – 1 hour). Cool slightly, then peel.

2 For hazelnut cream, place hazelnuts in a small bowl; cover with 150ml boiling water and set aside until cooled to room temperature (15 minutes). Transfer soaked hazelnut mixture and remaining ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth; season to taste. Set aside at room temperature until required.

3 For spiced pepper mix, dry-roast fennel seeds and black peppercorns in a small frying pan over medium-high heat until fragrant (1 minute). Transfer to a mortar and pestle; add pink peppercorns and coarsely grind. Stir in thyme and ½ tsp sea salt.

4 Place oil, vinegar, orange zest and juice in a sealed jar and season to taste; shake well to combine.

5 Thinly slice roasted and target beetroot using a mandolin.

6 Spoon hazelnut cream over a platter, top with roasted and raw beetroot, drizzle with orange dressing and scatter with pepper mix, nasturtium leaves and society garlic flowers.

Note Target beetroot is available from select greengrocers.

Whipped tofu and zucchini tart with fennel salad

SERVES 4-6 AS A STARTER // PREP TIME 30 MINS // COOK 1 HR 45 MINS (PLUS CHILLING, RESTING)

This tart has the richness and creaminess of quiche, minus the eggs and dairy. Whipped tofu fills the void, along with the savoury sweetness of leeks and thyme, and an umami quality courtesy of nutritional yeast flakes.

140 ml extra-virgin olive oil

2 large leeks (white part only), thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp finely chopped thyme, plus extra to serve

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