Grilled Endive + Cauli Puree
A quick, tasty snack. Or, heft up the puree with some sweet potato for something slightly more robust.
For the Dip:
150g Feta Cheese
400gm Purple Cauliflower
Orange Blossom Water
For the topping:
100g Pancetta Lardons
1 Small Red onion, finely diced
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
Small handful of flat leaf parsley, minced
3 red radishes, finely diced
Sunflower Seeds (shelled, optional)
For the Carrot leathers
2 Carrots, peeled, then mandolined very thin
Orange Blossom Water
Start with the carrot leathers. Preheat the oven to 140°C. On a flat tray on a sheet of baking paper, brush with a light coating of olive oil. Lay out the carrots. Mix together 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water to two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Brush the vinegar/orange water mixture onto the carrots, then sprinkle with caster sugar, liberally, and a dusting of salt. Put them in the oven for 20 minutes and flip halfway through.
Break up the cauliflower into florets, and steam/pressure steam until fork tender. Drain, and them blend with the feta cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and a couple of splashes of thyme distillate water (two or three tablespoons will do the trick). Puree well, then salt and pepper to taste.
Pancetta lardons go into a pan on a medium heat. Once the fat begins to render out, add the garlic and onion. Saute until softened and gained some colour, and the pancetta lardons are getting crispy. Empty out the frying pan, set aside, leaving as much of the pancetta fat in the pan as possible. Mix the pancetta mixture with the radish, parsley, radish and sunflower seeds, followed by a splash of balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
Cut the endives in half lengthways, and put cutside down on a medium heat in the frying pan with the pancetta fat and a little olive oil. Fry for 5 minutes.
Serve the topping on top of the puree. Scatter with the blue cornflowers. To eat rip the, leaves off, load it up with puree and topping and eat. The tips have a bitter tang and the stems will be deliciously sweet.
If you want to go vegetarian, sub out the pancetta for beluga lentils or mushroom chunks. Vegan, go one step further, swap the feta for a vegan alternative (oat creme fraiche, a bit of white pepper).