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Eat, Sleep, Drink, Eat

Vegan Roasted Cauliflower with Fennel Pureé and Almonds

Thyme and Again

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Cauliflower with Fennel Puree and Almonds

A new year and a new beginning. Tray Chic has morphed into Thyme and Again, recipes and notes from Charlie Hibbert, Chef Director at Thyme: a pastoral idyll which offers a place to pause for thought in harmony with the seasons. A bucolic retreat of rooms, luxury and rest, Thyme provides a range of workshops, treatments, events, and some of the most delicious, locally sourced food in the county at the Ox Barn.

Charlie’s Vegan Roasted Cauliflower with Fennel Pureé and Almonds

January is an unsung hero in the culinary calendar. Rootling around the veg gardens at Thyme, I find a glut of favourites including Jerusalem artichokes, brassicas, celeriac, forced Yorkshire rhubarb and root veg galore. And let’s not forget the mighty blood orange and its short-lived season. My recipe uses cauliflower – a brilliantly versatile veg, which gets promoted to centrepiece in veggie heaven.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the fennel purée:

  • 1 medium onion, peeled chopped
  • 1 medium potato, chopped
  • 2 heads of fennel, chopped
  • Olive oil for cooking

For the almonds:

  • 150g blanched almonds
  • 200ml vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A pinch of chilli flakes
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

The rest:

  • 1 large cauliflower, broken down into florets
  • 10-15 kale leaves, stripped from stalks
  • 3 medium onions
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • Chilli flakes
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Method:

  • Start by making the purée. Place all the ingredients into a pot and gently cook with a coating of olive oil over a medium heat, lid on.
  • After about five minutes, pour over 500ml of water and cook over a high heat with the lid on for 10-15 minutes. Tip into a blender and blitz until smooth then pass through a fine sieve.
  • Next, the almonds. Roughly chop and put them into a frying pan in a single layer. Add vegetable oil and place over a medium heat. Stir regularly to prevent burning until the almonds have started to brown evenly.
  • Then, tip in the garlic, (grated) chilli flakes, salt and plenty of fresh cracked black pepper and stir. Allow the garlic to cook through, before tipping the almonds out of the pan onto a plate lined with paper towel, to soak up the excess oil.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (normal) | 180°C (fan) | gas mark 6.
  • Place halved onions on a baking tray, cut side down. Dress with olive oil and salt and roast for 20 minutes. Once cooked, discard the skins and keep the petals.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the cauliflower florets for six minutes or until tender.
  • Add the kale and cook for a further minute before removing both. Place florets in a bowl, dress them with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and chilli (according to preference).
  • To plate, pour a good amount of the fennel sauce onto the plate and use a spoon to push it into a circle. Scatter over the kale, cauliflower, and onion randomly, followed by a generous amount of almonds and chopped parsley.
  • Scatter over a little olive oil and some more chilli if desired and serve.

Thyme’s Happenings

Milly Hibbert

Until 9 January, Thyme’s tithe barn is hosting British artist and potter Richard Pomeroy and from 19 January to 1 May, a new exhibition of botanical works by the Contemporary American artist Jane Hammond will go on show.  Hammond specialises in vibrant collages of flowers, grasses, insects, and birds which offer a fresh interpretation on traditional still life. 

All events can be booked on the Happenings section at thyme.co.uk or follow on Instagram.

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