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Vegetarian Dinner

You won't miss the meat eating this hearty vegetarian meal. It features a creamy white bean hummus served with an onion jam and naan, crunchy radicchio salad with arugula pesto, Brussel sprouts with a Korean vinaigrette and cashews, along with salt baked potatoes, pasta giardino with fresh green peas and mint. 

SERVES
6

Ingredients

Directions

Long Process: 6 Hours Before Dinner

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for blanching the Brussels Sprouts.

For the Caramelized Onions for Onion Jam

  1. Peel 2 pounds (1 kg) yellow onions, slice all into thin half-moons. NOTE: slice onions in a very well-ventilated space (fans and open windows) to reduce exposure to the tear-inducing fumes released during cutting.
  2. Heat ¼ cup (60 ml) butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add the half-moon onions. Season with salt.
  3. Heat and stir the onions until they just start to soften, then reduce heat to the lowest setting.
  4. Continue recipe but return to stir onions from time to time, for 90 minutes (regularly scraping the brown caramelized sugars from the bottom of the pan up and into the onions), until completely browned and melty-tender.

Blanch the Brussels Sprouts

  1. Trim and slice 1 ½ pounds (680 g) Brussels sprouts in half, through the base.
  2. Prepare a bowl of ice water.
  3. Blanch the Brussels sprouts by plunging them into the boiling water for 2 minutes, until the colour brightens, about ¾ cooked.

For the Roasted Garlic

  1. Use a sharp knife and trim the top ¼ -inch (6 mm) from 2 heads of garlic, exposing the cloves.
  2. Wrap the heads in small pieces of aluminum foil.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. 
  4. Seal up the aluminum foil and roast in the oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes, or until soft.
  5. Use a wire mesh strainer to immediately transfer the blanched sprouts into the waiting bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
  6. Stir the onions.

Toast the Pine Nuts

  1. Add ¾ cup (180 ml) pine nuts to a tray, place in the oven. Set a timer for 5 minutes, or until just toasted.

Make the Chive Oil

  1. Roughly chop 3 bunches chives, add to blender or small food processor.
  2. Add 1 ½ cup (350 ml) vegetable oil, 1 ½ teaspoon (7.5 ml) white pepper, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt and 1 ice cube.
  3. Blend until very smooth, 1 minute.
  4. Set up a strainer over a bowl, line the strainer with 2-3 layers cheesecloth.
  5. Pour the oil through the lined strainer, leave to continue straining until needed for plating.
  6. Remove the pine nuts from the oven, set aside to cool completely at room temperature. Remove from pan to prevent carry-over cooking.

Medium Process: 5 Hours until Dinner Time!

Back to the Onion Jam 

  1. Stir the onions.
  2. Strip the leaves from 1 small bunch sage, enough to yield about ¼ cup (60 ml) loosely packed leaves.
  3. Heat ½ cup (120 ml) olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  4. Add the sage leaves and sizzle 10 seconds, until bubbles subside.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sage leaves to a paper-towel lined plate.
  6. Season with salt while warm.
  7. Reserve the fried sage leaves at room temperature for plating, reserve the sage oil, cooling at room temperature, for the White Bean Hummus.

Pull the Roasted Garlic

  1. Check the roasted garlic, it should be quite tender. If ready, open the foil and allow the garlic to cool at room temperature until needed.

Make the Arugula Pesto

  1. Roughly chop the leaves and tender stems of ½ bunch parsley, add to the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add 2-3 cups (240-710 ml) loosely packed (pre-washed) arugula to the food processor.
  3. Pulse all to decrease volume.
  4. Peel and chop 4-6 cloves garlic, enough to yield about 2 tablespoons (30 ml). Add to the bowl.
  5. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) toasted pine nuts (they should be cooled at this point), season with salt and pepper.
  6. Pulse to a fine chop.
  7. Blend and add ¼ - ½ cup (60-120 ml) olive oil to make a smooth paste.
  8. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the juice of ½ lemon, 3 tablespoons (45 ml) grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Pour a bit more olive oil over top to make a barrier and refrigerate until needed.
  10. Stir the onions.
  11. Drain the blanched Brussels sprouts, pat dry.

Medium Process: 3 ½ hours Until Dinner Time

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Stir the onions.

Make the Brown Butter

  1. Melt ¼ cup (60 ml) butter over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, until slightly browned.

Start the Caper Garnish

  1. Heat 2 inches (5 cm) veg oil in a heavy pan over medium-high heat to 375 F (190 C).

Back to the Butter

  1. Check the butter, when it is amber in colour and starting to smell nutty, add ¼ cup (60 ml) whole cashews, reduce the heat and sizzle gently for 2 minutes, gently stirring.
  2. When the cashews are ready, remove from the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the cashews to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Reserve the cashews at room temperature until needed. Reserve butter for another use or discard.

Back to the Capers

  1. When oil is hot, add ½ cup (120 ml) well drained capers and fry for 20-30 seconds (or more, depending on oil heat), until crisp.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
  3. Reserve at room temperature until needed.

Grill the Treviso Radicchio

  1. Retrieve 6 small or 3 large heads treviso radicchio from the fridge.
  2. Remove any unwanted outer leaves and trim as needed.
  3. Slice the heads in half lengthwise, leaving the base intact.
  4. Brush the radicchios with vegetable oil, season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place the radicchio on the grill and press, cut-side-down, and grill for about 1 minute, until well charred on the outside and crisp-tender throughout.
  6. Set aside to cool at room temperature. Refrigerate when cool.

Make a ‘kit’ for the Pasta Giardino

  1. Set up a French mandoline, adjust the blade to a fairly thin cut, no shredders.
  2. Remove the tops and tails from 4 green zucchinis, 4 gold zucchinis and 4 large carrots.
  3. Peel the carrots.
  4. Cut the carrots with the mandoline to make wide ‘noodles’/ribbons.
  5. Toss the carrot ribbons with 2 teaspoons (10 ml) salt to soften.
  6. Cut the zucchinis on the mandoline into wide ribbons; fdkgfdgk