A Recipe for Vegan Roasted Cauliflower, and Toasted Almonds

Described as a “village within a village”, Thyme includes a hotel, Ox Barn restaurant; spa, pool, cookery school; farm, kitchen gardens, orchards & water meadows. Charlie Hibbert oversees the Ox Barn, where you will also find bespoke John Julian tableware made especially for Thyme.

Image Credit: Thyme.co.uk

Ingredients

For the Fennel Puree

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and 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 1/2 a lemon
  • Chilli flakes
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Method

1. Start by making the purée. Place all the ingredients into a pot and gently cook them with a coating of olive oil over medium heat, lid on. After about 5 minutes, pour over 500ml of water and cook them over high heat with the lid on for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables have been cooked through.

2.Add everything into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pass the purée through a fine sieve and set it to one side.

3.Next, prepare your almonds. Roughly chop them and put them into a frying pan. They should sit tightly in a single layer. Pour over the vegetable oil and place them over medium heat on the stove.

4.Meanwhile, grate the garlic, and have your chilli flakes, salt and plenty of fresh cracked black pepper ready. Stand over the almonds stirring regularly to prevent burning.

5.After approximately 8 minutes, the almonds will have started to brown evenly. A minute before removing them from the stove, tip in the rest of the ingredients and give everything a stir together. Allow the garlic to cook through, before tipping the almonds out of the pan onto a plate lined with paper towels, to soak up the excess oil. The almonds should be deep golden brown and fragrant.

6.To finish, cut the onions in half, and place them on a tray, flat side down. Dress them with olive oil and salt and place them in the oven for 20 minutes. Once cooked, discard the skins and keep the petals.

7.Place a large pot of water on the stove, season well with plenty of salt and bring it to a boil over high heat. Place the cauliflower florets into the boiling water and cook for 6 minutes or until tender, add in the kale and cook for a further minute. Lift the cauliflower and kale out of the water and place the florets in a bowl, dress them with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and chilli (according to preference).

8.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.

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