I received a bunch of alliums of varying size in my veg box last week:
From left to right, we have spring onions, wet garlic, and leeks. The wet garlic was used first, as a substitute for shallots and garlic in some cauliflower fritters. I’ve written about the cauliflower fritters here before, I make them whenever I get a cauliflower in my box. The recipe is in the first Ottolenghi cookbook.
And speaking of Ottolenghi, it was time to try another recipe from Plenty, with the remaining alliums. I wasn’t overly impressed with the first leek recipe I tried. I thought there was too much faff involved for a fairly average result. But this week, I had some more leeks, a spare red capsicum, and some spring onions, and there was another recipe in Plenty that used all three.
It’s a three-part recipe, which Ottolenghi seems quite fond of; so again, the faff score is high. First, you pickle a finely sliced red capsicum in a mixture including cardamom, coriander, capers and pink peppercorns. Then you cook some leeks. While all of the vegetables are cooking, you make a sauce with some crème fraiche, olive oil, lemon, capers and spring onions. Then you egg and crumb the leeks and fry them.
You assemble the parts together by placing a spoonful of sauce on top of a fried leek, then draping some pickled capsicums on top.
There is no picture of how this is supposed to look in the book. Something I actually like about the book is that there is not much in the way of fancy photography. Many of the photos are “in progress” shots, and the picture for this recipe depicts a dish of pickled capsicums and some fried leeks draining on kitchen paper. However, the food in the photos is always so beautiful it doesn’t really need to be tarted up with pretty plates and fancy styling. It does mean that there’s no picture of the sauce in the book though.
There was plenty of sauce left over but I’ve put it back in the fridge as it would make an excellent substitute for tartare. Speaking of which, there is a recipe for tartare sauce over at Fuss Free Flavours. She’s hosting Blogger Secret Ingredient this week and chose capers as the ingredient. I thought, since this recipe involves capers too, I would sneak this in as my entry!
So after all that, what’s the verdict? I loved the leeks, the crunchy crumbs provided just the right texture. And the sauce and capsicum each went perfectly with the flavour of the leek. The capsicums would be great just as a dish on their own, I think.
So the current score for Plenty is hits: 2, misses: 1. Coming up: black pepper tofu. Stay tuned!