Roasted Brassicas with White Bean Pureé and Almond "Brown Butter"

Chef says: This is a vegan dish I created as the main course for our New Year’s Eve celebration at Clover. Everyone loved it so much that we ran it on our dinner menu for the winter season. It has no brown butter, but has all its richness and nutty flavour.
By / Photography By Christian Lalonde | October 15, 2016

Preparation

White bean purée

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup cooked navy or cannellini beans
2 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
1 teaspoon red chili flakes or to taste

In a small saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots, thyme and garlic and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in beans, stock, salt, black pepper and red chili flakes and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat to low and cook until beans are very soft and stock is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.

Transfer the bean mixture to a blender and purée at high speed until very smooth. With the motor running at low speed, add remaining olive oil in a slow, steady stream until well combined (the purée should be pourable, but thick enough to hold its shape; if too thick, add a bit more stock or water and mix well). Season to taste, as needed, with salt, pepper and/or chilies. Strain the purée through a fine-mesh sieve into a small pot; discard solids. Cover with a lid and keep warm.

Roasted vegetables

6 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
1 small cauliflower, cut into
4 wedges, core trimmed, but left intact
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 pearl onions, blanched and peeled, cut in half crosswise
10 to 12 medium Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
1 to 2 heads broccoli, florets separated and stems reserved for garnish
1 small celeriac, peeled and julienned (cut into matchsticks)
1 leek, white parts only, cut into 1/8-inch half-moon slices
1 small head Savoy cabbage, cut into 1/8-inch slices (and outer leaves reserved for garnish)

Preheat the oven to 375F. Heat 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a large ovenproof pan over high heat. When the oil starts to smoke, place cauliflower wedges, cut side down, in the pan and sear until golden brown. Turn cauliflower over, season with salt and pepper to taste and bake in the oven until the tip of a knife inserted in the thickest part of the core has slight resistance, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat another 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a second large ovenproof pan over high heat. Add pearl onions and Brussels sprouts, cut side down, and sear carefully until golden brown. Stir in broccoli, tossing to coat with the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until Brussels sprouts are knifetender, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a third large sauté pan over high heat. Add celeriac and leeksand sauté for about 1 minute. Add cabbage and cook for another minute. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Almond “brown butter” sauce

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon whole unblanched almonds, toasted and finely ground
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft and lightly browned on edges. Stir in capers and sauté for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in almonds, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Garnish

12 pieces thinly sliced cauliflower (or romanesco broccoli)
1 to 2 broccoli stems, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
12 rounds cut from larger Savoy cabbage leaves, each 11/2 to 2 inches in diametre
20 pickled pearl onion “petals” (individual leaves)
1/4 cup finely grated toasted almonds (almond dust)
4 kale chips

To serve

Warm four plates. Spread a quarter of the warm bean purée in the centre of each plate. Top with equal amounts of the leek, celeriac and cabbage mixture. Set a cauliflower wedge on top of the leek mixture and arrange the pearl onions, Brussels sprouts and broccoli florets around the cauliflower. Tuck the raw cauliflower slices, broccoli stem pucks and cabbage rounds around the dish as a garnish. Drizzle with warm almond “brown butter” sauce, especially over the cauliflower wedges and raw vegetables. Finish with pickled pearl onion petals, a sprinkle of toasted almond dust and a kale chip, and serve warm.

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