By Tony Keogh
As head chef of Cornucopia, in Dublin, I put careful thought into planning our menus – providing dishes that are colourful, satisfying, tasty, and in season.
At this time of year, we have an abundance of autumn stews, casseroles, bakes and pastries with lots of harvest greens, reds and oranges. The following two recipes are examples of our seasonal repertoire. The first dish is a savoury twist on a classic French pastry, and the other is a comforting shredded beetroot pattie.
Cauliflower, leek and feta pithivier served with roast pepper and tomato sauce
A pithivier is normally a classic French dessert – a sweet pastry pie filled with frangipane and fruit. It is often, as here, transformed into a savoury preparation, and is a very satisfying and great looking autumnal dish. It is offset colourfully by the tomato and red pepper sauce. It is simple to prepare and, with the puff pastry, it tastes really fantastic.
Will serve 4-6 people.
For the pithivier:
500g thawed puff pastry
250g cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 large leek, halved and sliced into 1cm pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
50g baby spinach
5g chopped mint, shredded
150g field mushrooms, sliced thinly
100g feta cheese, crumbled
A few dessertspoons of sunflower oil
Pinch of nutmeg
Juice of half a lemon
2 egg yokes
Milk or eggwash for glazing
For the sauce:
1 onion, finely diced
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
½ carrot, grated
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 large red pepper, quartered and deseeded
4 garlic cloves
For the pithvier:
Coat the cauliflower in a few drops of the oil, with a pinch of salt, and spread evenly onto a baking tray. Place on the top shelf of a preheated oven at 200C for about 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in a tablespoon of sunflower oil. Add the leeks and garlic and leave to sweat over a medium heat.
Sauté the mushrooms in a hot pan over a high heat for a couple of minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the leeks. Stir in the mushrooms and set the mixture for the pie-filling aside.
Divide the pastry in two and roll out into discs, one about 27cm wide and the other 29cm. Mound the pie mixture onto the smaller of the circles, leaving a clear border of about 1.5cm around the edge.
Eggwash this border, and cover the whole thing with the larger disc. Press in the edges to seal using the back of a fork. Make a small hole in the top to allow steam to escape, then eggwash the top. Bake on the bottom shelf of a hot oven (200C) for about 40 minutes. When risen, and lightly browned, it is ready.
For the sauce:
Put the roast pepper, coated in a little oil, and garlic cloves on a tray on the bottom shelf of the oven for about 20 mins.
In another saucepan, heat a tablespoon of oil, add the chopped onions, grated carrot and celery and stir vigorously for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and 200ml water, and leave to simmer.
Add the roasted red pepper. Peel and add the garlic, along with the basil. Season the sauce, puree with a stick blender, and pass it through a sieve.
When the pithivier is cooked, allow it to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve it in wedges with the sauce. The sauce is very versatile, and any left overs can be used for something else.
Beetroot latkes with walnut salsa and creamed herbs
Latkes are very similar to potato rostis or hash browns, and are traditionally eaten by the Jewish community during the Hanukkah festival. Different vegetables, like beetroot, may be used as a substitute for potato. These colourful savouries are warm and satisfying, and are ideal for a lunch served with lightly dressed greens and toasted seeds.
For the latkes:
2 beetroots, shredded
2 grated floury potatoes (preferably rooster)
1 carrot, shredded
1 onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of flour
Pinch of ground caraway
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of dill, finely chopped
Pinch of black pepper and a suspicion of clove
For the topping:
2 heaped dessertspoons of sweet corn
2 heaped dessertspoons of walnuts (soaked for 20 minutes in hot water and drained)
Teaspoon of red wine vinegar
Pinch each of salt, smoked paprika and cumin
Dessertspoon of chopped coriander
Teaspoon of brown sugar
3 dessertspoons of soy yogurt or silken tofu
Teaspoon of fresh parsley
Teaspoon of fresh chive
Pinch of salt
Combine the first five ingredients, and then, with your hands or a sieve, squeeze out most of the excess moisture. Carefully fold in the next five ingredients, ensuring everything is properly combined.
Shape the mixture into patties and shallow fry them for a couple of minutes on either side.
Meanwhile, for the salsa, toast the walnuts and sweet corn in the middle of a pre-heated oven (200C), with the cumin, smoked paprika, red wine vinegar, salt and brown sugar. After 5 minutes, remove the mixture and stir in the coriander.
In a food processor or a smoothie maker, blend the yogurt or tofu with the chive, parsley and salt.
Serve the latkes immediately, topped with a spoonful of the walnut salsa and the herb cream. Enjoy.
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