Okay, today I have a dish for you that includes two vegetables that are right on trendy. Let’s begin with cauliflower. In recent years we have gone mad for it. Seared and served as steaks, riced or pureed, all delicious. However here I have prepared Charred Hispi Cabbage with Cauliflower, Miso Purée, it’s full of umami flavour. Wonderful as a side dish or as a part of a mezze table.
Hispi is otherwise known as sweetheart or pointed cabbage. This sweet leafy vegetable has to be one of my favourite brassicas. Ideal portioned, it is inexpensive and can feed two to four people. A tender, juicy cabbage, that takes minutes to cook, and delivers on flavour.
Like most cabbage, it loves butter and olive oil. I’ve teamed it with a cauliflower and miso puree. This combination balances the natural sweetness of the cabbage and adds bitterness from roasting the cauliflower and charring the Hispi.
I am a huge fan of miso paste, it’s not only delicious in savoury dishes, it also works wonderfully well in desserts too. Miso Tasty is my favourite brand. In this recipe I suggest using organic red miso, it is fermented for longer, therefore has a saltier more assertive flavour than the white version.
Cooking the cauliflower takes a little effort. Firstly brown in a frying pan and place in the oven to roast and cook through, this adds to the flavour. Now add the red miso, butter and water. Blitz until you have a smooth purée. The cabbage is very simply charred in a hot frying pan until it begins to blacken. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes to finish cooking. The nut crumb adds the required texture to this tasty dish. Hazelnuts are my first choice, however almonds work equally.
Charred Cabbage, Cauliflower, Miso Purée, Hazelnut Crumb
- 2 hispi cabbage cut in half
- 500 g cauliflower
- Sunflower oil
- 25 g dairy or plant butter
- 25 g organic unpasteurised red miso
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 20 g hazelnuts
- 1 tbsp each black & white sesame seeds
- ¼ tsp malden salt
- 1 tbls maple syrup
- Heat the oven to 190C/fan.
- Begin with the cauliflower: cut into even sized florets. Heat a heavy based frying pan to medium-high with sunflower oil and add the florets, cut side down. Sear for several minutes until the florets begin to colour, turn. Sear for a few more minutes. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and then pop in the oven. (If your pan isn’t ovenproof just place on a hot baking tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until really soft. Remove from the oven and place back on the hob (and bake into the used frying pan). Add the garlic, miso, butter and cook on medium low for a minute or 2. Now add 90mls water. Bring to a simmer and stir. Remove from the heat and place in a blender to blitz until smooth, you may need to add a little more water if it’s too stiff to blend. Check the seasoning, it shouldn’t need much as the miso is salty. Place in a saucepan and set to one side until needed.
- Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add 2 tbsp oil. Season the cabbage well and put in the pan, cut-side down. Put a small baking tray or plate on top to weigh it down and ensure the whole cut surface is in contact with the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until charred. Remove from the pan and carefully cut in half lengthways if you’re serving it as a side dish. Put the two halves back into the pan on the non-charred side and cook for another 2-3 minutes until charred.
- Put on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes until a sharp knife pierces the core easily.
- In the meantime make the hazelnut crumb. Roughly chop the hazelnuts, place ind a small bowl and the salt, sesames seeds and maple syrup. Stir and place on a small baking tray. Bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until golden. Cool.
- To serve, reheat the puree. Spoon the puree onto the plates, add the cabbage and sprinkle with the hazelnut crumb and a drizzle of oil.