Maggie Beer's Baby Onions Roasted in Vino Cotto
This makes for a great accompaniment to almost any Winter dish.
"For a little more spice, use the crispy fried chickpeas from page 75 instead of tinned chickpeas. This salad also makes a lovely light vegetarian lunch." ~ Luke Mangan.
2 tsp Moroccan spice mix
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small cauliflower
150 g (5 1/2 oz) cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed, if using tinned) OR Crispy Fried Chickpeas*
50 g (1 3/4 oz/ 1/3 cup) pine nuts
1/2 bunch flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, leaves only
1/2 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves only
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Port Soaked Currants:
200 ml (7 fl oz) port
55 g (2 oz/ 1/3 cup) currants
100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) warm white wine
1 tsp saffron threads
130 g (4 3/4 oz/ 1/2 cup) plain yoghurt
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
*Crispy Fried Chickpeas:
300 g (10 1/2 oz) dried chickpeas
3 bay leaves
2 tsp sea salt
200 ml (7 fl oz) buttermilk, approximately
55 g (2 oz/ 1/4 cup) arborio rice, ground to a powder using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Garlic Chilli Oil:
125 ml (4 fl oz/ 1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
8 sage leaves
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
Crispy Fried Chickpeas:
Soften the Chickpeas:
Place the chickpeas in a large bowl; pick out and discard any stones or debris. Cover the chickpeas with water and discard any that float.
Thoroughly rinse and drain, then place the chickpeas in a large saucepan. Pour in enough cold water to cover by 5–7.5 cm (2–3 inches). Add the bay leaves and salt and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1–1 1/2 hours, until softened.
Drain the chickpeas and place on a tray. Refrigerate until cool.
Once cool, place in a bowl and add enough buttermilk to cover. Refrigerate, covered, for 2 hours. Drain off any remaining buttermilk.
Cook the Chickpeas:
Preheat the oven to 90C (195F). Line a baking tray with paper towel.
Toss the chickpeas with the arborio rice powder and shake off any excess.
Two-thirds fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil. Heat to 170C (325F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 20 seconds.
Deep-fry the chickpeas in batches for about 3 minutes, until they begin to colour; they should be a very light brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on the lined baking tray. Keep warm in the oven.
Prepare the garlic chilli oil by heating the olive oil in a large frying pan over low heat. Add the garlic, chilli, sage leaves and citrus zests and allow to sizzle for 1–2 minutes without colouring.
Add the chickpeas, tossing to coat in the oil. Season with sea salt and serve warm.
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). In a small bowl, combine the Moroccan spice mix and olive oil.
Wash and dry the cauliflower, then place on a chopping board, stem down, and cut into 1 cm ( 1/2 inch) slices — some will break into little bits, others will stay whole. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl, add the spicy oil mixture and season with salt and pepper. Mix well, using your hands, until everything is well coated.
Tip into a large roasting dish and bake for about 8–10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and crispy. Set aside to cool slightly.
Pour the wine into a bowl, add the saffron and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine, then set aside.
Port Soaked Currants:
Pour the port into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Add the currants, remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Toss the cooled currants in a bowl with the chickpeas, pine nuts, parsley and coriander. Dollop the saffron yoghurt onto a serving plate. Top with the roasted cauliflower, then the chickpea mixture. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.
Credits: Images and recipes from Sharing Plates by Luke Mangan, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99 with Photography by Nikki To
Photo Credits: Images and recipes from Sharing Plates by Luke Mangan, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99 with Photography by Nikki To