I have been very inspired recently by Richard Buckley’s Plants Taste Better. It is one of the most inspired approaches to cooking and plating vegetables I have seen. I love how the vegetables are presented, beautifully placed on a backdrop of protein based purees and sauces. This element brings flavour, texture, and a new approach to how to incorporate protein into plant based cooking.
I am also an all time fan of Yotam Ottolenghi, who has changed my food world. If you haven’t yet seen/made/tasted his recipe for charred tomatoes with cold yogurt, then I suggest you cancel all other plans for dinner, go and pick/buy some flavoursome cherry tomatoes and a loaf of crusty bread to mop it up with, and make it. Seriously.
This is my plant based dish combining these two ideas, celebrating the very last harvest of cherry tomatoes for the Summer, and my one and only head of garlic I managed to harvest (garlic saga to be continued)…
Caramelised garlic & cannellini bean puree w/ roast cherry tomatoes
Serves 4 as a starter and makes an ideal dish for a shared table of food.
2 punnets of small sweet cherry tomatoes
1 head of garlic broken into whole cloves (unpeeled)
6 sprigs of thyme
1 tbs olive oil + 1/4 cup
1 tin cannellini beans, drained
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbs lemon juice
Loaf of bread to serve
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
Toss the cherry tomatoes, thyme and whole garlic cloves in a tbs olive oil and spread in a baking tray. Roast until starting to colour - approximately 25 minutes. Take out of the oven to cool.
Remove the garlic cloves from the tomatoes and pop the caramelised cloves out of the skin and into a food processor. Add the cannellini beans, lemon juice, salt and half of the remaining olive oil (1/8 cup). Process slowly until relatively smooth, add the remaining olive oil, and then process on high speed until whipped and creamy in consistency.
Spread the puree on a large plate, making a well in the centre. Place the cherry tomatoes and thyme in the middle and serve with crusty bread.