Nigel Slater’s Recipe for Grilled Onions, Mashed Chickpeas and Almond Orange Parfait | Food

II look at the parchment bean storage jars – the oval cannellini and round bean, the flat butter beans and, of course, the plump chickpeas – and wonder if I’m going never don’t forget to soak them overnight. It’s one of those jobs that I plan to do before bed – like soaking oats for birch muesli – and then quickly forget about it. And once soaked, they should then be carefully watched as they simmer with bay leaf and peppercorns, celery and onion, lest they boil dry. I ruined a pan or two with my forgetfulness.

Instead, I open a jar of ready-made chickpeas, pour them into a saucepan with a bay leaf or two and a few black peppercorns, and boil them for 10 minutes. They went through a blender with olive oil and a little of their cooking water, swelled into a smooth cream, in a few minutes, their unpretentious beige spiced up with bright green olive oil and juice. half a ripe lemon.

We could add kicken garlic (it has an unwavering affinity with chickpeas), but this time I’m serving my creamy dip with a tangle of golden roasted onions, seasoned with za’atar, and its hints of sesame and thyme. We dig with pieces of flattened flat bread and scorched under the grill.

In an equally neutral palette, I use the leftover Christmas amaretti, mash them up, and make a frozen parfait with crispy dark chocolate chips, orange zest and toasted almonds. If it hadn’t been for amaretti, then any crunchy, sweet cookie could have been smashed to bits. A drizzle of maple syrup keeps the parfait soft enough to slice even when frozen and adds a deep, honeyed heat.

Soon, purple and green brassicas and crunchy root vegetables will beckon you. I love those weeks after Christmas. The start of another culinary year, the arrival of new citrus fruits and Jerusalem artichokes, Brussels sprouts at their best and fatty potatoes to bake and stuff with good things. There are soups to make and yeast appetizers to wake up; there will be stews in the oven and maybe, just maybe, hot puddings. It is indeed a great time of year to be a cook.

Grilled onions, chickpea puree with za’atar and lemon oil

I keep the onions a few inches from the bars of the grill, giving them time – a good twenty minutes – to come to the bottom. If they cook too quickly, their edges will burn before they soften. You’re looking for a soft, golden, translucent finish that’s soft enough to be crushed between your finger and thumb.

I serve the mash with warm flatbread, but it’s also a cheap and substantial accompaniment to baked field mushrooms or grilled steak; it pairs well with baked ham and makes the best of all dips for pushing in a grilled lamb chop. For 4 people

For the onions:
onions 3, medium to large
olive oil 2 tbsp
za’atar 1 tbsp

For the chickpeas:
canned or bottled chickpeas 800g
olive oil 5 tbsp
bay leaves 2
thyme leaves 1 teaspoon
lemon ½

Peel the onions, cut them into slices about as thick as a pencil. Brush them with a little olive oil and cook on a hot griddle – or under a preheated ceiling grill – until tender and lightly charred. Expect it to take a good 10-25 minutes with an occasional ride. Stir the za’atar into the olive oil. When the onions are approaching softness, brush them with seasoned oil.

Make the chickpea puree: drain the liquid from the chickpeas, then put them in a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 500 ml of water, the bay leaves – crushing them by hand – and the thyme leaves, then bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for a good 10 minutes.

Drain the chickpeas, keeping 2 tablespoons of the cooking water and discard the bay leaves. Puree the beans with the reserved cooking juices and the rest of the olive oil, then squeeze the lemon. They may need a little salt. Pour into a dish, add the grilled onions and squeeze out a little lemon juice before serving.

Almond and orange parfait

“A deep and honeyed heat”: parfait with almonds and orange. Photography: Jonathan Lovekin / The Observer

No specialized equipment is required for this perfect ice cream. Just a 22 x 12 x 8 cm rectangular cake pan. Covering the mold with parchment paper will facilitate demolding. Finished ice will keep in good condition in an airtight freezer box for slicing on demand. For 10 people or more

double cream 750 ml
egg yolks 5
Granulated sugar 5 tbsp
dark chocolate 200g
sweet amaretti 175g
flaked almonds 50 grams
Maple syrup 150 ml
candied peel to serve

In a small saucepan, bring the cream almost to a boil, then remove from the heat.

Using a blender or large whisk, beat the yolks and sugar until thick, pale and fluffy. Pour the lukewarm cream into the mixture. Rinse and dry the pan, then pour the mixture and place over low to moderate heat, stirring almost continuously. When the mixture is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon, pour it into a chilled bowl and stir for a few minutes until most of the steam is gone. Let cool, then refrigerate.

Cut the chocolate into thin pieces, about the size of a matchstick. Crumble the amaretti into large crumbs. In a dry, shallow pan, toast the almonds, watching them carefully until they are golden brown.

Incorporate the maple syrup into the custard, then the amaretti crumbs, chocolate and almonds. Transfer to the lined loaf pan, pushing the mixture deep into the corners, then smooth the surface with the back of a spoon, fold over the cling film and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. Cut into thick slices and serve.

Follow Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater

Source link