Richard Buckley shares his hearty plant-based recipes to warm the soul this winter.

PEA AND HERB SOUP

Serves 4
FOR THE SOUP
25g spinach 25g chives 25g parsley 2g chopped tarragon 250g freshly podded peas 50ml extra virgin olive oil 100g banana shallots, sliced 2.5g thyme leaves 350ml water Sea salt
FOR THE FOAM
50g whole almonds 5ml white wine vinegar 1 clove of garlic 200ml water 2g sea salt Soy lecithin
FOR THE GARNISH
100g broad beans, podded 50g sugar snap peas, deveined 50g freshly podded peas 1 spring onion, finely sliced 4 parsley or micro parsley leaves, plus extra to top 8 lemon balm leaves Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle 4 large radishes First make the soup. Blanch the spinach, chives, parsley and tarragon together until the parsley is wilted and a vibrant green, then shock in ice-cold water. Squeeze out the water using your hands, making a ball. Roughly chop and set aside. Refill the saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil the peas for a few minutes until cooked with no grainy texture, then drain and shock in ice-cold water. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the shallots. Cook until soft and translucent, then add the thyme. Cook for 1 minute, leave to cool completely, then transfer to a blender. Add the chopped herbs, peas and measured water. Blend until very smooth, pass through a sieve and season with salt to taste. Place in the fridge. Next, make the almond foam. Preheat the oven to (fan) 160°C/180°C. Put the almonds onto a small baking tray and roast for 10 minutes, until a dark colour. Transfer to a blender, add the vinegar, garlic, water and salt and blend until very smooth. Line a sieve with a 30cm square muslin and set it over a jug. Pour the almond mix into the sieve and collect up the corners to make a bag. Twist the bag to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Discard the almond meal in the bag. Measure the liquid, for every 100ml of liquid add 1.5g of soy lecithin. Using a stick blender, blend the lecithin into the mix. Next make the garnish. Blanch the broad beans, sugar snap peas and podded peas until just soft, then shock in ice-cold water. Dry on kitchen towel then place in a bowl, reserving a few sugar snap pea pods for garnish, add the spring onion and shred the parsley and lemon balm over. Drizzle with a little olive oil.  Place a pile of the bean and pea mix into 4 wide soup bowls. Finely slice the radish on a mandolin to give wafer thin slices and add to the pile along with a couple of just opened sugar snap pea pods. Using a stick blender, whizz the almond foam at high speed, just skimming the surface of the liquid – keep whizzing until you have a beautiful, dense foam. Spoon the foam next to the pea salad and top with a few sprigs of herbs. Add the soup or pour the soup at the table from a jug for added effect. [caption id="attachment_14808" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Plants Taste Better by Richard Buckley, RRP $49.99, published by Quarto[/caption]

 


PAN-FRIED CAULIFLOWER SALAD

Serves 4
FOR THE CAULIFLOWER
2 large cauliflowers 20g gram flour 5g paprika 60ml extra virgin olive oil, for frying
FOR THE DRESSING
40g small capers in salt 25g pine nuts 80ml extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves of garlic, puréed 2 red chillies (not too hot), cut in half, deseeded and finely sliced Zest of 2 lemons 40ml lemon juice 20g parsley leaves, finely chopped 20g mint leaves, finely sliced 4g sea salt Put 4 litres of water and 60g of salt into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Separate the cauliflower into florets and peel off any woody skin on the stem. Add the florets to the boiling water and simmer gently for 4–6 minutes until cooked but still al dente (a knife will just pass through the stem). Shock in ice-cold water, then drain and pat dry.  Preheat the oven to (fan) 160°C/180°C. Make the dressing. Place the capers in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Drain and re-cover with water, then leave to soak for 1 hour. Put the pine nuts on a small baking tray and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Leave to cool slightly, then crush gently using a pestle and mortar, so they are just broken with some whole pieces. Remove the capers from the water (leaving the salt) and dry on kitchen towel. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and add the capers. Fry gently until they begin to go crispy, then add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, stir in the chillies and pine nuts and allow to cool. Add the lemon zest and juice, parsley, mint and salt to the saucepan. Mix well. Mix the gram flour and paprika together in a small bowl. Lightly sprinkle it over the cauliflower florets, making sure there is a light coating with no lumps, then rub it on. Turn the cauliflower over and do the same on the other side. Heat the olive oil in a large, wide-based frying pan, place the cauliflower in the pan and fry until a deep golden brown. Turn over and repeat on the other side. You may need to cook it in batches, adding more oil if necessary, keeping the cooked cauliflower warm. Serve the cauliflower with the dressing drizzled generously over the top. ]]>