The innovative exhibition FOOD: Bigger than the Plate presents new ideas and experiments around cooking and eating, featuring objects, installations and recipes that provoke deeper engagement with our food. To celebrate, we teamed up with world-renowned culinary institution Le Cordon Bleu to create a sustainability-conscious recipe inspired by the show.
Having considered the exhibition’s messages, Cuisine Teaching Chef Colin Westal created a delicious vegetarian dish which addresses the issue of food waste by using as much of the ingredients as possible. He was particularly influenced by two projects featuring in the ‘Eating’ section: the LOCI Food Lab by the Center for Genomic Gastronomy, an interactive exhibit which provides each visitor with a unique edible canapé based on the food future they’d like to see, as well as the mobile larder House of Ferment which takes a closer look at the ancient technique of preserving food through fermentation.
Cooking is a universal, everyday form of creativity – so get inspired and try making this scrumptious, savoury dish for yourself with the recipe below! You can make the fermented carrots and preserved lemons in advance (the lemons will take 3 months), and use them for other dishes too.
Savoury, spiced chickpea crumpet with fermented carrots – serves 4
Recipe provided and tested by Le Cordon Bleu – I’ve yet to make this at home but I was lucky enough to visit the kitchens at Le Cordon Bleu where Chef Colin Westal prepared it for us.
- 350g butternut squash
- 2 lemons
- 250g cauliflower, sliced
- 100g heritage carrots
- 400ml almond milk
- 2 black cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1tsp baking soda
- 50ml agave sugar
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 5g ground cumin
- 5g paprika
- Coriander Cress (optional)
- Olive Oil
- 950ml water
- 40g salt
For the crumpet batter:
- 250g chickpea flour
- 100g rice flour
- 10g ground coriander
- 10g paprika
- 1tsp sugar
- 14g dried yeast
- To ferment carrots – heat 750ml water with 10g salt and allow to cool. Wash the carrots and place in a tight-sealing glass jar, add the cooled water so that the carrots are covered completely. Leave carrots at room temperature for three days then transfer to the fridge.
- To preserve lemons – cut lemons into quarters lengthways. Stack the lemons with 30g salt, cloves and bay leaf into a preserving jar. Leave at room temperature for three months.
3. To make the squash puree – peel and dice the squash, place in a sheet of foil, add 50ml olive oil and 50ml water, secure to make a closed parcel. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C for 40 minutes until soft. Leave the squash to cool and then pass through a sieve or muslin cloth to dry out. Add a little flesh from the preserved lemon to season the puree. Keep the juice to be used later. (Pro tip: squash peelings can be reused – grill in the oven to give a smoky flavour and add into your next stock or soup).
4. Cauliflower puree – crush and remove the seeds from the cardamom pods, toast the seeds gently in a dry pan. Add the sliced cauliflower and 100ml almond milk, cook until soft and all milk is evaporated. Blend until smooth and pass through a sieve to achieve a puree.
5. For the crumpet batter – warm 300ml almond milk in a pan, add the dried yeast and whisk to dissolve. Combine the remaining dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour in the almond milk/yeast mixture and stir to achieve a smooth paste. Cover and leave somewhere warm to prove.
6. Spiced pumpkin seeds – bring agave sugar to a boil with 50ml water, add pumpkin seeds and coat until shiny. Turn the seeds out onto parchment or baking paper and allow to cool. Toast seeds with a little oil in a frying pan until golden. Place on paper towel, dust with ground cumin and paprika.
7. To cook the crumpets – warm 100ml water on the hob and add baking soda, once dissolved leave to cool. Fold into the crumpet batter slowly, to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. Add a little oil to a heated, non-stick pan and add the mixture about 1/2cm thick. After around 2–3 minutes the mixture should have risen and set around the edge, and small holes will appear. Carefully turn the crumpet over, cook the top, remove once golden and crisp.
8. Place crumpet onto your plate and assemble the squash and cauliflower purees on top. Add thin slices of fermented carrots and small strips of preserved lemon. Finish with coriander cress, dress with squash juice and spiced pumpkin seeds.
If you haven’t visited the show yet, hurry down to the V&A, South Kensington, before Sunday 20 October 2019!
Find out more about Le Cordon Bleu, the leading network of culinary arts and hospitality management institutes.