I learned a new technique for increasing the flavor profile of vegetables. I really didn’t think it would make much difference in the end product, after all, how much flavor can you squeeze out of a cauliflower? But amazingly, it actually did increase the depth of flavor.
The trick is allowing the veg to steam in their own juice in a covered pot before adding the broth. They must not get brown at all, so a tempered heat is required. The technique is called ‘a l’etoufffee’ which means ‘braised ‘in French.
Remember when we all started roasting our veggies and now we wouldn’t be caught dead boiling them? Well, this is the new ‘roasting.’
This recipe comes from bonappetit.com.
Here’s what you need:
¼ C olive oil
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 t dried thyme
½ C dry white wine
1 large head cauliflower, cut in small florets
¼ t cayenne pepper
¾ C raw cashews
6 C light colored vegetable stock
Lemon juice to garnish
Here’s what you do:
Warm the oil in a large soup pot. Add the shallots, garlic, bay leaves and cook on medium low heat. Don’t allow anything to brown. Add the wine and allow to simmer a bit. Add the cauliflower, cayenne, cashews, salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook tenderly until all the veg is soft….maybe about 20-25 minutes. Reduce heat if things are browning up at all.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for another 20-25 minutes or until the cauliflower is falling apart. Discard bay leaves. Cool. Whirl in a high speed blender. Serve with lemons or add lemon juice at the end.