I came up with this dish because I had some leftover fermented cheese from the production at Matthew Kenney Culinary. (Please note if you don’t have fermented nut cheese ready, you can not make this dish on the spot. Fermented cheese needs to be made 2 days before.) I also had some market veggies I bought at the market a few days ago. Baby corn, summer squash and these beautiful heirloom romanesco. Also known as Romanesco broccoli or Roman cauliflower and it is a type of brassica.
All these veggies are great with nuts, especially almonds, onions, garlic and they go well with a bit of sweetness too. Since the fermented cheese had a bit of tang as a result of the fermentation I decided to go for a warm, sweet dressing.
For this salad you will need to pan roast the vegetables, make a warm dressing and have some kind of tree nut cheese ready to serve with. If you are not vegan this dish is amazing with goat chevre!
Ingredients (yields 4)
- some kind of fermented or unfermented tree nut cheese or for not vegans herbed goat chevre
- olive oil
- 2 green or/and yellow zucchini (medium), chopped into small cubes
- 8 baby corns, sliced same thickness as the zucchini
- 3-4 small heirloom romanesco or 1/4 big romanesco or cauliflower cut into small pieces.
- 1 big or 2 small shallots, slices
- 1/3 cup of raisins
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup of cherry wine
- instead of the white wine vinegar and cherry wine you can use sherry vinegar about 3 tbsp but make sure you boil it out a little bit, so it is not that strong. I used the wine and the vinegar so I get a deep flavor without way too much vinegary taste)
- black pepper
- chili flakes
- 1 tbsp chopped dill
- 1 tbsp sliced toasted almond
- some fennel flowers/pollen,(or just fennel fronds if you don’t have the others)
Components of the dish
Pan roasted vegetables
Simply chop whatever vegetables you have at home, but it is really good with baby corn, summer squash and romanesco or cauliflower. Heat some olive oil and quickly pan roast the vegetables for just 5 minutes on high heat. At the end of cooking, season with salt and black pepper. Not during cooking because salt will bring moisture out of the veggies and instead of the nice roasting it will just steam… Set vegetables aside, keep them warm for plating.
Warm sherry wine and raisins dressing
Slice shallots and quickly sautee them on some olive oil. Add the raisin, splash of white wine vinegar and some sherry wine. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes only. Taste and season to your liking with adding more heat or a splash of lemon juice or even agave if you want sweeter. You want to end up with a pretty strong, peppery, spicy, sweet dressing.
Fermented herb chevre made with macadamia and cashew
If you want to use fermented cheese, you have to make that a few days earlier. This is a an adapted recipe from Matthew Kenney, the flavoring is adjusted the way I made it at the workshop.
In a blender mix all these ingredients until smooth, then put it in a cheesecloth, wrap tightly and ferment in a dehydrator for a day or in the back of your kitchen cupboard (without opening the door) for 2 days.
- 1/2cup soaked macadamia
- 1/2 cup soaked cashew
- 2 tbsp water
- the content of 1 capsule acidophilus (this is the probiotic that needed for fermentation)
After fermentation flavor the cheese with
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp lemon juise
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or instead of the salt and garlic powder you can use garlic salt)
Then roll the flavored cheese into a log and cover with chopped, mixed herb of your liking.
Assemble the dish
- Put all the vegetables in a big bowl and gradually add the dressing, mixing carefully and tasting. Add as much dressing as you want but make sure it does not overpower the great taste of the veggies.
- Slice the cheese.
- Place a few slices of cheese on each plate and spoon the dressed vegetables around.
- Sprinkle the almond all over and finally
- Decorate with fresh chopped dill or whole baby dill springs and the fennel flowers, or fronds.
- Don’t forget to have a glass of chilled white crispy wine with it! 🙂
ENJOY and please let me know if you want to know more or have any comments!