Opinion – Terra Vegana: Cream of cauliflower proves that soup is dinner, yes

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Imagine this dish: a velvety and tasty cream —it even looks like a potato, but it’s not! — served with a succulent roasted mushroom, stuffed with the same cream. Crouton on top of mushroom, extra croutons on top of cream. Did your mouth water?

Today’s recipe is for those who say soup is not dinner. Or for those who say they don’t like cauliflower, the star of this cream. Didn’t identify with any of the above alternatives? If you’re looking for a cozy meal for this spring that hasn’t warmed up yet, you’re in the right place.

This cauliflower cream with mushrooms and croutons is a good chance to learn how to prepare a 100% vegetable dish with little effort and full use of the ingredients. With the exception of the onion skin, everything is used in it!

From the cauliflower, we also want the stalks and leaves, not just the florets. Of the mushrooms, we will not waste the stalks, usually discarded because they are rigid and fibrous. Roasted and crushed, they will add flavor and depth to the cream.

Do you have stale bread at home? Then the crouton is guaranteed! And, in the absence of the portobello mushroom, indicated for this recipe because of its large size, brown, paris or shiitake mushrooms take its place — in this case, instead of serving just one mushroom per dish, serve three or five, so you don’t leave the disgruntled customer.

When cleaning the mushrooms, forget about the water and use a paper towel or a clean dish towel for a more sustainable option. Gently rub the entire surface of the mushroom to remove any remnants of soil and it will be clean, without having its fleshy texture compromised by the water.

Before the recipe, an addendum: black pepper equals “kingdom” pepper. As we have not been under the “kingdom” for 200 years, pepper is really black.


Cauliflower cream with mushrooms and croutons

INGREDIENTS

1 medium cauliflower

200 g portobello mushroom (if you can’t find it, it can be any other fresh mushroom)

1 onion

2 liters of water

½ cup cashews, soaked for 6 hours*

Bread slices

Oregano

Salt and black pepper to taste

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Clean and arrange the mushrooms on a baking sheet, inside facing up. Season with olive oil, salt, black pepper and place in the oven until tender and soft (about 25 minutes).

  2. Bring the water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the cauliflower into one-thumb pieces. When the water starts to boil, add salt and cauliflower. Cook until completely soft.

  3. Cut the onion into coarse cubes and sauté with olive oil, salt and black pepper, until golden.

  4. Transfer the onion and cooked cauliflower to the blender jar, using tongs. Reserve the cauliflower cooking water. Drain the cashew nut water and add to the vegetables in the blender. Cover with the cauliflower cooking water (just enough to cover the vegetables) and beat until you get a smooth cream.

  5. Take the pan out of the oven. Carefully not to burn yourself, cut the mushroom stalks and do not waste: add to the cream, and also enjoy the precious liquid that the mushrooms have released. Beat again until the stalks break down.

  6. Cut the slices of bread into circles the size of the mushroom diameter. For large portobellos, a cup of tea works well as a cutter, just press it against the slice. Enjoy the edges and cut into rustic croutons, in squares of approximately 1.5 cm. Season the sliced ​​buns with olive oil, salt and oregano and bake at 180 degrees until golden and crispy.

  7. Turn the mushrooms upside down, cover with a spoonful of the cream and top with a round crouton. Serve the cream in a deep dish, with a stuffed mushroom in the center, croutons spread out and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and black sesame.

* Soaking the chestnut is necessary to make it into a cream, but if you can’t wait 6 hours to make this recipe, boil the chestnuts for 15 minutes. Those who can wait, however, gain the benefit of better absorption of the nutrients from the meal, as the soaking helps release phytate, an antinutrient present in oilseeds such as cashews.

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