Last month I asked you all to set me a challenge on Instagram to create a Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner dish only using one colour, and for the Dinner dish you challenged me to create something using all white and beige ingredients and so I present to you my delicious Cauliflower, Parsnip and Roast Garlic Puree with Crispy Roast Potatoes and Fennel Slaw.
I absolutely adore this dish, it’s all of my favourite comfort foods on one plate – potatoes, cauliflower and garlic topped off with this super fresh raw slaw made using fennel, an ingredient that I have recently rediscovered my love for and am now topping everything with (make sure to try it roasted in my incredible coconut rice, crispy tofu and roasted fennel with Gomashio recipe that is currently trending on my site after my IGLIVE last week) that lightens the whole dish. When I was first tasked with the colour white, I had a little bit of a panic attack. I’m so used to creating and using vibrant ingredients from all ends of the colour spectrum so the thought of not being able to use anything of colour was a little daunting. But I actually really loved it. I worked with what I knew best: cauliflower. And then I started to build my dish around that. I decided to add in some parsnip to give the puree a little boost of flavour as boiled cauliflower can have a rather washed out taste, and roasting it would bring colour to the plate: as I was unable to use any of my trusted herbs and spices, due to their colour-changing attributes I knew that garlic was going to be the best bet here, as it still adds a punch of flavour but as long as you are using the white variant, it keeps the colour the same. Plus – cauliflower, parsnip and garlic are a match made in heaven, especially with an extra dollop of plant-based yogurt.
Once I had the base of my dish, I knew I needed something a little more substantial on the plate, so opted for the basic white potato and crisped them up as far as I was allowed to push the colour palate boundaries. And then – to really make it sing – a fresh slaw of white cabbage and fennel.
What I really love about this dish is its complexed simplicity. The ability to take simple ingredients, cook them in simple ways and with simple flavours but when you pair their simplicity together you create something that builds upon itself to create these rather complex flavours. The flavour bounces off each other and perfectly marry into one overall bite.
Beige food has a bit of a bad reputation, I think. It’s normally associated with deep fried, battered or processed food but it can actually be something quite magical and there are more naturally white wholesome ingredients than you think allowing you to still capture the taste and texture qualities you are always looking for in a good well-rounded meal. This dish has that silky smooth puree that is packed with the sweet roasted garlic flavours that lingers on the back of your tongue, you break through the crunchy potato shell to find fluffy insides and the crisp slaw rounds it all off coated in an extra thick creamy gloss made from the yogurt and mayo. You can serve the slaw without the dressing if you prefer something with a little zing. Just omit the yogurt and mayo and add in a glug of olive oil, or some extra lemon juice instead to really give it some oomph.
It’s kind of reminiscent of a Sunday Roast, to me. Those cruciferous and root vegetable flavours; the miniature versions of a proper roast potato. You could easily add a deliciously spiced nut roast packed with apricots to this dish and have a true celebratory meal (a nut roast is beige – kind of… right?!)
Even though you probably will want to head back for seconds, if you do find yourself with some leftovers, you can always water the cauliflower and parsnip puree down with some plant-based cream and make a delicious soup for the next day, chop up any leftover potatoes and re-crisp in a pan or in the oven to make mini ‘croutons’ and you are good to do.
Make sure to check out my other coloured dishes – an all-Purple Breakfast and my all-Yellow Lunch. I had so much fun creating these dishes. I’m so used to packing my recipes with all the different colours of the rainbow, so I really had to get creative when it came to finding and cooking ingredients of the same colour. It’s definitely a challenge I’d love to take on again and would love to know what you would create for dinner if you were only allowed to use white ingredients. Let me know in the comments or message me on Instagram or Twitter.
Did you know that I have a new cookbook?
It's called Rebel Recipes and I'm so proud of it. If you like my recipes I know you'll love my cookbook - It took me over a year to develop (and years in the making) and it's packed with deliciously vibrant veg packed recipes!
Here's a sneak peak...
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