Cauliflower, Leek Ash

Quick Saturday lunch. Smooth, creamy cauliflower puree with lightly cooked shavings of cauliflower covered with ashes of roasted blackened leeks.

The taste of the leeks on their  own is strong, a salty balance with a sweet and bitter acidity. Though when mushed into and pulled through the puree, the leek shards crumble, seasoning the puree.

To make the leek ash. Cut the leeks lengthwise in half, trim off the dark green ends and separate the sheets. Lay out in roasting dish and lightly coat with olive oil and some salt. Roast for 20 minutes in the oven on a high heat (250C) until dehydrated and black.

Make the cauliflower puree by shaving thin sheets from the cauliflower with a mandoline. Take half the shavings and crumbled florets and simmer in a saucepan with a cup of milk and tablespoon of butter for 10 minutes until softened. Puree in a blender and season to taste.

Take the remaining shavings of the cauliflower and warm through in milk with a squeeze of lemon (don't overheat or else it will curdle). You want the the 2nd batch of shavings to retain a little firmness and bite - so take off the heat after about 5 minutes. Drain the shavings and squeeze over a little bit of lemon.

Adapted from a recipe by Ola Rudin and Sebastian Persson from Saltimporten Canteen, Malmo (Bon Appetit Feb'13 issue)

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