Here we are, another lockdown and the cafe is empty again. Well, apart from a cheeky wren that squeezes it’s seemingly impossibly tiny body in through the vents, to steal the last of the grapes.
We, like many others, are using the time to take stock of where we are and where we are going. And we have decided that now is the time, to finally begin the gargantuan task of writing a Potager cookbook! Yes, you heard it here first folks, you will finally be able to learn the secret of good hummus (spoiler alert: it’s all about the tahini).
So now that’s out there, we’ve said it. We have to make it happen and we wanted to get the creative juices flowing by writing some regular blog posts with recipes for you to try at home, if you wish.
This time of year the Potager veg patch is looking a bit bare but we found a gorgeous little Romanesco broccoli hidden away, so decided to build a recipe around it, using some fairly accessible store cupboard ingredients plus a couple of shallots and a little yoghurt.
If you can’t find Romanesco you can easily make this recipe with cauliflower, carrots or beetroots; plus the shallots can be substituted for onions or even leeks.
Romanesco and Shallot Flatbread with Preserved Lemon Yogurt and Harissa Oil
375g strong white bread flour
1 tsp cumin seeds
30g fresh yeast or 10g dry
22 ml extra virgin olive oil
225ml water at blood temperature
½ tsp sugar
8 big heaped tbsp thick greek yoghurt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ a preserved lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp harissa paste
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 handfuls roughly chopped pistachios
1 large head of romanesco
10 shallots or 4 banana shallot
- Turn your oven on to 180℃ and toast the pistachios for 10 minutes, or until golden.
- While they are toasting, mix the dry ingredients for the flatbread in a mixing bowl – the bread flour, salt and cumin seeds. Then mix the yeast, oil, slightly warm water and sugar together, leave it for 5-10 minutes in a warm place until bubbles appear.
- As you wait, mix the harissa and oil, set aside.
- Now combine the flatbread ingredients, making a well in the centre of the dry ingredients to pour in the wet. Mix together using your hand, then once it’s formed a rough dough turn out onto a lightly floured worktop and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth, leave to prove for an hour or until doubled in size.
- If your pistachios are done turn your oven up to 200℃
- Heat a cast iron frying pan on a low to medium heat, you can use any oven proof pan for this, or if you don’t have one you can use an oven tray and skip the pre heating part.
- Cut the romanesco into florets, wedges or any shape you like really as long as they are a similar size and peel and half the shallots before lightly oiling and seasoning them both.
- Place the shallots cut side down into the pan, once they have started to sizzle add the romanesco and pop the pan into the oven and roast until they are both caramelised slightly and tender.
- To make the yoghurt discard the centre of the preserved lemon and finely chop, mix this with the yoghurt, olive oil and season to taste, set aside.
- When the dough is ready, turn out onto a well floured work surface and split it into 4, then roll each ball out into a round that’s a little thicker than a £1 coin. Leave to prove again for 15 minutes, then preheat a heavy frying pan and dry fry one at a time on a low to medium heat for around 5 minutes, turning halfway through.
- To serve, dollop the yoghurt on top of the warm flatbread, pile on some roasted veg, drizzle over a little harissa oil and lastly add the toasted pistachios.