Curd is the word

Rainbow chard and lentil soup with fregola and goats curd

Last 2 vegetarian dishes in demo today then I get to do a free interpretation vegetarian dish.

The first dish was Soupe de Blette Arc en Ciel aux Lentilles, Fregola et Caillé de Chèvre. Rainbow chard and lentil soup with fregola and goats curd. Onion, leek, celery and garlic were sweated in butter then water was added and brought to the simmer. Stalks from the rainbow chard were added with fregola and blanched lentils. Chard leaves were thrown in at the end. The soup was topped with a dollop of goats curd. Thank god. It was more a soup than a stew. And considering what went into it, well, it wasn't tasteless. To be honest though it was screaming out for chicken stock. And lardons. It is what it is.

The second dish was Celeri Rave et Carotte en Croûte de Sel, Houmous et Vinaigrette aux Noisettes—salt-baked celeriac and carrots in a hazelnut vinaigrette served with hummus. The salt crust dough was made with flour, salt, egg whites and chopped sprigs of thyme. A whole bunch. It needed a rest in the fridge like any dough. Then it got rolled and wrapped around the vegetables. It’s important not to have any pockets of air trapped between the dough and the vegetable.

Boy these things come out of the oven hot. Leave the crust intact and they carry on cooking. Very efficient. The carrots were salty—well duh—and delicious. I couldn’t taste the thyme though. Pity. Oddly there was a spoonful of Dijon mustard in the hummus. Those French! If it’s not butter, it’s cream. And if it’s not cream, it’s moutard. The hummus tasted great and the texture was like caramel. Mmmm. The vinaigrette was interesting in a good way. Hazelnut oil and red wine vinegar with toasted hazelnuts. Quite delicate.

No wow in these dishes, but hey, I did get to see a salt crust being used. Now I need to do it at home.

Salt encrusted heritage carrots and celeriac

Celeriac baked in a salt crust

Heritage carrots baked in a salt crust

Salt-baked celeriac and heritage carrots with hummus and hazelnut vinaigrette