Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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Cook this: Warm kale, white bean and mushroom salad with chili tahini from The Flavor Equation

Cook this: Warm kale, white bean and mushroom salad with chili tahini from The Flavor Equation
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“My parents tried to encourage me to eat bitter foods and I still struggle quite significantly towards them because I have the DNA polymorphism for one of the bitter genes.”

Here, Sharma grappled with a range of bitter flavours: lessening some of the bitterness in kale by sautéing it; and pairing it with a subtly bitter ingredient, tahini.

“This was an interesting way to put two bitter ingredients in the same dish, and adding chili (oil) for heat to play around with the bitterness,” says Sharma. “It’s served warm, because warm temperatures affect how we perceive flavour quite a bit.”

Adding soft and creamy white beans, such as cannellini, into the mix contributes to the dish’s mouthfeel, he adds. “You’ve got the tahini, which is creamy, then you’ve got all these bitter tastes and then you’ve got the heat. (I wanted) to show people how all of this plays together at a warm temperature.”

In his second book, The Flavor Equation, Nik Sharma delves into the science behind everyday cooking. Photo by Chronicle Books

WARM KALE, WHITE BEAN AND MUSHROOM SALAD WITH CHILI TAHINI

For the salad:
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot (2 oz/60 g), thinly sliced
6 oz (170 g) fresh cremini or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 small bunch tender kale (about 10 oz/285 g), such as Lacinato (also called Tuscan or dinosaur kale), midribs stripped, coarsely chopped
Fine sea salt
One 15 1/2 oz (445 g) can white beans, such as cannellini, rinsed and drained

For the chili tahini:
1/4 cup (55 g) tahini
3 tbsp Chiu Chow style chili oil (see note)
1/4 cup (60 mL) rice wine vinegar
Fine sea salt
1 or 2 tbsp boiling water



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