"Charred" Cauliflower and White Beans
Source: Josh Even, Tofino Wines
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on December 8, 2018.
6½ ounces dried Italian runner beans
2 Fresno chilies
9 whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 sprigs fresh sage
¼ cup kosher salt
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 pound cooked Italian runner beans, strained of their liquid (see below)
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds, finely ground
1 teaspoon flake sea salt
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
4 half inch thick slices Acme Italian batard
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 small head cauliflower
1 recipe smashed white beans (see above)
Extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
Sea salt, for garnish
Chili Piquin, ground, for garnish
¼ cup white sesame seeds, toasted
Peppery wild arugula, for garnish (optional)
To prepare the beans: Place the beans in a large plastic, airtight container with 8 cups cold water. Cover and soak in the refrigerator overnight. Strain the soaked beans and pick out any beans that are floating in the water, or broken or damaged. Place in a pot 3 times the volume of the beans and cover with 8 cups of cold water. Split the Fresno chilies lengthwise, starting from the tip up to the stem. Leave the two halves together with the stem attached. Add the chilies, garlic and sprigs of sage to the beans and give it all a stir. Bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring every few minutes to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Once simmering, turn the heat to low and simmer gently until the beans have lost their toothsomeness, but are not breaking apart. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface of the water and give the beans a gentle stir while cooking. Once the beans are cooked, drain the water and give them a gentle stir. While the beans are still hot, add kosher salt and olive oil. The olive oil will form a layer on the top of the bean liquid. Let cool to room temperature. Once cool, the beans can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight plastic container for 10 days or more.
To prepare the smashed beans: Place the beans, ground coriander, and salt in a mixing bowl. Grate the garlic into the bowl using a microplane, and add olive oil. With a whisk, beat the beans aggressively with the other ingredients so that the beans begin to emulsify with the olive oil.
To prepare the toasts: Toast the bread slices in a toaster, on a panini press, or on a griddle. Once toasted, and while still hot, rub each slice of bread with the garlic clove, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt.
While the bread is toasting, slice the cauliflower into thin wedges, trying to keep each wedge in one piece attached at the core. This will make it easier to handle the cauliflower as it “cooks.” Place the cauliflower wedges on a panini press or griddle, on medium-high heat. Leave the cauliflower to “char” for about 1-2 minutes. Once charred, turn the cauliflower over and char for another 1-2 minutes. You want the cauliflower to caramelize quickly, without losing its crunch. Remove the cauliflower from the panini press or griddle.
Divide the bean spread between the 4 pieces of toast, leaving a bit of toast bare around the edges. Arrange the wedges of cauliflower over the smashed beans. You can add as much cauliflower as you like to each piece of toast. Drizzle olive oil over the cauliflower, then cut the lemon in half and add a good squeeze of lemon juice to each piece of cauliflower. Season the cauliflower with a bit of sea salt and a light sprinkle of the ground chili Piquin. Place the assembled toast on a cutting board and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Cut the toast in half diagonally and arrange on a platter. Finish with another generous drizzle of olive oil. If desired, add a few leaves of peppery wild arugula to the toasts.