This is a sourdough tartine of either baby salt-crusted veggies OR simply roasted ones with a slight caramelised touch. Both styles make a lovely vegan lunch or starter. The recipe here cooks the vegetables in a salt crust which can be used as a side dish to another meal - taking the dish to the table in the crust which you break as you serve up.
We have used sourdough to ensure it is a fully vegan recipe, (and good for the gut) but swap it out for your favourite bread of course. It is super tasting and use seasonal vegetables you find. Try and use a selection of colours for a visual feast too.
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
6 large slices of sourdough bread
8 small red beets
6 mini carrots
2 mini turnips
6 mini parsnips
1.5 kg of coarse sea salt
2 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp mustard seeds + 1 tsp
3 small Rochas pears
Preheat the oven to 180°/170° fan. In a bowl, mix the coarse salt with the fennel seeds, 2 tbsps of the mustard seeds and the clove. Scrub the vegetables but do not peel them. Place a layer of the salt mixture in the bottom of a large baking dish. Place the vegetables on top and cover with the rest of the salt. Pack it down well. Bake for 40 minutes.
Once cooked, break the salt crust and take out the vegetables. Peel them delicately. Cut the beets and turnips into quarters.
Peel the pears and cut them into small cubes. Peel the shallot and finely chop it. In a saucepan, pour 1 tsp of olive oil then add the diced pear with the chopped shallot. Add the teaspoon of mustard seeds. Simmer until the water in the pears is absorbed. Stir well to prevent it from staining. Put to one side.
Brown each slice of bread in a pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil until golden brown and set aside on a plate covered with paper towel. Or if you prefer, simply toast the slices. Spread the pear condiment on each slice of bread. Arrange the cooked vegetables on top. Finish with a few sprouts of your choice and a drizzle of olive oil.
NOTE: The alternative is to roast the baby or usual-sized veggies cut into medium-sized pieces with some olive oil and herbs in a hot oven 190/180 fan for 30 mins. If you are using carrots, give them 10 minutes start on the rest making 40 mins total.
If you go the roasted veg route then Sally of course thinks this is wonderful with a fruity full-bodied red wine with smooth tannins such as her Prince de George 7. She serves this at weekend brunches. Wendy says that if you cook the vegetables in the salt crust, then she suggests a southern Graves dry white wine - because the Semillon goes with the pear compôte and the freshness complements the salt and is a great combination at lunchtime.