Sunday, October 17

Five cold creams with seasonal wild herbs for fresh and sustainable cooking


We want to repeat the success of the first installment of cold soup recipes given to us by biologist Kike Gallardo, founder of “El Herbario Comestible” together with illustrator Daniel Bustillo. It is interesting to follow his project because it was the only one selected among other artistic projects with social and environmental impact in the gastronomy part of the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid, for its commitment to scientific dissemination on botany.

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So here we bring you more proposals from this chef focused on “Sustainable Gastronomy” and member of the team at El Invernadero, Rodrigo de La Calle’s haute cuisine restaurant.

Wild tzatziki, with cucumber and lemon:

Tzatziki is a very fresh Greek cream made from Greek yogurt (without sugar), herbs and spices. The most common herbs are chives, dill or mint, but you can also use fresh oregano, fennel leaves and flowers (which are in season), even tender dandelion shoots and wild mallow flowers, which will provide a special color.

Mix a Greek type yogurt (you can leave it in a strainer to extract the maximum amount of whey and make it creamier), finely grated cucumber (you can do the same as with yogurt, to remove excess water), finely chopped garlic, juice lemon, black pepper, salt and the chopped herbs you want.

Bulgarian Tarator:

It is one of the national dishes of Bulgaria and is similar to the above recipe. It is a cold soup based on Bulgarian yogurt, cucumber, and walnuts.

Ingredients: for 250 g of Bulgarian yogurt (it can be found in Spain, or made with Greek type yogurt), the same amount of cold water, a cucumber, a clove of garlic, walnuts (or other dried fruit) to taste, salt, pepper , EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and there are those who add dill to decorate.

You can put everything together in a blender and blend until it has a soup texture. Or it can be crushed without the cucumber and added chopped with a knife at the end for those who want to find a crunchy texture while consuming it.

Baba ganoush of roasted aubergine, with green nettle mojo

Baba-ganoush is a typical Middle Eastern aubergine puree. It was called the “egg plant” or “eggplant” since the first aubergines that arrived in Europe were white. Later the use of purple aubergines became popular, but the name remained in many parts of the world, such as Asia or the United States.

The aubergine is roasted in the oven or even burned on the embers until it is cooked, providing a very rich smoky touch. Then it is peeled and crushed with garlic, EVOO, lemon juice, cumin powder and tahini or sesame paste if possible. When you let it cool, it can be used to eat with carrot or zucchini raw, or spread on toast and sandwiches.

For the mojo, we use the typical ingredients to make the Canarian green mojo: coriander, cumin powder, garlic, apple cider vinegar and EVOO. Then we add the nettle as a wild, tasty and nutritious element.

The common green nettle u “Urtica dioica “ it is collected with great care not to puncture and with gloves. Do not collect them from the edges of the road or from places where dogs and cars may have passed.

In the kitchen, we briefly blanch the leaves in boiling water and put them in a container with cold water to stop cooking. In this way, they will no longer be dangerous or stinging and will remain greener. From there, we add them chopped to the green mojo, crush and reserve in the fridge until using it on our baba-ganoush, on some wrinkled potatoes or whatever we want.

Peruvian tiger milk with oxalis

The “leche de tigre” is the juice that accompanies Peruvian ceviches and there in Peru it is also used as a drink since it is very fresh, powerful and energizing.

The classic recipe is with fish, sea bass type, which adds flavor and texture, but it can be adapted for vegetarians or vegans with cooked beets, which will give it an incredible color and will help to texture it as well.

Ingredients: in a large glass with ice, mix 200 ml of fish (or vegetable) broth, 150 ml of squeezed lime juice and 150 ml of lemon juice, a red onion, 200 g of celery, a tablespoon of salt, 50 g of coriander, a clove of garlic, 50 g of ginger, 100 ml of EVOO and the star ingredient of Peru: a teaspoon of yellow pepper. Currently, you can find chili paste in many Latin American stores. It is a sweet itch, but beware that it itches the same, try carefully!

Blend everything well and strain it gently without squeezing too much.

The oxalis acetosella is a wild clover-shaped plant that is known as cruet for its acidity. In Andean areas of Peru, it is said that, in the absence of citrus fruits (since citrus fruits originally come from Asia), they used this type of plant to give acidity to their first ceviches. Accompanying this tiger milk with some oxalis leaves is a very good idea!

Leek, curry and wild thyme Vichyssoise:

This famous cold cream of leeks and potatoes can be added a fun touch with the curry and more aromatic with the wild thyme. Simply chop and sauté the white part of the leek, a potato, a chive and the thyme, and cook with broth for about 10 min. Then crush and strain it, to add a splash of cream and curry before reserving it in the fridge. A delicacy that cannot be missed this end of the summer at home.

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