I got some beautiful local raw milk and pastured eggs today to use in a couple of projects, and they unsurprisingly found their way into dinner. It’s been just lovely lately; today was a tad chilly but the sun was warm. I’ve gotten a bunch of stuff planted in the garden, and hooped those beds to keep them from freezing hard on cold nights. I’m having a hard time keeping up with all of the culinary ideas that I keep having, which is a wonderful problem to have, especially in contrast to my mood of a couple weeks ago.
Tonight I kept it simple and meat-free, since the day sort of demanded it. Also, the lamb sliders on homemade olive-rosemary rolls that we ate last night with friends were meat enough to get through today. I steamed a head of cauliflower, then puréed it with some of the milk (I skimmed off the cream for something else) and pushed the mixture through the tamis to silkify it. I cracked in three eggs, adding some salt and yellow curry powder to keep the color light and the flavors clean. I blended this all together quickly, and then poured it into buttered ramekins that went into the bamboo steamer. Meanwhile, I caramelized cubes of rutabaga, adding leeks towards the end, and then some spinach leaves to wilt just before serving. Some leftover sweet potato purée came out of the fridge and got hit with a smattering of garam masala, and feeling that one more element was needed, I whisked up a really good vinaigrette of sherry vinegar, mustard and olive oils, tamarind paste, and mustard.
Once set, I unmolded the flans onto a plate and placed them quivering on daubs of sweet potato. An artful strewing of vegetables guarded the flank, and the sweet-sour-hot vinaigrette sauced the lot. Some cilantro provided shade. This was good eating; there was a nice balance between sensuality and subtlety with the velvety flan and the sharp vinaigrette and the nutty caramelized vegetables, all united by warm, earthy curry spices. I almost added another egg, but I wanted these to be as soft as possible; they were fluffy clouds of curried cauliflower with none of the customary custardy bounce. This delightful plate of food seemed pretty appropriate, as the season of vegetable worship arrives imminently.