The Landing
80 Ardmore Street
03 443 5099

The Landing has one of the best views of Wanaka I know. The sunsets from there blow me away and so paired with amazing cuisine, I knew their recipe would be sublime. And it is.

A little bit more difficult than usual, but I think a little pushing is often good in the kitchen. (Usually for me that means grated cheese on my bean’s on toast)

Cauliflower Veloute with Winter Greens (gluten free)
In the restaurant this dish is served as a vegetarian option on our large plates section, and as such is bulked out with white Fagioli beans for a little extra substance and nutrition, making it a meal in its own right. At home, omitting these can turn this dish into a luxurious warm winter starter, or a casual lunch, with some warm crusty bread.

The dish is gluten free as standard, and can be made dairy free and vegan by using soy milk, and sautéing the vegetables in a tasteless oil such as soya bean, instead of butter.

1 head of cauliflower
Approx. 500ml milk
1 cup Snap frozen peas
1 cup Broad beans
Half a dozen brussels sprouts,
1 cup green beans
1 tablespoon chopped thyme

The velouté is the centre of this dish, so you can play around with the vegetables you use. I find the greens we have chosen to have a pleasant balance of sweet and bitter that offsets the earthy flavours of the soup.

To make the velouté, start by trimming off the leaves of the cauliflower, and the base of the stem. Starting from the bottom, using a small paring knife, remove the florets from the stalks, staying close to the outside, so the florets remain small.

Place the florets in a bowl to the side, and cut the stem and stalks into quarters lengthways, and then finely slice. Place these in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, and add enough milk to cover the cauliflower.

Bring milk to a simmer over a medium heat, then simmer gently over a low heat for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower has softened. Remember to keep an eye on your pan, even on a low heat the milk will still want to boil over, causing it to split, which renders it useless. (Also it will make a mess of your cooker top!)

While the milk is simmering, prepare the vegetables. Blanch the peas, broad beans, and green beans separately in boiling salted water. You are not cooking them here, merely making them easier to prepare. 20 – 30 seconds should be enough, although with the green beans, you can watch them as their green colour brightens and intensifies, that is the point you are looking for.

Shell the broad beans and discard the bitter cases. Top and tail the green beans, and split in half lengthways.
Trim the base off the brussels sprouts, and remove the outer few leaves. Quarter the remains.

Once the soup has simmered, blitz thoroughly in a food processor or with a hand blender. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve, pushing it with a ladle or wooden spoon, to ensure as much as possible goes through. Season the velouté with salt, I always use a good quality sea salt, its stronger in flavour, so you need less, keeping sodium levels low. Return to a low heat, and stir occasionally.

Melt a little butter in a sauce pan, and add the brussels sprouts, and half of the cauliflower florets. Sautée for 5 minutes, add the other vegetables, the chopped thyme and a pinch of salt, and cook for a further minute.

Using a stick blender, blend the velouté again, keeping the blade close to the surface. The will aerate the liquid, making it light and silky in texture.

Pour the velouté into a wide bowl, and spoon the vegetables into a head in the middle.

Garnish with feather pea shoots and radish flowers, to give an added hit of colour and sweetness, and a drizzle of truffle oil for that extra taste of luxury.

Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Recipe by Jack Herbert, Head Chef of The landing, Wanaka.

Thank you Jack!