Here is a dish that I was really inspired by a jicama I bought at the farmers market. This jicama wasn't the normal round one you usually find in the grocery stores. This one was a long, tubular root, that really looked more like a yucca or large brown sweet potato than a jicama. The taste was just watery and flavorless, it was sweet and almost tasted like cinnamon in my opinion. I was really amazed at the flavor from this simple vegetable that normally doesn't have a ton of flavor. I wanted to use this in a dish that captured the time of year which was December but in a garden setting. That's really where this dish started and from there I just added all the other vegetables I found at the market during that time. I made a light avocado puree that was a bit spicy, then added the "soil" with cocoa granola and parsnips. All the other winter vegetables that made this dish come all together. I finished the dish with notes of white balsamic, nasturtiums, and sorrel. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!
2 3⁄4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup pistachio
1 tablespoon salt
1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup sliced almonds
4 tsp cocoa powder
3 parsnips peeled ground and fried
1 1/2 cup of granola
3 tbsp cocoa nibs
1 cup of fried parsnips
1 1/2 avocado large avocados
4 oz creme friache
1 oz fresh basil
1 small jalapeño
Salt to taste
1 bunch of baby carrots boiled and peeled
1 bunch of beets boiled and peeled
8oz of fingerling potatoes boiled and sliced
1 cup of English peas blanched
1 hachiya persimmon sliced
1 jicama sliced and cut with round cutter
1 watermelonradish sliced and cut with round cutter
1 oz red vein sorrel
1 oz of nasturtium
2 tbsp white balsamic
2 tbsp olive oil
For the granola,
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place olive oil, maple syrup, and brown sugar in a pot and bring to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Meanwhile place all the other ingredients into a bowl. Pour the liquid into the bowl over all the ingredients. With a rubber spatula that has been lightly coated with oil, mix the granola well until all is incorporated. Then pour onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and spread evenly on the sheet pan. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes to 50 minutes stirring the granola every 15 minutes to ensure even baking. Take out and cool.
Meanwhile in a food processor place 3 parsnips that are chopped and 1 cup of water. Puree the in the food processor until all the parsnips are small little pieces (think bruniose or small dice) and are about the same size. Strain out the water from the parsnips and try to dry as much as possible with paper towels. Then in a small pot with oil at 325 degree fry the parsnips in batches until golden brown. Strain out and season with salt.
Once the granola has cooled take 2 cups of the granola and pulse in a food processor until it resembles the same size as the parsnips roughly or "soil". You don't want to grind so much that doesn't have texture (this is the crunch in the dish). Then mix the fried parsnips to the granola and set aside.
For the avocado puree,
Place basil and jalapeno in a food processor and puree for 10 seconds. Then add the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth. Season with salt and set aside.
Place olive oil white balsamic in a small bowl with a pinch of salt.
To finish the dish,
Using a round mold place a few dollops of avocado puree in the bottom. Then add your parsnip "soil on top of the puree. Place potatoes, carrots, and peas in a small bowl and lightly dress the vegetables with the dressing. Season with salt. Then place one carrot in the back of the puree standing up. Then alternate jicama rounds, radish, and persimmon around the mold. Add potato, and peas. Then dress the beets with dressing and add them to the plate as well. Finish with sorrel, nasturtisms, and a final drizzle of dressing over the vegetables. Serve and enjoy!