Lately we’ve been deepening our exploration of plant-based recipes, and we’re loving what we’ve found so far. The Reno/Tahoe area is blessed to have so many local farms with amazing produce, and over the last year or so we’ve had more of an experimental mindset with staple fruits and vegetables. Plant-based recipes are finally making their way to the mainstream, and we are over the top thrilled to be able to create and experiment with different fruits and vegetables of the season. There are so many possibilities, and we love sharing our favorite techniques with foodies like you.
Today we want to give you the details on a dish that celebrates our favorite locally grown vegetable, right here in Reno! This dish features the humble carrot from Avanzino farms — which we sincerely believe these are the best carrots in existence. Once you try this, you will never downplay the carrot again. This sweet and hearty root was born for center stage, and we have to show you what we mean.
We originally created this carrot dish for the Urban Roots festival last year. We wanted to experiment with all the different ways to make this carrot the star of the plate.We made a carrot powder, a puree and pickled them too. We were thrilled to find they all worked, and they all went blissfully well together. At Urban Roots, there were 120 people, and everyone was coming back for seconds. So of course we had to test this recipe out again, just to make sure this was as uniquely delicious as we thought it was. We featured the same dish at the Beckwith gallery, and the biggest question we received during the event was, “how do you get that much flavor out of a carrot?”
The carrots are slow-roasted, then crisped in brown butter and glazed with a Aleppo chili and date sauce, served with a purée of the carrot and its juices, along with pickled, raw, puffed accents and the carrot tops. It is a dish that truly brings out every flavor and texture of the carrot.
Have we told you about our strawberry French Toast?
One of our other favorite superstar garden essentials is the strawberry. Recently we created a strawberry french toast, mostly because we wanted to see how much strawberry we could get away with in a single dish. The results: A LOT.
We start with our signature Blend brioche, caramelize it, and use City Green Gardens Alpine Strawberries to prepare dehydrated strawberry powder, strawberry sugar and strawberry butter. The strawberry powder is mixed with milk cream and eggs for the batter. Together, the sugar and butter top off the dish magnificently.
The most amazing thing about fruits and vegetables: there’s no end to what you can do with them. Because they are naturally nutrient dense foods, there is so much complexity to unpack and accentuate. With just one ingredient you can produce all these different flavors and textures.
Ready for more plant-based cooking inspiration? Check out our list of fruits and vegetables every chef should have in their garden here.