It’s Valentines Day tomorrow. Does anyone care? Thought not. I don’t have a problem with flowers, chocolates or even ugly bears with hearts sewn to their paws, but I do have a problem with couples who shell out on real gifts. There is just something inherently pushy about Valentines Day and the presumption that you would buy anything other than flowers and chocolates deeply offends me. I mean who does that? If Jamie bought me a fancy Jo Malone candle for Valentines Day I’d be very angry. That money could have gone towards a very affordable microwave!
Anyway, I did actually make Jamie a romantic dinner a few weeks back – because I’m nice like that. The velvety breton sauce is the key to this dish, it’s easy but takes about an hour to make. Once made though, the rest of the recipe is quick and simple. I tend to make the sauce the night before and pop it in the fridge until I’m ready to use it. Breton sauce is not traditionally vegetarian (being French) but I was determined to create a vegetarian dish that could stand up in a French restaurant. Oh and if you’re not keen on the idea of chickpea mash then normal mash will suffice. Bon appetite mon amie.
Leek and mushroom breton with chickpea mash
Serves 4 / Hands on time 50 mins / Total time 1 hour 40 minutes / V ❄
You’ll need: Hand blender or food processor for the mash
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 celery rib, roughly chopped
85g unsalted butter
40g plain flour
1 litre vegetable stock, I use 2 knorr vegetable stock pots
2 large crushed garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
½ tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce*
100ml vegetarian red wine
2 tbs tomato purée
2 large leeks, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thickly chopped
5 chestnut mushrooms, thickly chopped
Fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 cans of chick peas
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
½ an onion, chopped
TIP: Substitute chickpea mash for regular mash if you prefer.
1. Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed pot and add the roughly chopped onion, carrot, celery and a good pinch of salt. Cook on a low heat with the lid on for around 10 mins until soft.
2. Add the flour and stir into the carrot and onion mixture. Add the vegetable stock in a fast stream and whisk to eliminate any lumps.
3. Add the garlic, bay leaf, red wine, peppercorns, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 40 mins, mixing occasionally to remove any skin and to prevent sticking.
4. Sieve the sauce into a large bowl. The sauce will be thick so I use a spoon to press it down before leaving it for 10 mins. Disregard the pulp and either refrigerate the sauce and pour back into the pot. Bring to the boil.
5. To the sauce, add the chopped mushrooms, leeks and carrots and simmer for 15 mins.
6. Meanwhile make the mash in a large saucepan by adding half a chopped onion, crushed garlic and butter over a medium heat. Cook for 5-7 mins until soft, adding a dash of water if needed). Add the drained chickpeas and heat through before seasoning well with salt and pepper. Blitz in a food processor or use a hand blender until the chickpeas resemble a thick mash. Finish with a generous knob of butter and a good season of salt and pepper.
7. Finish by dividing the mash onto plates and top with the breton sauce vegetables. Serve sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley.
If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.
V – Vegetarian
❄ The breton sauce is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.