If you haven't discovered the intense flavors of famed Israeli (now living in London) chef, Yotam Otteolenghi, then this vegetarian recipe will be a revelation. It cannot be denied that Ottolenghi is a master of the vegetable in all its forms. For this recipe, we have borrowed his portobello steaks but are pairing them with celery root mash instead of his butter bean puree. We haven't been able to find high-quality canned butter beans and celery root is the perfect savory mash to complement the earthiness of mushrooms.
What you will need to make an entrée for 4:
Turn the oven onto 350 F
For the mushrooms
8 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
10 garlic cloves, peeled
1 onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
1½ teaspoon chipotle chili flakes
1 red chili (you can also use red chilli flake to taste to cover the chipotle flakes and red chilli)
4 teaspoons cumin seeds, roughly crushed in a pestle and mortar
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, roughly crushed in a pestle and mortar
2 tablespoon tomato paste
400ml olive oil
How to make it:
Mix everything other than the mushrooms in a small bowl. Place the mushroom in a large bowl and pour the oil mixture over. Gently massage the oil mixture into the mushrooms - ensuring they are well coated. Then place the mushrooms dome side upwards in a large saucepan that has a lid. Pour any accumulated oil mix over the mushrooms.
Place a piece of parchment paper over the mushrooms, pushing it down to cover all the ingredients. Cover with the lid, then transfer to the oven for 1 hour. Turn the mushrooms over, replacing the paper and lid, and return to the oven for 20 minutes more, or until the mushrooms are very tender but not falling apart. Use a pair of tongs to transfer the mushrooms to a chopping board, then cut them in half and set aside.
Use a spoon to remove the onion, garlic and chilli (discarding the stem). Put them into the small bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Return the onion mixture to the saucepan, along with the mushroom halves, and place on a medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, for all the flavors to come together.
For the celery root mash
1 large celery root
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to make it:
Peel the celery root and cut into 1/2-inch dice, removing any brown spots. Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery root and saute for 3 minutes, stirring to coat with the butter. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cream, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once, until the celery root is very tender.
In batches, transfer the mixture to a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the pot and reheat gently over low heat. Check the seasonings-it should be highly seasoned-and serve hot.
Put a generous serving of the celery root mash on each plate. Top with four mushroom halves per plate and spoon over a generous amount of the oil and its accompanying aromatics