Cauliflower Flatbread with Fava Bean Spread

Usually posts are a little closer together, but travelling for cooking school in Colorado followed by a whirlwind of toasted nut assignments has made less time for blogging recipes.  Back though!  With a nice light lunch to help all those nuts make their way through the system…. ugh…. nut overload….  It’s also a nice way to use up leftover sourdough starter – something regular readers know I accumulate a lot of.

Yield: an 11″x17″ pan of flatbread and 4 cups of bean spread

What you need for the flatbread:

  • 2 cups sourdough starter
  • 6 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup cooked rice (or any other cooked grain)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

What you need for the bean spread:

  • 1 cup dry, hulled and split fava beans
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon dry rosemary needles
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

What you do for the flatbread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 11″x17″ pan with parchment paper.
  2. Put the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until an even, fine, “rice” is obtained.  Don’t overdo it or the veggie will turn pasty.  Transfer the “rice” to a large bowl.
  3. Add the cooked rice, salt and thyme to the bowl with the cauliflower and mix well.  Add the starter to the bowl and mix again to distribute throughout.                       IMG_0843.JPG
  4. In a small cup or bowl, whisk together the baking soda and oil.  Pour into the cauli-starter mixture and blend well so that the baking soda and oil emulsion are evenly part of everything else.
  5. Plop the mixture onto the parchment-lined pan and spread it all into an even layer.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven, let cool 5 minutes, and then transfer the flatbread on the parchment directly onto the oven grate (no pan, just on the paper) and cook another 5-10 minutes, until desired browning is obtained.     IMG_0846.JPG
  7. Cool on a wire-rack and when cool, cut into squares using scissors or a knife.

What you do for the bean spread:

  1. Soak the fava dal 8 to 12 hours in a generous amount of fresh water to cover.  Drain and place in a large saucepan or pot and cover with lots more fresh water.
  2. Add the bay leaves and garlic cloves (peeled but whole) to the pot with the beans.  Bring to a boil, skim the scum off the beans, and then cover after having lowered the heat – making sure to leave the lid slightly ajar.  Simmer until very tender and mushy, 30 to 45 minutes for medium-sized fava dal.
  3. Drain the beans, compost the bay leaves but keep the garlic.
  4. In a food processor, process the pistachios, rosemary and salt until a smooth paste (nut butter) forms.  Add the cooked fava beans and garlic cloves to the work bowl and process until a smooth spread forms, scraping the corners to get all the nut butter into the mix.  Add the lemon juice and process again.  (If you want, feel free to use the zest of the lemon too: it would work very well here.)
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl.

What you do to serve:

  1. Slather a thick layer of the bean spread on a square of the cauliflower flatbread and top with a generous sprinkling of fresh watercress.


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