Starters & Light meals

Crispy tenderstem fingers


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  • 2 medium red peppers, stems removed and scored
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 2 sprigs lemon thyme
  • 50 g rice flour
  • 50 g vermicelli noodles, soaked in cold water until translucent, strained and partly dried
  • juice of 1 organic lemon
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 100 g chilli bite mix, mixed to a light batter
  • 100 ml plain goat's milk yoghurt
  • zest of 1/3 lemon
  • pinch icing sugar
  • 6 poppadoms, pan-fried and rolled into cigars
  • fresh coriander, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
Season the red peppers with salt, drizzle with half the olive oil and place them in an ovenproof dish along with the lemon thyme.
Roast for 30 minutes, or until the skin peels off easily.
Meanwhile, bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the Tenderstem broccoli until al dente. Refresh in iced water, strain and pat dry.
Dust the broccoli with half the rice flour and wrap a strand of vermicelli around each piece, tight enough so that it doesn’t fall off. Place on a tray and refrigerate.
Remove the red peppers from the oven and allow to cool. When cool, cut in half, remove the seeds and skin carefully.
Place the cooked pieces in a food processor, blend with remaining olive oil to a smooth, velvety consistency, season with the lemon juice, cayenne pepper, sea salt and pepper. Keep warm on the stove.
Heat 1 T olive oil in a deep, heavy pan. Dust the wrapped Tenderstems with rice flour once more, then dip into the chilli-bite batter and place them, one by one, into the pan.
Fry until golden brown on both sides and season again with sea salt and lemon juice, to taste.
Mix the yoghurt, lemon zest and icing sugar. Arrange the crispy Tenderstem fingers on a warm plate along with the bisque, a dollop of lemon yoghurt and the poppadom cigars.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately with Te Guan Yin (Chinese oolong tea).


Recipe by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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