Yotam Ottolenghi's last minute recipe for the Christmas holidays

If guests with varied tastes pop up at short notice over the Christmas holidays, this dauphinoise, herb-stuffed, and pear-filled dessert will help cover all bases.

Yotam Ottolenghi

A festive "last minute" isn't exactly the same as a Monday night "last minute." Agreed?! Last minute merriment means you've just been notified that a few extra people are arriving for tomorrow's party. And one of them is vegan, another is gluten free and the other is going to be really (very) hungry. Festive parties are all about fending off last-minute curveballs like these, so here's a three-course meal to help keep you protected.

Mixed root vegetable dauphinoise (top image)

It's a fridge raid of all the root vegetables you have to work with. Don't skimp on the potatoes, though: that's what makes them so convenient. Use whatever sweet spice mix you have at home and substitute other hard cheeses for the parmesan, if you wish.

Presents 6

  • 1 red chili (20g), thinly sliced into rounds
  • 90 ml of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • Fine sea salt
  • 75 grams of unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves
  • 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced (150g)
  • 1½ tsp baharat or lima spice
  • 1kg root vegetables (including 200g king edward potatoes or similar), chopped coarsely obliquely into 4cm x 2cm pieces
  • 175g of double cream
  • Parmesan 25 grams, grated
  • 10 grams of parsley, finely chopped

In a small bowl, mix the chilies, vinegar, sugar and a teaspoon of salt and set aside to pickle.

Place a shallow, round 28 cm casserole dish that you covered over medium-high heat, add the butter and, once melted, add the rosemary, shallots, baharat and two teaspoons salt, and cook for five minutes, until the onions are translucent. . Add all the root vegetables, cook, stirring occasionally, for two minutes, then pour in 150ml water, cover and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the vegetables are cooked through.

Turn on the grill to the highest temperature. Stir the double cream into a pot of root vegetables, cook uncovered for five minutes, then turn off the heat and stir in half the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, then bake for three minutes, until golden and bubbly.

Let rest and let sit for 10 minutes, then sprinkle over the pickled chiles and a teaspoon of the pickling liquid. Serve hot with parsley sprinkled on top.

Apricot and pecan filling with green sauce

This could have been cobbled together from a well-stocked kitchen: Those dried apricots and pecans are in there, trust me (and if not, use figs and walnuts instead). Make it the day before, if you like, ready to be reheated before serving and drizzling with freshly made green sauce.

  • Preparation 25 min
  • Cook 45 min
  • Portions 4-6
  • ½ sourdough bread (350g), crust removed, crumbs torn into 1cm pieces (300g)
  • 60 ml of olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped (275g)
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and finely chopped (120g)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 green apple, peeled, seeded and grated (100g)
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • Fine sea salt and black pepper
  • 50 grams of pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 50 grams of dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, finely grated, to get 1½ tsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp
  • 75ml of brandy, or whiskey or rum
  • 1½ tbsp white miso paste
  • For the green sauce
  • ½ red onion, peeled and finely chopped (60g)
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ¼ tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 20 grams of parsley, finely chopped
  • 45 ml of olive oil

Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Place torn patties on a large baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, turning several times, until crisp and dry. (Alternatively, leave the bread overnight and dry it at room temperature, or use stale bread).

Meanwhile, put a large, shallow skillet over medium-high heat, then add three tablespoons of oil, shallots, celery, garlic, rosemary, apples, 100g of mushrooms, a quarter teaspoon of salt and a good grind. pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.

When the time is up, remove the loaf from the oven and increase the temperature to 210C (fan 190C)/410F/gas 6½. Place the patties in a large bowl, add the remaining mushrooms, oil, pecans, apricots, lemon zest, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and the ground black pepper and stir to combine.

Pour the brandy into the onion pan, cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the miso and 250ml water and bring to a boil. Cook for another minute, then place in a bowl. Using a spoon, stir quickly and vigorously to coat, then place mixture back into saucepan. Spread evenly, with a few pops of mixture here and there, then bake for 25 minutes until all is charred. Remove and let stand at least 10 minutes.

While the filling is baking (or reheating), make the green sauce. Place the onion in a small bowl with the lemon juice and an eighth teaspoon of salt, stir and let sit for five to 10 minutes. Just before serving, stir in remaining ingredients, season to taste and spoon over toasted filling.

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