Tureen of Polenta and Pumpkin Seeds on Bean and Artichoke Salad
- Pumpkinseeds - 50 Grams
- Pumpkinseed oil - 2 Tablespoons
- Milk - 1/8 Liter
- Cream - 1/8 Liter
- Butter - 1 Teaspoon
- Garlic Clove - 1/2
- Rosemary - 1 Sprig
- Thyme - 1 Sprig
- Salt & Pepper - to taste
- Nutmeg - to taste
- Polenta Meal - 80 grams
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Creme Fraiche - 1 Tablespoon
- Egg Whites - 2
- Artichoke Bottoms - 2
- Seasonal Beans - 100 Grams
- Olive Oil
- Apple Vinegar
- Salt Pepper and Herbs - to Taste
Sauté pumpkin seeds in pumpkinseed oil and chop coarsely.
Bring milk, cream, butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg to a boil.
Slowly add polenta and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Remove pot from stove. Stir in 2 egg yolks while polenta is still lukewarm. Stir in crème fraiche, and let cool.
Beat egg whites until stiff and fold in.
Fill mixture into buttered forms (cups) and poach in bain-marie in a 140 degree C oven for 25 minutes.
Boil artichoke base. Cook beans. Marinate with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and herbs and serve lukewarm.
The chef takes the whipping cream and milk, and crushes garlic. The garlic is very common here. He salts and peppers the mixture, and sets it on the stove. He takes fresh rosemary and thyme and polenta. When the mixture comes to a boil, he adds the herbs and polenta. He brings it back to a boil, then sets it to the side.
After 1 to 2 minutes, it slowly absorbs the liquid.
The chef chops thyme. It is a matter of taste, and he likes the intensive flavor of herbs. He adds it to the polenta. When the mixture has absorbed most of the liquid, it will thicken up nicely. He adds 1 tablespoon of crème fraîche and 2 egg yolks (saving the egg whites for later) and stirs all together, the allows it to cool down.
In the meantime, toast the pumpkin seeds a bit. The pumpkinseed oil will be added shortly.
Next, the chef takes his ramekins and butters them for ease of demoulding. He coats the ramekin with flour, and the forms are ready to go.
Now spoon some of the toasted pumpkin seeds to the bottom of the form, not too many, and then whip the egg whites (salted) until stiff. It’s best to use a flexible whisk, not a stiff whisk, as it is important to beat, not to stir.
Take the rest of the pumpkin seeds, and grind them in a food processor, not too fine, not too coarse.
Add the pumpkin seeds to the polenta. Then if the polenta is cool enough, fold in the egg whites. It is best to use a pastry spatula. To make sure it is nice and moist, add a splash of pumpkin seed oil. Then fill the mixture into the ramekins. This quantity makes 8 ramekins.
Place into a water bath at 140 degrees for 20 minutes.
Cut the stem out of the tomatoes, and cut out X on the bottom for ease of peeling. Submerge the tomatoes in boiling water, then ice immediately.
Boil some more water and add salt and garlic to the water. For a bit of flavor, add a small amount of herbs. Quarter the tomatoes and remove the seeds. Use just the meat. (can use seeds for a stock of soup.) Set the tomatoes aside.
Boil more water for the artichoke. Once the artichoke is cut, use it immediately. Cut the head off, and use the meat of the base. Remove the heart with a spoon. Use a small knife and peel. Cut in half, and then into slivers, and put immediately into the hot water.
Take the beans and blanch them quickly (similar to the tomatoes). Don’t want them to lose their color. Retrieve the beans from the hot water and put them directly into the ice water. Strain off the water, and cut the beans down the middle for a finer taste.
Heat olive oil, and briefly sauté a clove of garlic and some chopped thyme. Add the beans, artichokes, some rosemary and thyme, and salt. Add tomatoes to the mix at the end.
To serve the soufle (tureen), put the warm salad on the plate, spread nicely. Unmould the soufflé and place in center.