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LUDO BITES

LUDO BITES

by Ludo Lefebvre, published by HarperCollins 2012.

 

Now, just because chef Ludo Lefebvre - the David Beckham of the kitchen -  is a colleague and - I'm honoured to say - a friend, doesn't mean I am 'parti pris'. Or rather, all the qualities that make him so wonderful, are what make this a must-have book. It exudes that passion and inspirational intensity he combines with kindly, twinkly-eyed encouragement. And then there is the food....  I could have chosen so many recipes but I've settled on his Brocamole just because I couldn't bear not to share it with you.

 

Brocamole

For this playful starter, I reimagined guacamole, with broccoli puree standing in for creamy avocado. Otherwise, I stay faithful to the Mexican staple, mixing in fresh jalapeno chiles, cilantro, and lime juice and serving it alongside homemade tortilla chips. I've even had success with, well, "peamole," in which fresh English peas stand in for the broccoli. This dish occasionally takes customers by surprise, and it makes them rethink their notions of what goes with what.

 

Serves 4

 

1½ pounds broccoli

⅔ cup grapeseed oil

½ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

⅓ cup diced red onion

¼ cup diced seeded tomato

1 large jalapeno chile, minced (about 3 tablespoons)

juice of 2 limes (about ¼ cup)

fleur de sel

baked tortilla chips

 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, trim the stalks from the broccoli florets (reserve the stalks for another use, if desired). Add the broccoli to the boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain the broccoli and transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool.

Transfer the broccoli to a colander and set aside to drain well. Squeeze the broccoli to remove any excess water.

Combine the broccoli and oil in a food processor and process to a thick puree. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the cilantro, red onion, tomato, chile, and lime juice. Season to taste with fleur de sel and serve with the tortilla chips.