Home Video Thomasina Miers’ vegan recipe for chickpea and squash pozole rojo with brussels sprout caesar salad

Thomasina Miers’ vegan recipe for chickpea and squash pozole rojo with brussels sprout caesar salad

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Pozoles are a family of delicate broths. They are made with hominy, a variety of maize with large white kernels, that normally swims in a clear meat broth laced with shredded meat and topped with wisps of white cabbage, radish, fresh lime wedges and hot sauce. Green pozoles are seasoned with tomatillos and fresh green herbs, while the richer red ones use guajillo chillies, a mild, deep red variety that’s easy to find in specialist shops and online. For January, though, I have created a pozole that features no meat at all, using garlic, dried mushrooms, herbs and those guajillos to boost the flavour.

Chickpea and squash pozole rojo

A deeply comforting, filling, clear broth with zingy top notes from all the garnishes.

Prep 15 min
Cook 2 hr
Serves 4-6

200g dried white maize (AKA hominy), or 1 x 400g tin pinto beans, drained
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 guajillo chillies
15g dried shiitake mushrooms
Olive oil
1 large white onion
, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tbsp chipotle in adobo
, or tomato paste
1.3 litres vegetable stock
400g squash, halved, deseeded, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Mexican oregano
, or fresh thyme
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and liquid saved for the sprout salad below
Salt and black pepper

To garnish
A handful of radishes, finely sliced
A handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
¼ large white cabbage, finely shredded
1 lime, cut into wedges, plus extra juice for seasoning
Hot sauce

If using dried hominy, put it in a pan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Drain, return to the pan with the bicarb, then cover with fresh water and bring to a boil again. Lower the heat and simmer for 90 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Remove and discard the chilli stalks, then deseed them and tear into large pieces. Briefly toast the chillies in a dry frying pan for 30 to 40 seconds, until they smell fragrant – take care not to burn them, or they will turn bitter. Put the toasted chilli and dried mushrooms in a bowl, cover with 500ml boiling water and leave to soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

Put two to three tablespoons of olive oil in a large casserole on a medium heat, then sweat the onions for six to seven minutes, until soft. Stir in the garlic, cumin and chipotle (or tomato paste), then fry, stirring often, for a few minutes, until the garlic is translucent.

Blitz the soaked chillies and mushrooms with a stick blender until smooth, then add to the onion pan with the vegetable stock. Drain the hominy and add to the pan, too, with the squash, bay leaves and oregano. Bring the broth to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until the maize and squash are tender; add the chickpeas and pinto beans, if using, towards the end. You can now serve it immediately, or simmer for another 15-20 minutes, so the flavours come together even more. Either way, just before serving, adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper and fresh lime juice to taste.

Ladle into warm bowls and serve at the table with all the garnishes on the side.

Brussels sprout caesar salad

Prep 20 min
Cook 10 min
Serves 4-6

300g brussels sprouts
2-3 large
baby gem lettuces, leaves separated
Salt and black pepper

For the dressing
2 garlic cloves
, peeled and grated
4 tsp aquafaba (ie, from the tin of chickpeas in the pozole above)
1 tbsp capers
1½ tsp white miso
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
½ unwaxed lemon
, zested and juiced
1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

For the garnish
Vegetable oil
150g corn tortillas
, cut into thin strips
3 tbsp capers

Trim the sprouts, then, with a sharp knife or mandoline, finely shred them. Wash and dry the lettuce leaves, then transfer to a bowl or platter, add the sprouts and toss to combine.

For the dressing, put the garlic, aquafaba, capers and miso in a blender and blitz. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream and blitz for a few minutes, until the mix thickens. Season with the lemon zest and juice and the vegan Worcestershire sauce.

Heat the vegetable oil in a small pan, deep-fry the tortilla strips until crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Deep-fry the capers until they open up like flowers and turn golden, then drain.

Scatter the capers over the greens on the platter, then dress the salad and toss to coat. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, top with the crisp tortilla strips and serve at once.

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