Can you produce five dishes for under Dhs300? We put the professionals on the spot.
Chef Russell Impiazzi, the culinary director of Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet, takes up the challenge, creating five sharing plates for a relaxed evening with friends
2 small beetroots
400g tin chickpeas, drained, water retained
1 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
3 tbsp tahina
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1) Preheat your oven to 200˚C. 2) Wrap the beets in foil and bake them in the hot oven until fully cooked. Remove and allow them to cool enough to handle. 3) Peel the cooked beets and put them into a food processer with the lemon zest and juice, the tahina and the chickpeas. Add a couple of tablespoons of the water from the chickpea can and blitz together, adding the olive oil while the blender is going. 4) Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving dish. Serve alongside some celery or cucumber sticks, sliced baguette or sweet potato chips.
Miso roasted cauliflower with sunflower seed pesto
1 whole cauliflower, around 1kg
For the marinade:
100g miso paste
60ml lime juice
10g ginger, grated
For the pesto:
50g sunflower seeds, plus extra for garnish
25g pine nuts
1 small bunch basil, leaves picked
½ lemon, juiced
100ml olive oil
1) preheat your oven to 200˚C. 2) Heat the miso paste gently in a pan. Add the sugar, lime juice and grated ginger, then stir together until the sugar has dissolved. 3) Pour the marinade over the cauliflower and bake for around 45 minutes. 4) Meanwhile, prepare the pesto by adding all of the ingredients into a blender and pulsing slowly to make a course paste. 5) To serve, break the cauliflower into florets and spoon over the pesto. Top with some crushed toasted seeds to add texture.
Potato gnocchi with blue cheese and pine nuts
1kg baking potatoes
10g pine nuts
1) Wash and bake the potatoes in their skins until fully cooked. Cut them in half, scoop out the cooked flesh and mash. 2) Add the egg and flour to the mashed potato, season well and mix into a dough. 3) Roll the dough out into long sausage shapes, then cut on the diagonal into 1cm pieces. Use a gnocchi paddle or the back of a fork to roll the dough pieces into a gnocchi shape. 4) Heat a frying pan over a low heat. Add the pine nuts and colour, then add the cheese and the cream and bring to the boil. Cook, stirring, until the cheese has melted into a smooth sauce. 5) Tip the gnocchi into a large pan of boiling, salted water. When they float to the top, they’re cooked. Drain them well, tip them into the sauce, then serve immediately, with some grated parmesan on top.
Mountain tomato tartare with avocado on toast
2 whole organic Lebanese mountain tomatoes
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 small bunch chives, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1) Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Remove the seeds, then use a sharp knife to ‘fillet’ the flesh from the tomato skin. 2) Finely dice the tomato flesh, then add the chopped chives, half the lemon juice and the olive oil. Season well and set aside. 3) Finely chop the avocados. Add the rest of the lemon juice, season and mix together well. 4) Using a sieve, push the avocado mixture through the fine holes to make a purée. Set aside. 5) Drizzle the sliced bagette with olive oil, season with rock salt and bake until crispy. 6) To serve, spoon the tomato mix on top of the crostini slices and top with the avocado purée.
Baked mont d’or with lavender honey
1 Mont d’Or boxed cheese
1 jar lavender honey
Sliced baguette, to serve
1) Preheat the oven to 180˚C. 2) Remove the plastic outer on the cheese and bake for around 25 minutes, until it’s soft and gooey like fondue. 3) Drizzle the honey over the top and serve with some sliced baguette.