Califonia Bountiful
Side Dish

Caulilini, baby turnips and shiro dashi sauce

Chef Justin Cogley uses dried seaweed and dried fish to bring elements of the sea to this striking side dish. A new vegetable that's been referred to as "cauliflower's hot new cousin," Caulilini is not yet available in grocery stores.

Executive Chef Justin Cogley
Aubergine in L'Auberge Carmel, Carmel-by-the-Sea

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1 small bunch Caulilini (1/2 lb.)
6 baby turnips
1 tbsp. very finely sliced chives
1 tbsp. very finely minced Italian flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp. torn mint
1 tbsp. minced tarragon
1/2 cup shiro dashi (see note)
Splash of water
1 (3-inch) piece dried kombu (see note)
Sprinkle of xanthan gum (if available)
1 lb. butter, diced (see note)
Salt and lemon juice, to taste
Edible flowers, for garnish


Wash Caulilini in ice-cold water and trim into even, bite-sized pieces, about 2 inches each. Blanch in boiling salted water until cooked, but still retains its bite, about 30 seconds. Immediately plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Let drain and set aside. (You can also take Caulilini directly from blanching water to sauté pan.)

Wash turnips in ice-cold water, making sure to scrape off any dirt around the stem. Remove any wilted leaves. Blanch just the white part of the turnip in boiling water until cooked through, leaving leaves raw, about 2 minutes. Immediately plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Let drain and set aside.

Mix all minced herbs together to create fines herbes and set aside.

Heat shiro dashi and water together in a small saucepot. Add kombu and let steep 30 minutes, then remove. Bring mixture back to a simmer and blend in xanthan gum with an immersion blender. Working in batches, add butter and blend with immersion blender on the heat until all butter is melted and sauce is very smooth.

Heat about 4 oz. shiro dashi butter in a small saucepot. While shiro dashi butter is getting hot, quickly blanch the already-cooked Caulilini and turnip in boiling water until hot, about 10 seconds. Season lightly with salt and lemon juice. Add about 2 tbsp. fines herbes to hot shiro dashi butter. Spoon sauce onto a warm plate, and place Caulilini and baby turnip on top. Garnish with edible flowers.

Notes: Cogley recommends using butter with a high butterfat content, such as Plugra. Shiro dashi and dried kombu are available at most specialty Asian markets.

Serves 2

Photo: © 2019 Richard Green

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