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Eco chef Tom Hunt on how to be a sustainable cook

Eco Hunt: Treat vegetables in the same way as meat, says Tom

THE single most important thing you can do is reduce your waste, and the second most important thing is become a flexitarian. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have any meat.

Try reducing the portion size. So, rather than buying 150g of mince for your lasagne, use half of that and mix it with another ingredient such as mushrooms. Have a smaller piece of meat for Sunday lunch and add an extra ingredient like a pulse or vegetable.

Another tip is to treat vegetables in the same way as meat, which can make them really exciting. Marinade them, roast them or use your favourite rub on them. Eating sustainably has an impact not only on your environment but on your health as well. It can also be highly affordable. Using my One Planet Plate dish (see recipe below) as an example, cauliflower is an incredible vegetable that’s available all year round and always available locally. It’s also inexpensive.

I cook the leaves, which would usually go to waste but are absolutely delicious, especially roasted. The hazelnut sauce is made with stale bread. It’s a good-quality sourdough bread, so means spending a bit extra, but this helps use it when it’s becoming stale. Blending stale bread into dishes can thicken sauces and gives a great texture

Tom Hunt’s One Planet Plate

Roast cauliflower steaks, crispy leaves and hazelnut sauce

Serves 4-6 as a side dish or starter

■ 1 small cauliflower, leaves still attached
■ Glug of light olive oil
■ 80g hazelnuts, soaked for a minimum of four hours (overnight if possible)
■ 1 large clove garlic
■ 50ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
■ 2 tsp sherry or red wine vinegar
■ 25g stale sourdough bread
■ 2 sprigs mint, leaves torn or whole, stems finely chopped

1. To roast the cauliflower: Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Pull off the larger leaves from the caulifower, cut in half — through the middle of the stem — and place into a medium sized roasting tin. Cut the cauliflower into 3cm thick slices or steaks from top to bottom and add to the tin. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25-35 minutes until the cauliflower chars slightly and softens inside.

2. To make the hazelnut sauce: Place 50g of the soaked hazelnuts in a high-powered blender with the garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Soak the bread in 120ml of water for a few seconds or until soft. Add the water and the bread to the blender. Blend to a very smooth paste for several minutes.

3. Serve the slices of roast cauliflower and crispy leaves drizzled with the hazelnut sauce, the remaining hazelnuts, crushed and sprinkled over the top and torn mint leaves.

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