This is one of the easiest ways to cook vegetables. All you need is a sturdy pot and a pet store that sells hamster food. It doesn't get simpler than that, or weirder. I'll get to the seaweed later.
Rumor has it that this method of cooking originated in Scandinavia. The renowned restaurant noma features dishes cooked in hay such as these quail eggs.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Wash and dry the carrots and fingerling potatoes. Use organic vegetables for this recipe as you will not be peeling them. Smaller carrots are the best for this dish.
Set the vegetables aside. Soak the Chanterelle mushrooms in hot water for about 20 minutes until they're rehydrated.
Fill a dutch oven or heavy oven-worthy pot, ( I used cast iron) with clean fresh alfalfa. The reason for using hamster fodder is for cleanliness.
Anything that is clean enough for animal fodder is clean enough for cooking purposes. Don't just go out to the barnyard, field, etc looking for hay. Clean fresh hay is what you need.
Place the hay in the bottom of the pot. Wrap the cleaned and dried vegetables in cheesecloth.
Place the cheesecloth bundle on top of the hay in the pot.
Place more hay on top of the cheesecloth.
Light the edges of the hay so they smolder a bit. DO NOT set it on fire.
When the hay smokes a bit, pour 1 qt of water mixed with 2 Tbs of salt over the hay.
Put the lid on the pot, and pop it into the oven for about 40 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, make the seaweed pesto.
Tear the seaweed into pieces and soak it in water for about 1 minute to rehydrate it.
Place the seaweed, the chopped shallots and walnuts into the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse the food processor.
When you have a rough paste add in the oil. You'll have to eyeball this to get the right proportion of smoothness. I added in about 1/4 cup of oil. You may want more.
Add in a bit of lemon juice for tartness.
Blend the mixture by pulsing.
Taste test your pesto. When you're happy with the results, set it aside. When the vegetables are done take the lid off of the pot. The carrots and potatoes should be fork tender.
Lift the cheesecloth bundle out of the pot, and remove the vegetables. Season them with a bit of sea salt if you wish.
Put them on a plate, 2 small carrots, 2 fingering potatoes and a few of the Chanterelles per person. Drizzle the seaweed pesto over the vegetables and serve them up.
- 2.0 Small carrots per person
- 2.0 Fingerling potatoes per person
- 2.0oz Dried chanterelle mushrooms
- 1.0 Package of clean alfalfa (hamster feed)
- 2.0Tbsp Kosher salt
- 1.0qt Water
- 1.0c Dried seaweed, (toasted nori sheets will do)
- 1/2c Walnuts
- 1/3c Hazelnut, walnut, or olive oil
- 1/2Tbsp Lemon juice
- 2.0 Large shallots chopped