Charred Baby Eggplant, Braised Fennel, Tomatoes and Verjus Nage
Top Chef, Season 6, Episode 10, Elimination Challenge
- 1 head fennel
- 2 eggplants
- 16 sweet-100 tomatoes
- ¼ bunch wild cilantro, picked
- 1 saffron pickled shallot, thinly sliced into rings
- Salt, pepper, espelette
- 4 cups verjus
- 1 star anise
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 Thai chili pepper
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 1 knob fresh garlic, peeled and sliced thin
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 cup beurre monté (1 cup cold butter + 4 tablespoons water)
1. Cut fennel into 1/8th and braise in salted water. Drain and set aside.
2. Peel and slice tomatoes into coins. Set aside.
3. Peel, slice, and salt eggplant. Sear “a la plancha” (on a metal plate) until tender. Set aside.
4. Bring verjus up to a boil. Add remaining ingredients. Turn off heat and cover lid. Steep for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve liquid.
5. Make beurre monté by heating water to a simmer and then whisking in cold butter in small batches until emulsified, whisking constantly.
1. Arrange vegetables onto plate.
2. Emulsify verjus with beurre monté. Spoon sauce around plate.