Carbon-neutral dinner party recipes for eco-conscious hosts

·4-min read
A sumptuous main course  (Lettice Events)
A sumptuous main course (Lettice Events)

This sumptuous main dish is made from produce that has a longer seasonal growing period, meaning that all of these items have been grown in the UK.

Roasted cauliflower steak with charred leeks, hasselback potatoes, wild garlic oil and pumpkin seed pesto

Serves: 4

Equipment needed:

Blow torch

Ingredients:

1 cauliflower

1 tsp salt

100ml sunflower oil

100g butter

1 clove garlic

5 sprigs thyme

For the confit leeks:

2 leeks

2 pinches Maldon Salt

500ml grapeseed oil

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs thyme

2 cloves garlic

For the hasselback potatoes:

8 mid-sized Charlotte potatoes

Salt, to taste

100ml olive oil

For the pumpkin seed and truffle pesto:

100g pumpkin seeds

200ml olive oil

50ml truffle oil

40ml agave syrup

2 pinches salt

To serve:

5ml wild garlic oil (if you can’t find this, chopped chives make a great alternative and give the alium the edge this dish needs)

4 tbsp chopped chives

Method:

To make the cauliflower steak:

Remove a small amount of the base of the stalk and then cut in half.

Then cut the outside of the cauliflower off resulting in a steak that is around 4cm thick and contains most of the stalk.

Season with salt and pan fry in sunflower oil. Cook over a medium high heat until dark golden brown, basting the cauliflower. Finish with foaming butter and garlic and thyme (for dietary requirements, cook without butter).

Finish by cooking in the oven until tender on the stalk – this will take roughly 15 minutes. Portion by carving down the middle of the stalk to make individual portions.

To make the confit leeks:

Remove almost all of the green and keep the white part of the leek. Peel the outside layer of the leek and a second layer if large.

Wash your leeks thoroughly in warm water.

Season with salt and cover with grapeseed oil. Add in some bay leaves, thyme and garlic.

Cover the trays and confit in the oven at 140c for 20-25 minutes or until tender.

Allow to cool in the oil. Remove and cut into 4-5cm pieces.

Blowtorch to blacken and sprinkle with Maldon Salt.

To make the hasselback potatoes:

Place your potatoes in between 2 wooden spoons and using a knife, slice into the potato until the knife touches the spoon.

Season with salt and olive oil and bake at 180C until golden brown and tender, roughly 25 minutes.

Turn the potatoes upside down halfway through cooking to get the best results.

To make the pumpkin seed pesto:

Toast your pumpkin seeds in the oven at 160C for 5-10 minutes.

Allow to cool and blitz in a food processor until broken but not a paste.

Make a dressing of olive oil, truffle oil, agave syrup and salt and dress the seeds to make a pesto.

To serve:

Place the roasted cauliflower steak on top of a spoonful of the pumpkin seed and truffle pesto and top with lots of chipped chives.

Dress the plate with wild garlic oil, then place the charred leeks and hasselback potatoes besides the cauliflower, and serve.

Vegan chocolate delice with passionfruit sorbet

A wonderfully luxurious dessert that does just enough to satiate your sweet tooth (Lettice Events)
A wonderfully luxurious dessert that does just enough to satiate your sweet tooth (Lettice Events)

Made with dark chocolate and plenty of punchy passionfruit, this dessert is the answer to all your decadent dreams.

Makes: 10

Ingredients:

For the chocolate delice:

450g vegan cream

250g dark chocolate

15g sugar

2g Maldon salt

For the passionfruit sorbet:

1kg passionfruit puree (this can be found in the frozen section of some supermarkets, or sourced online)

240g water

60g glucose

185g sugar

To serve:

Raw cocao nibs

Maldon salt

Method:

To make the chocolate delice:

Heat the cream, sugar, and salt to 90C in a saucepan, and cook until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour the mixture onto the chocolate and hand blend until smooth.

Pour into bowls and set in fridge.

To make the passionfruit sorbet:

Heat the water and glucose.

Whisk in sugar and bring to the boil.

Leave to cool.

Blend the puree and sorbet syrup in a blender and pass.

Churn.

To serve:

Place the delice on a plate, with a spoonful of sorbet next to it. Garnish with raw cacoa nibs and a sprinkle of Maldon salt.

Raspberry and lemon sherbet cordial cocktail

This fruity mocktail combines the perfect amount of sweet and sour (Lettice Events)
This fruity mocktail combines the perfect amount of sweet and sour (Lettice Events)

This gorgeous fruity mocktail uses “wonky” fruits, meaning that the fruit does not look perfect and so would otherwise be discarded from their marketplaces, despite being of the same taste and quality.

Ingredients:

500g Scottish raspberries

6 Meyer lemons (zested and juiced)

350g caster sugar

500ml water

50g tartaric acid

Citric acid, to taste

Method:

Add the raspberries, lemon juice and zest, sugar and water to a large sauce pan and bring to the boil. Once at a rolling boil blend the fruit to get the most out of the flavour.

Reduce the volume by one third and let it infuse and come to room temperature overnight covered with a tea towel.

Once cooled, pass through muslin and add 50g tartaric acid (to preserve).

Adjust the sour flavour by adding citric acid. I like plenty to make it feel really grown up and great as an aperitif.

Serve 30ml of the cordial over ice and top with sparkling water.  We garnish with rosemary to enhance the floral notes of the raspberries.