Even though Earth Day was yesterday, we’re continuing the party well into the weekend and next week. After all, Earth Day is Mother Nature’s birthday and that’s cause for celebration. Plus, who here hasn’t celebrated their b-day for the whole week? Guilty! From April 22-28, Holt’s Café has a special Earth Day-inspired menu that’s as delicious as it is gorgeous.
Available at Café Holt Ogilvy, Holts Café Yorkdale, and Holts Café Vancouver, the menu consists of dishes all with a farm-to-table frame of mind. Want to dig in? You can order it on Uber Eats and directly for takeout but we scored the recipe for their Garden Platter straight from Adam Alguire, Chef de Cuisine at Holts Café Yorkdale.
Here’s how to make the Holt’s Café Garden Platter recipe!
Ingredients for Roasted Garlic Hummus:
- 200g tahini
- 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 350ml olive oil
- 130g garlic confit, recipe follows
- 2 lemon, juiced and zested
Ingredients for Garlic confit:
- 3 heads of garlic
- 700ml canola oil
- To make the garlic confit, peel and destem garlic cloves, and place in a small pot and cover with oil. The pot should be as small as possible and have high sides so that the cloves of garlic are completely submerged.
- Put on a low heat and leave to confit until soft and the colour goes slightly brown. This should take about an hour.
- Then to make the hummus, add all the ingredients to a food processor, and run on high for 10 minutes stopping and scraping down the sides every couple of minutes. Season with salt and more lemon juice if you’d like.
Ingredients for Cucumber Spread:
- 500g unsalted hulled sunflower seeds
- 2 English cucumbers
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 lemons
- salt to taste
- Pour boiling water over hulled sunflower seeds and leave for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
- Peel and de-stem the garlic cloves.
- Cut the cucumbers in half, and using a spoon, remove the seeds from the inside (you can place these seeds into some water overnight and then strain it out to make a refreshing cucumber flavoured water)
- In a blender, add half of the sunflower seeds, one of the cucumbers chopped into large chunks, 2 garlic cloves and the zest and juice of 1 lemon.
- Run on high until the mixture is smooth. You will probably have to scrape down the side of the blender multiple times. This is a very thick puree, so only work in the small batches as it will burn out your blender.
- Season the mixture with salt to taste.
Ingredients for Labneh dip:
- 600g labneh
- 65ml olive oil
- 1 bunch chives, chopped
- 120ml homogenized milk
- In a bowl combine all ingredients with a whisk or rubber spatula. Place into serving container and top with olive oil.
Ingredients for Onion Bhaji:
- 2 onions
- 1 jalapeno
- 5g salt
- 3g garam masala
- 4g ground cumin
- 250g potato starch
- canola oil for frying
- Peel and halve onions. Remove the core so that the petals can fall apart and slice a fine julienne following the grain of the onion.
- Deseed the jalapeno and finely brunoise the flesh.
- Place the onion and jalapeno into a bowl and add the salt. Mix together with your hands and let sit for at least an hour or even overnight. Rinse off the mixture and place in a sieve to drain all the remaining liquid.
- Add the spices and half the potato starch to the drained mixture in a new bowl and combine with your hands. Squeezing it together into a dough.
- Add more potato starch if necessary until you are able to form balls with the mixture that hold together. If the mix becomes too dry to hold together, you can always go the opposite way and add a little water a teaspoon at a time.
- Form the mixture into 50g balls and then roll them between your hands to form a log shape.
- Heat the canola oil to 325F and fry the bhaji for about 5 minutes to set and cook them.
- To serve, fry again at 375F for 2 minutes for a crispy exterior, or bake at 400F for 10 minutes for a softer chewier texture.
Ingredients for Blanched Asparagus and Green Beans:
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1/2lb green beans
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and trim the bottoms of your asparagus and green beans.
- Drop the green beans into the boiling water. The water should still be at a boil after you add them. If it has stopped, you do not have enough water for the amount of green beans you added.
- After 20 seconds, test for doneness and then remove and plunge into an ice bath. Tip: Having your ice bath salted as well not only helps keep the seasoning of the vegetables from the blanche, but also further lowers the temperature of the water.
- Repeat this process with the rest of the green beans and then the asparagus spears. The asparagus may take a few seconds longer or less depending on the thickness of the spears.
- Remove from the ice bath when they are cooled to the center to prevent them from losing flavour and place on a paper towel to dry.
Ingredients for Smashed Fingerling Potato:
- 1lb fingerling potatos
- 1/2 bunch thyme
- 5 bay leaves
- 1tsp black peppercorn
- canola oil for frying
- chopped chives, parsley or your favourite potato herb (dill, tarragon, thyme, etc)
- salt to taste
- Place potatoes, thyme, bay leaves into a sauce pot and fill with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until a small knife can easily pass through the potato.
- Remove the potatoes from the water and let cool and steam dry completely.
- Press the potatoes between your hands to crack the skins and flatten them.
- Carefully place in a large saute pan with about 3tbsp canola oil. Place the potatoes down away from you to prevent splashing towards you. When you can start to see browning on the edges of the potato, flip them to the other side and finish the crisping.
- Remove to a paper towel to drain and then toss with salt, pepper and chopped herbs of your choice
To assemble the Platter:
Assemble all of the prepared ingredients onto the platter including your favourite raw vegetables, olives, breads and lettuces. This dish is served at room temperature, so it can all be done before hand and simply presented when needed.
Featured Image & Recipe: Holt's Café and Chef Adam Alguire