Niven Kunz is probably the most famous vegetable chef in the Netherlands. This young Michelin star chef is often praised for his restaurant in Rijswijk and his light dishes that really put vegetables in the spotlight. I recently read and cooked from Niven’s latest book ‘80/20’ that’s all about the perfect balance between vegetables (80 percent) and meat or fish (20 percent). A book filled with pretty challenging dishes that aren’t all suitable for the home cook, but at the same time a very inspirational work that really stimulated me to use vegetables in a new way.
Take the carbonara from string beans beans for instance, which is one of Niven’s signature dishes. While peeling the beans into thin strands turned out to be not-so-weekday-proof, I have to say the end result was very rewarding. I enjoyed a plate of creamy “pasta” with the earthy taste of mushrooms, a poached egg and crispy salty bacon flakes.
The carrot tartare however, was remarkably easy to prepare. This veggie variation on the classic steak tartare was inspired by the version Niven tasted in New York’s Eleven Madison Park. I absolutely love the creative dish. Sweet and crunchy pieces of carrot are so much exciting when combined with mustard, capers and anchovies. Its taste reminds me somewhat of the traditional beef tartare, but in a complete new and unique way. Highly recommended and a recipe I love to share here on TLT.
1 bunch of carrots, peeled
1 very fresh egg yolk
1 shallot, finely diced
4 anchovy filets, finely chopped
1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
1 pickle, finely chopped
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp Worcester sauce
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1. Coarsely grate the carrots on a block plane or pulse in a food processor.
2. Mix carrots with other ingredients until you’ve got a smooth tartare. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Place a cooking ring on a plate. Fill with the carrot tartare and press down with a spoon. Garnish with a green leaf.