Bi-colour Black Truffle Cauliflower and Pea Starter

If you have any of the Gu oven-proof glass ramekins you are lucky – this starter looks great in those as you see the green and white layers clearly. There are two ingredients which can be difficult to source: black truffle – Ocado or Waitrose have these usually, or you can get it on Amazon, they cost about £8; and dried wasabi peas – again, from Ocado or Waitrose, or Amazon.

for six

for the mashed potatoes

  • 60g/½ cup smash instant potato
  • 70ml/¼cup just boiled water
  • 1 x chicken stock cube dissolved in it
  • 215ml/¾cup full milk (or you can use 410g tin evaporated milk and an ⅛ cup more stock
  • smoked salt and WHITE pepper
  • just under an eighth of a pack of butter (20-30g)
  • 1 clove of garlic, mashed
  • 300g cauliflower
  • 300g frozen peas
  • 4 tsp smoked salt
  • 20g finely sliced black truffle
  • 60g dried wasabi peas
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • knob of butter


  1. preheat the oven to 200ºC
  2. then make up some instant mashed potatoes:
  3. heat the milk to nearly boiling, but DO NOT LET IT BOIL
  4. mix all the first seven ingredients together with a fork – heat if necessary
  5. cook the cauliflower for just under ten minutes, whizz with 2 tbsp double cream with a stick blender
  6. cook the peas in the butter (no water) for about five minutes, whizz with 2 tbsp double cream with a stick blender.
  7. put the pea and the cauliflower mixes into two separate bowls and to each add half the potato, an egg, and 2 tsp of smoked salt
  8. divide the cauliflower mix in half and divide half among your six ramekins
  9. divide the pea mix between the ramekins, on top of the cauliflower mix
  10. top with the rest of the cauliflower mix
  11. put in the oven for about twenty minutes (or if you are using the top right oven of the aga it may take a little less time)
  12. crush the wasabi peas in a pestle and mortar and use to garnish the starter with the black truffle. BE SPARING some people find it quite spicey – serve what remains for people to help themselves with more.
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