FARRO AND VEGETABLE TOWER IN ASPIC

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When I grew up I couldn’t stand food with gelatin in it apart from neon coloured Jell-O that I for some strange reason loved and could eat without choking like I did with other aspic dishes. Just proves it’s all in the mind. I had a vegetarian aunt who seemed to eat nothing else than vegetables in aspic and I dreaded to be invited by her, fortunately we didn’t live very close by. And that just shows how stupid I was, letting food get between me and an interesting person. Now I’m free of that particular hang-up but still I don’t make dishes with aspic very often which is a pity because they can be quite delicious, the aspic adding an interesting flavour ‘layer’ so to speak. Here I have mixed vegetables and farro to add more texture.

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FARRO AND VEGETABLE TOWER IN ASPIC
4 servings

2 fennel bulbs
1/3 Savoy cabbage
200 ml/0,85 cup cooked farro
Chives, chopped
200 ml/o,85 cup vegetable stock
100 ml/0,42 cup dry white wine
2,5 tsp gelatin powder
Salt
Extra-virgin olive oil

- Slice the fennel finely and braise it in a little olive oil. Don’t forget to salt it. When the fennel is soft, add half of the wine and cook until it’s reduced to half.
- Put the fennel on a plate and pour the remaining liquid into the vegetable stock and leave it to cool down a bit.
- Shred the Savoy cabbage finely and repeat what you made with the fennel.
- Mix the gelatin (see instructions on the package to get the perfect measure) with the hot stock and dissolve it well.
- Take 4 small ramekins or forms, preferably on the tall side and proceed to make the ‘tower’. Sprinkle some chopped chives as a first layer and then a layer of braised fennel. Next layer is the farro and then one of chopped chives. Follow up with a layer of savoy cabbage and then one of farro. Finish it with a layer of fennel. Push down each layer a little to make it more solid.
- Pour the stock into the forms until it covers the vegetables.
- Put the form in the fridge for about 3 hours or more.
- Before serving you dip the forms quickly in hot water and then pass a sharp and thin knife around the edges before turning them up-side-down on plates.

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