Culinary Technique - Smoking
The purpose of smoking vegetables is to add a slightly smoky taste to the dish that they will be a part of. Thus, it’s better to smoke the vegetables first and then cook them in the standard manner. They will acquire a subtle flavour and won’t stick.
Smoking requires a smoker or a smoking oven. They can be found in any specialised store. Place a thin layer of sawdust on the smoker’s lower tray, close the smoker and put it in the oven. Heat it thoroughly, until the sawdust “sings.” Place your vegetables on the grill, replace the cover and smoke to taste. The process is the same with a smoking oven, where the wood is put in a container or in a foil pouch. Light it, dampen the fire with a few spoonfuls of sawdust, and place the vegetables on the grill.
You need vegetables that contain little water, so avoid endives, cucumber and tomato, and choose cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, celeriac, shallots, onions, fennel or eggplant, which absorbs the smoke like a sponge. Briefly blanche the cauliflower and the broccoli so that they’ll stay crisp.
- Clean and wash the vegetables. Chop them up if necessary.
- Heat the sawdust in the oven until it sings, or light it. Place the vegetables on the grill and smoke for them as long as you wish.
- Remove the vegetables from the grill and continue cooking them by boiling, steaming, stewing or any other method.