Truffled Chickpea Sformatino
As iconic as it gets, Batàr is a wine that should be savoured every step of the way, slowly taking in all the nuances it provides. Its tantalizing flavours and freshness help start an intriguing interplay with the right sparing food. We recommend a dish that mirrors Batàr’s indulgent nature yet make a statement in its own right. This chickpea sformatino is an easy, less fiddly Italian way of making a soufflé. It’s creamy, rich and relatively mild in flavour, allowing the wine to take centre stage. The pungent aroma and deep musky flavours of truffles turn it into a gourmet taste experience.
Why this pairing works
We opted for a congruent pairing, specifically considering the lacy texture and the wine’s aromatic development given by the long refinements on the yeasts. The buttery béchamel is a perfect match to the elegantly oak-aged Batàr, and the wine’s bright acidity helps cut through the thickness of the dish. On the other hand, the earthy, mushroomy aroma that Batàr develops with little bottle age reflects truffles’ savoury character.
Much like Batàr, truffles always give a gustative persistence that enchants the palate and a fascinating and recognizable aroma, nevertheless delicate. The subtle fennel and thyme spices in the sformatino echo similar notes in the wine, strengthening a balance built on shared flavour compounds.
Truffled Chickpea Sformatino
By Sunny Gandara
680 g potatoes, peeled and diced
425 g organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed, reserve liquid
350 ml non-dairy milk
350 ml cashew cream* or another vegan creamer
85 g vegan truffle butter
50 g onion, minced fine
45 g all-purpose flour
45 g vegan Parmesan cheese
zest from 1 lemon
3–4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves destemmed and chopped
1 garlic clove, grated
1 sprig fresh oregano, leaves destemmed and chopped
1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
truffles for garnish (optional)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 210 °C. Grease individual ramekins or a large baking dish with a little oil or vegan butter and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot, cover the potatoes with generously salted water and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes; drain and let them dry out over moderate heat in the pot and remove from stove.
While the potatoes are cooking, pulse the chickpeas to a rough mixture in a food processor (leaving some texture), season with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside. Add 6 tablespoons of the reserved canned chickpea liquid (aquafaba) into a standing mixing bowl and beat on high using the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes.
Pass the potatoes through a ricer, whisk until smooth and fold them in with the béchamel sauce. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, whisk in lemon zest, chopped thyme, and chickpeas, and gently fold in the whipped chickpea liquid. Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins or pour into the prepared baking pan. Bake 30–35 minutes until golden on top.
If you like to indulge, garnish with more shaved truffles or a herb gremolata with grated vegan parmesan.
Serve warm or at room temperature with a glass of 2019 Batàr!
For the vegan béchamel sauce
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and sauté for 3–4 minutes until slightly translucent, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk and cashew cream/creamer and whisk until smooth. Increase heat to high and bring 2–3 minutes to simmer while stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat and whisk in parmesan, a little salt and pepper, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, or cayenne until smooth. Let the béchamel cool slightly.