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Veg Out

Jason Sellars of Plant Shares a Vegan Recipe

“Experiencing good food should be transformative, marked by change, and inspiring...at once sensuous and cerebral,” chef Jason Sellars says.

The restauranteur and chef of Plant on Merrimon Avenue is completely in love with his job. His love of food is apparent in every dish he creates.  

Jason provides a completely different experience than typically meat-heavy restaurants. Plant celebrated its seventh anniversary in August and continues to delight guests with artistically plated farm-to-table ingredients.

“Living in a region rich in farmers with such interesting ingredients, we are able to use seasonal and local vegetables to create a vegetable-centric menu,” Jason says.  From wild mushrooms to local heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs, dishes are intensely flavorful and far from boring.

For those who are uncertain about vegan cuisine and what a meal would be like without dairy or meat, the plant cheese plate is sure to delight your taste buds. The dish consists of cashews blended with vegetable brines and ferments to develop flavor and a cheesy, tangy taste that is similar to feta but less salty. Combine that with the softest almond cheese—similar to ricotta—and a cheese roll with herbs, walnuts and flower petals for a trio of delicious cheesy spreads. The dish is served with pickled vegetables, rosemary amber and fruit and focaccia bread. The cheese plate, along with every dish at Plant, is plated to impress even the finest of Instagram photo connoisseurs.

Fig’arelli—the name given to Plant's sweet-savory cheese plate accompaniment—is in the tradition of the fig log. The smoky chipotle chile is roasted to elicit its aroma and spice. It's best with aged cashew cheese and herbed crackers, but pair it with any vegan cheese arrangement where you need spice and a pungent pop. Yields 1 pound.

Fig’arelli (smokey fig)

Ingredients

1 chipotle chile

1 tablespoon neutral oil (sunflower)

2 tablespoons yellow onion, small dice

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon ground fennel

1/2 teaspoon good-quality salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 pound dried mission figs

1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar

Directions

Split the chipotle open; destem, deseed and cook over a flame or in a cast-iron pan until dark and aromatic. While charring the chipotle, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a small sauté pan. Add the onion, and cook for 5 minutes, until sweating and soft. Add the paprika, sage and fennel, salt, pepper and garlic, and cook for another 10 minutes. While onions are cooking, destem the figs, and put them in a large bowl. Once onions have cooked and slightly browned, add pan mixture and apple cider vinegar to the bowl with figs. Process in a food processor until the mixture balls around the blade and becomes smooth. Roll into one large log or smaller logs, depending on your use. Store at room temperature in a perforated pan or in cheesecloth; as it cures, it gets better.

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