Fermented Leek with Kohlrabi Spread on Sweet Potato Toast

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This is perhaps the last recipe from Portugal I’m sharing for now. My goal was to create a spread that will let you take off. Just pure freshness. To push this to the limit I challenged myself to not use any oil which caused much frustration for chef Vicente who I was working with 😀 “You’re are going against all the rules…” I know. It’s with challenges like that when you understand components in a deeper way. The way only a few drops of oil completely transform the flavour of the veggie spread seems almost magical. However, I chose the hard path and looked for ways to create something delicious nonetheless.

Flavour Development

When you blend up a raw vegetable like kohlrabi, first you need a powerful blender and second, you need to deal with the sulfurous, bitter juices that are released. You can throw spices, herbs, sweetness, acidity, salt at them but as soon as the others have played their role on the stage of flavour those unpleasant juices will have the last word. It was annoying and I didn’t have much time to develop the recipe. But I understood something, again. Just like with the Tuscan Kale Sauce with Rice and Orange, the spread or sauce doesn’t need to be perfect. It needs to be perfect as a whole when you eat it. I tried it on sweet potato toast with everything we had around, from pastes to cheeses and pickles. Why sweet potato and not bread? Why not… I topped with fermented leek. It just clicked. It was right.

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Serves 2. Prep time: 30min


1 sweet potato, lengthwise cut into 1 cm thick slices
a few sprigs of thyme
1/2 Kohlrabi
3 sprigs of parsley
1 tbsp raisins
2,5 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 shallot or small onion
a few pieces fermented leek


Roast the sweet potato for half an hour in the oven at 180 °C with a few sprigs of thyme. Blend all ingredients except the sweet potatoes and leeks. Add water if needed. When the sweet potatoes are ready add the spread and the fermented leeks on top. Enjoy!

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