Once described as 'Welshman's caviar' by Richard Burton, laverbread is a Welsh delicacy which is essentially a seaweed paste rolled in oatmeal and fried. Alyn Williams uses laverbread to fill homemade ravioli in this sophisticated recipe. Replace the Welsh sea vegetables with regular samphire if you can't get hold of them.
It is always a pleasing moment when a talented apprentice steps out and succeeds on their own terms. After working as Head Chef at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley for 5 years, Alyn Williams has done exactly that; taking over the Westbury in the autumn of 2011 and quickly winning a Michelin star.
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To make the pasta, combine the the ingredients in a food processor until a moist crumb is achieved, then knead well for 5 minutes to bring together, wrap tightly in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours
550g of 00 flour
6 egg yolks
1 tsp olive oil
1 pinch of salt
Meanwhile, melt the butter for the laverbread in a pan and once foaming sweat the shallots until soft. Add the laverbread, season and cook for 5 minutes to soften and break down
20g of butter
1 shallot, finely diced
250g of laverbread
flaky sea salt
Break the toast into the mix and add the lemon juice. Stir and cook until the toast has softened
1 slice of brown bread, overly toasted
1/4 lemon, juiced
Transfer the contents of the pan into a blender and blitz until puréed but not totally smooth. Place into a bowl, cover loosely with cling film and allow to cool
For the stock, place a pan over a medium heat and add oil and butter. Once hot, add the onions and thyme, cook until the onions are a deep golden brown colour, approximately 20 minutes
3 white onions, thickly sliced
1 sprig of fresh thyme
20ml of light olive oil
20g of unsalted butter
Add the water, season and bring to the boil. Cover with a cartouche and continue to cook for 20 minutes, check the seasoning and adjust if needed. Strain through a fine chinois and then through a double layer of muslin
500ml of water
flaky sea salt
Roll out the pasta thinly and cut 24 discs with a #60 cutter (you can use a fluted cutter for a prettier effect). Brush the edges of 12 of the discs with egg wash and spoon a mound of the laverbread mixture in the middle of each. Cover with the other disc and pinch the edges closed, ensuring there are no air bubbles in the ravioli
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
Cook the ravioli in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and keep warm
To cook the beach vegetables, bring 200ml of water to the boil and whisk in the butter until emulsified
200ml of water
150g of unsalted butter
Add the beach vegetables to the emulsion for about 90 seconds, drain and season
2 2/3 handfuls of sea beet
2 2/3 handfuls of rock samphire
2 2/3 handfuls of sea arrowgrass
2 2/3 handfuls of stone crop
Divide the ravioli and vegetables into bowls, pour the onion stock into each bowl and garnish with the sea vegetables. Serve immediately
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