Posts tagged ‘cauliflower’

November 17, 2011

Salad Series {post #2} Fresh Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Salads, the perfect sidekick

Fresh Brussels Sprout and Herb Salad with Shaved Parmesan, Crispy Bacon with an Apple – Mustard Vinaigrette
1 pound fresh brussels sprouts, cook in salted water until just done, run under cold water. If large slice in half.
4 slices thick cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces, cooked crisp, drain on paper towels
Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste

Apple – Mustard Vinaigrette
1 cup fresh pressed apple juice, reduced to 2 Tablespoons – let cool.
2 T. grainy mustard
1 shallot, finely chopped (about 1 Tablespoon)
1 T. fresh chives, finely chopped
1 T. fresh thyme (measure before stemmed) chopped
2 T. almond oil
2 T. grape seed oil
good pinch of sea salt
few grinds of fresh pepper

For the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid – shake to emulsify.
To finish the salad, toss the brussels sprouts with enough of the vinaigrette to coat. Top with the bacon and a good shave of Parmigiano-Reggiano (I used a microplane), serve immediately.

 

 


Fresh Cauliflower Salad with Crispy Capers, Olives, Shaved Red Onion and Herbs with a Grainy Mustard – Lemon Vinaigrette

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite size florets – cook in salted water until just done, run under cold water.
1/8 red onion, finely julienned (place in a colander and rinse under cold water for several minutes to mellow the taste)
1/4 cup mixed olives, pitted and sliced lengthwise
1 red or green jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (add more or less to your liking)
1 T. chives, finely chopped
1 T. parsley, finely chopped

1/4 cup salt packed capers, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup grape seed oil

Grainy Mustard – Lemon Vinaigrette
2 T. grainy mustard
1 clove garlic, grated
juice from 1 lemon
2 T. almond oil
2 T. grape seed oil
a good pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper

For the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid – shake to emulsify.

For the crispy capers, in a small pan heat the oil to almost smoking. Add the capers (they might spatter a bit so stand back :) Cook until slightly brown and crispy, drain on a few layers of paper towels.
To assemble the salad, combine all the prepared ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle the desired amount of vinaigrette and toss to coat. Top with the crispy capers and serve immediately.

 

 

I spent a lot of time developing these 2 salads, and am happy to report that they turned out quite amazing. Although dressed with bold, mustardy vinaigrettes, the freshness of the veggies and herbs really shine.
Don’t even think about using frozen vegetables here, the key to these salads are to keep them bright and fresh. Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are pretty common, and I’m sure that most of you can find it fresh at your market. Another key to these salads are cooking the vegetables just right. If you cook them too much they’ll be watery and fall apart (that’s a terrible thing to do to veggie), but you don’t want them raw either – the only words I can think of to describe the texture is crisp-tender. You want them to be cooked and still have their fresh quality. Although both dressings are heavily mustard based, they are still quite different and can be served together. With all the heavy food served at the holiday table (roasted meats, stuffing, gravy – all brown, all wonderful) they can really weigh you down. It’s nice to have some cool, bright and fresh options to lighten things up. The fresh, crisp-tender veggies with a bright and bold vinaigrette is the perfect sidekick. These veggie-salads can be prepared early in the day and tossed in the dressing just before serving, leaving one less thing monopolizing your precious space on the stove or in the oven.

I replanted my herb garden this week. After a 4 month stay in California there wasn’t a trace of fresh herbs when I returned – I guess I’m not the only one that can’t handle the Florida summers! I was quite excited to have all the options to use – and I think I used every herb in the garden for these salads.

~K

March 15, 2011

Moroccan Roasted Cauliflower – Spaghetti with Broccoli, Lemon and Walnuts – Lemon Tart

I ended up with a pile of lemons this week. Along with the ones I received in my CSA share, my fridge was running over with them. This isn’t an accident. I always pick up a few while I’m at the market regardless if I need them or not. Usually when they’re offered at a good price, because nothing kills me more than paying a dollar a piece for a lemon. I’m sort of like a squirrel gathering nuts for a “rainy” day. No matter how may peanuts you set out for them they will keep picking them up! Where do they put them all?

I also ended up with Broccoli and Cauliflower this week, courtesy of my CSA. I’ll be honest, it’s hard to get excited about Broccoli and Cauliflower. Though I will occasionally invite them into my shopping cart and will usually cook them up before they rot in my fridge.

Maybe it brings back (not so) fond memories from childhood. Some of you may remember sitting at the dinner table staring at what seemed to be giant pieces of the stuff, boiled to death. I remember looking across the table at my brother and sister, slouched down in their chairs trying to muster up the courage to eat it while begging for a third glass of milk to wash it down with. We wouldn’t dare take our eyes off each other for fear that an extra piece would somehow end up on our plate. We must have been hilarious to watch, with our scrunched noses and pale faces, green with envy when one of us had been released for finally finishing.

I know they’re good for me, I know how to cook them properly, and I should eat them regularly, but I don’t. I decided it’s time for me to figure out a way to make them the star of the dinner table. And you know what? I did. Really!

Moroccan Roasted Cauliflower – Roasting does something magical to vegetables.
It seems that all the spices and lemon would completely drown the flavor of the Cauliflower but it doesn’t, it mellows it and makes it sweeter, while adding depth. I’m not kidding; these can be served as an hors d’oeuvre, piping hot out of the oven.

Spaghetti with Broccoli, Lemon and Walnuts – This is another quick and delicious dish.
I don’t particularly like doing dishes so I try hard not to dirty too many while I’m cooking. To blanch the broccoli I use a pot big enough to cook the spaghetti in. I use the same blanching water to cook the pasta, and once the pasta is cooked I use the pot, yet again, to toss everything together. One dirty pot, I can handle that. You can use your favorite pasta for this dish, and I like a good amount of fresh cracked pepper.

Lemon Tart – This is one of those desserts I dream of. I had the opportunity to perfect this tart while working at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Everyday for a year it was the first thing I baked, and I usually didn’t leave until I had a bite for the road. My dad would make lemon meringue pies a lot, and it wasn’t one of my favorites, the banana cream and custard pie were! But he loved the lemon; now I understand why it was his favorite.  He put extra love into making his lemon pies, and it makes all the difference, so give this recipe a little love of your own and you won’t be disappointed. Until you make it a few times, it may seem tricky but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be making it regularly. I have it here with a simple whipped cream, but it’s also great with summer berries.

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