Friday, August 26

Roasted Cauliflower with almonds, lemon and parsley

By halving the recipe but doubling the nuts, I could almost have eaten this as a main dish. It's from Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa:How Easy is That? I'm putting the recipe as it appears in the book and noting my thoughts and changes. I really liked this, the nuts, parsley and lemon are simple but make it really flavorful. I appreciated the mixing it all in the sheet pan plan, since I'm averse to making more dishes dirty than necessary. 

This just came about serendipitously when I saw cauliflower at the store and realized I hadn't had it in forever...took it home with no other plan aside from throwing it in my salads raw. Then I found this recipe, and am really glad I tried roasting something new. I think it's a good summer veggie roast.

Roasted Cauliflower
serves 4-6 {I halved this, except the nuts and lemon juice}
1 head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets
4 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley {chop then freeze! then thaw the amount you want on a paper towel for a few min}
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted (I used about 1/3c. slivered almonds, toasting them in a dry skillet on medium for about 2-3 min, til browned and fragrant)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (I used it from a bottle)
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees* F. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the garlic cloves. Boil for 15 seconds; drain and peel. Cut the largest cloves in half lengthwise.
2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with the garlic, 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp salt, and black pepper. Spread into a single layer and roast, stirring twice, until the cauliflower is tender and the garlic is lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes*.
3. Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl with the garlic and pan juices. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, parsley, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt, toss well and serve hot or warm. Serves 6.
*{note} This burned my garlic. Maybe I boiled them too long. Or maybe they were too small. I don't know if that boiling step was just to make them easier to peel (which was cool) or if it was to blanch them and get them cooking, fragrant a bit. It wasn't worth bringing a pot to boil for just easy peeling and I don't actually like eating entire heads of garlic even when they're not burned. I may chop the garlic when I try this again, or even use garlic powder (is that bad?) Watch it as it cooks if you do it Ina's way, because surely she knows what she's doing. Or consider roasting on 425 or 400.
{pictures credit} because her images were much better than mine.

Tuesday, August 16

balsamic haricot vert salad

Green beans caught my eye at the store today. I think I'd been subconsciously dwelling on their fresh simplicity since enjoying a salad from a cute french bistro in Spokane last week. They were on sale and looked fresh, green and easy, so I grabbed a handful.

I could have put any sort of chopped toasted nuts in this. Maybe I'll do it again with chickpeas or fava beans. Anyway, this was easy and good.
And I was happy to bust out my shamefully neglected steamer insert. Really, I should use this thing more. Clean up is a breeze too.

balsamic haricot vert salad
let's use the french name for kicks.
serves 2
2-3 cups fresh green beans
{addition suggestion} pine nuts, slivered almonds, finely chopped pecans toasted on medium high in a dry skillet, stirring often 3-4 minutes until browned and fragrant

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
a couple generous dashes of pepper and garlic powder
a dash of ginger
2 teaspoons spicy mustard {the stuff with horseradish}

Steam beans until cooked and tender but still maintaining a bit of a crunch, about 4-5 minutes. Toast nuts if you're using them. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Toss  dressing with beans, nuts and whatever else you feel like throwing in there. Good warm. Good cold.