Feeling absolutely starved this afternoon and I remembered I had a big bag of Cauliflower Florets in the fridge. I’ve been wanting to roast Cauliflower and found a truly wonderful recipe on Food52.com.
2 large heads cauliflower. broken into florets or 1 large bag cauliflower florets 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, divided 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) Zest of 1 lemon 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley
Set oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl mix ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Add cauliflower and stir well to coat. Pour into a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is starting to get nice brown bits.
Meanwhile in a frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and add panko and ¼ tsp salt. Gently sauté for several minutes until breadcrumbs begin to brown. Reduce heat and add lemon and garlic. Gently sauté a couple more minutes and remove from heat.
Put cauliflower in a serving dish and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle parsley over and serve. So good!
I planted Asparagus in a back corner of my garden several years ago and always kind of forgot about it, until it was a giant mass of ferns. Yesterday, I checked and there were 7-8 beautiful little stems coming up! So I harvested them and we had them for supper last night, using a recipe from Allrecipes.com. Really fresh asparagus is such a treat!
2 Tbsp Olive Oil 1½ Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp kosher salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 bunch thin asparagus spears, trimmed into bite-sized pieces.
Preheat oven to 425. Mix everything in a bowl, and add asparagus. Pour out onto a baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes (longer if the stems are thicker). Remove from oven, and splash with just a bit more lemon juice.
I love roasted vegetables, but sometimes forget how much veggies shrink while cooking. By cutting the chunks larger, and spreading them out, you can get wonderful flavor without overcooking them. Plus all of these truly beautiful vegetables are hardy, so you can prep this early and roast them later.
1 large red onion, halved and cut into eighths 1 medium yellow onion, halved and cut into quarters 2 small zucchini, cut lengthwise and into 2″ pieces 2 small summer squash, cut lengthwise and into 2″ pieces 2 green bell peppers, cut into 2″ pieces 2 red bell peppers, cut into 2″ pieces 1 carton baby Portabella mushrooms, sliced thickly 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets 2 blue potatoes, halved and cut into 3/4″ slices
3 Tbsp olive oil 1 tsp kosher salt 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/2 tsp garlic powder good-sized pinch each of Oregano, Basil, Red Pepper Flakes & Parsley smaller pinch each of Rosemary and Thyme
Mix oil and spices in a small bowl. Pour a little extra olive oil on two baking sheets and sprinkle a little more garlic powder, salt and black pepper on them. Spread around with your hand, and then dump the vegetables on one pan. Pour the olive oil mixture over and toss gently until all of the veggies are coated. Spread the veggies evenly on the two trays and bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes. Give them a bit of a stir half way through. The veggies should still have all their beautiful colors, but still be nicely cooked.
I’ve always loved Palak Paneer, but had never tried to make it. We had Samir’s birthday supper last night and I made it, along with Biryani and a really delicious Mango Trifle, which I’ll add soon. Kumy made his amazing Potatoes, too.
I used a modified version of Swasthi’s recipe from IndianHealthyRecipes.com, which was excellent, if a bit confusing. Basically, you cook the spinach mixture first, and then the spice, onion tomato mixture. You add the spinach back in near the end, and Paneer goes in last, just before serving. It’s actually fairly easy.
It looks like a million ingredients, but they all go together beautifully.
2 Tbsp oil 4 green chilies (Long, skinny ones, seeded) or 2 small/medium Jalapenos, seeded 1 lb. organic baby spinach, washed and well-drained 20 cashews (unsalted or salted is fine)
1 14 oz. can crushed or petite-diced tomatoes with juices in can. (Can carefully buzz with an immersion blender in the can if you want a smoother curry.) 1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala 1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves 12 oz. Paneer, cut into 1/2″ cubes
In a dutch oven, heat oil. Saute chillies, cashews and spinach until spinach is completely wilted, but still bright green. Remove from heat, transfer into a bowl and let cool. Use an immersion blender or food processor to buzz the spinach into a smooth mixture.
Melt butter in the dutch oven and add the whole spices. Let cook until the spices are starting to sizzle a bit – maybe a minute or two. Add the onions and cook until golden – about 8-10 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes.
Add tomatoes with juice and salt. (If you used salted cashews, go easy on the salt.) Cook for several minutes until the tomatoes start to break down. If you buzzed the tomatoes, you’ll have a smoother curry. If you left the tomatoes in chunks, you’ll have a chunkier curry. Both are fine.
Add the garam masala and about 1 cup of water to the pan, and cook down until you have a nice, fairly thick gravy consistency. When in doubt – let it get a little drier. You can always add a bit of water at the end to loosen it up if you need to.
Add the spinach mixture and the dried Fenugreek leaves. Cook another 2-3 minutes to bring it back to the simmer. Taste and add a bit of salt if needed, and if it’s very thick, add a couple of spoons of water.
Maya bought a gorgeous red cabbage when she was last home and I had a half package of turkey sausage I wanted to use use up. Cooked cabbage and sausage sounds like a nice German style dish, I thought. I love sauteed cabbage, so I improvised and came up with what ended up being a really tasty dinner. Leave out the sausage and you’ve got a lovely, colorful side dish.
1 Tbsp butter 1/2 yellow onion, rough chopped 1 1/2 cups red cabbage, chopped 2 tsp garlic puree 1/2 tsp Kosher salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper good pinch of caraway seed 8 oz turkey sausage, cut 1/2″ thick
Heat butter in a medium frying pan. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic puree and cook another minute, stirring. Add salt, pepper and caraway seed and give a stir. Add cabbage and toss to combine.
Cook on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage pieces, stir to combine, cover and cook another 1o minutes, until sausage is warmed through.
We love dishes with good flavor and lots of colorful veggies – and this one fit the bill perfectly. It’s based on a recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. (Mel is a wonderful cook and she makes it with Orzo, but I felt like Couscous.) I also changed out the veggies a bit. I can’t wait to make it again!
1/2 cup dry couscous
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1 cup chopped red, orange and yellow bell pepper (can use green pepper, too)
2 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes,
2 small zucchini, halved and cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 tsp oregano (I was out so I used 1 tsp Greek Seasoning. You could also use 1/2 tsp oregano, a big pinch of basil and a little pinch of dill)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Bring water to a boil and stir in 1/2 tsp salt, butter and couscous. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large 12-inch nonstick or stainless skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and cook 6-7 minutes until golden on the outside,flipping halfway through.
Push the chicken to the outer edge of the pan and add everything else except the feta cheese. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often until the mixture begins to dry up.
Push chicken back into the middle and nestle among the vegetables. Continue cooking for another few minutes. Check salt and pepper and add more Greek seasoning if needed.
Add 1/2 the crumbled feta and stir through. Remove from heat and sprinkle on the rest of the feta.
To serve: Put a couple of spoonfuls of the Couscous in a wide flat bowl and top with the meat and veggies.
To make a gluten-free version – serve over rice or buttery mashed potatoes.
This is one of those very simple, yet surprising delicious old-fashioned casseroles and I think the recipe is from Southern Living. You could add mushrooms or cooked spinach or zucchini and it would be just as good. The sauce soaks into the pasta and creates a nice, satisfyingly creamy main dish.
6 cups chicken stock or water
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups chopped bell pepper, any color
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
8 oz spaghetti
1/2 cup half n half or milk
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp kosher salt
pinch of black pepper
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (lightly drained to remove excess liquid)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Bring chicken stock or water to boil in a dutch oven. Add chicken and cook 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (If you start with frozen thighs, which I did, just allow a little extra cooking time. If you don’t have stock, you can always just use water – the thighs have enough fat and flavor to create a good stock.
Remove chicken to a plate and add spaghetti to the stock. Cook spaghetti about 9 minutes until done, then remove spaghetti, keeping stock. Turn the heat up to medium and let stock cook down until there are about 2 1/2 cups left. Once chicken is slightly cooled, cut it into 1/2″ thick slices.
Meanwhile, in a large oven proof frying pan, melt butter and saute onions and bell peppers for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, whisk together half n half, flour, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Pour into the stock, stirring constantly and continue cooking 3-4 minutes, until the stock is thickened a little. Remove from heat. Check seasonings.
Add spaghetti, chicken and tomatoes to the sauteed veggies and gently stir to combine. Pour the stock over and make sure the stock is coating everything. Drop the shredded cheese on top and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
You can also serve this in a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with vegetable oil. It makes a delicious main dish that is bursting with veggies and fresh flavors!
I am including the link, because he has lots of great substitution ideas. (Don’t have this? Try that!) But since many Americans aren’t used to cooking by weight, I’m also sharing the recipe as I made it, using ingredients from my pantry. It makes quite a large batch and you may want to halve it for a smaller group. (Or make the whole batch and know that tomorrow’s lunch will be spectacular, too.)
1 cup water
2 large eggplants, stem removed and quartered, then cut into 1″ pieces
3 yellow onions, cut into quarters and then cut in half
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp rubbed dry sage
1 tsp dry red pepper flakes (use less if you’re leery of the heat)
zest of one lemon
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can water
10 lasagna strips, cooked, cooled and cut into 4-5″
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cups grated sharp cheddar
1 1/2 cups grated romano or parmesan cheese
1/4 cup ground almonds (Optional – Jamie uses, but I didn’t have and didn’t miss it.)
Cook lasagna for about 8 minutes to al dente, in boiling, well-salted water. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a large, ovenproof skillet bring 1 cup water to the boil. Add eggplants and onions, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until both are starting to soften. Uncover and continue cooking until most of the moisture has cooked away. (It won’t run into the middle when you try to make a well, but will still have some moisture.)
Make a hole/well in the middle of the pan, and add the olive oil. Let it heat for a few moments, and then add the garlic powder, dry sage, and red pepper flakes. Stir the spices in the oil and let them cook for half a minute or so, stirring constantly. Add the lemon zest and stir for another few moments, until the lemon zest takes on a golden color.
Quickly add the two cans of tomatoes and can of water. Stir to combine and simmer on medium/low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid will reduce some, but there will still be quite a bit. That’s okay.
Remove from the heat and dd the cooked lasagna pieces, poking them under so they’re completely covered with the sauce. Save a few for the top of the lasagna, but make sure they’re coated with sauce, too. Top with cheeses, and sprinkle on the ground almonds if you are using.
Love this recipe that came from a local grocery store around St. Patrick’s Day!
So much so that I’ve made this beautiful, colorful dish twice in the last three weeks. It’s delicious but also such great comfort food – which is something we all need right now. I serve it with a cheddary sausage and they’re really good together.
The lovely thing is that cabbage is so hardy – you can use half the cabbage now, and then make this again in a few weeks.
6 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2″ pieces (if using turkey bacon, add 2 Tbsp Olive Oil)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 cups chopped green cabbage (1″ pieces are fine) about 1/2 medium cabbage
1 apple, cored and chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup dark beer (or the equivalent in cider, plus a Tbsp of cider vinegar)
1/4 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
2 tsp brown sugar or honey
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 Tbsp butter (optional)
In a large cast-iron skillet, cook bacon sprinkled with black pepper until crispy. Remove from pan, but leave drippings. Add onions and cook for a couple of minutes, then add cabbage and apples. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, mix beer, cider, brown sugar, caraway seeds and salt. Add to cabbage mixture and cook 5 minutes more until everything is soft the liquid has reduced a bit. Drop bits of the butter on and give a final stir.
Serve as is on a baked potato, or with a lovely cheddar-ry sausage! (If you start pan-frying the sausage at the same time, the sausage should be done when the cabbage is.)
For a vegan version, leave out the bacon, and add a bit of chipotle pepper for that smoky flavor and a bit more salt to make up for the saltiness of bacon.
Beautiful Brussels Sprouts by Keenan Loo on Unsplash.
This recipe from Mark Bittman is a really delicious way to prepare Brussels Sprouts. It’s perfect for big events like Thanksgiving, because you can get it totally prepped the day before and then roast it the day of. It’s also vegan and gluten-free!
Mark made it slightly differently – he browned the brussels sprouts in a cast iron skillet first, but I wanted to make a larger batch, so I just roasted them in the oven. The key is to let them get so dark they appear to be burning. But that just brings out the sweetness that makes them so delicious.
2 lbs brussels sprouts, washed and halved
1/3 cup olive oil
5 big cloves of garlic, cut into thin slices
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional – I forgot it and the dish was still delish!)
Mix oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a ziploc bag. Add brussel sprouts and shake well to coat the sprouts.
At this point, you can refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake or go ahead and roast them on a rimmed baking sheet at 450 for 30 minutes. You may want to go in halfway through and shake them up a bit. Check seasoning and serve. They will literally disappear.