cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower with Crumbs

Roasted Cauliflower with Crumbs

Roasted Cauliflower with Crumbs

I recently read Mark Twain’s novel “The Tragedy of Puddin’head Wilson,” a story about what happens after two babies are switched and their real identities are lost almost forever.

In addition to being a good read, filled with humor and irony, this book also includes a character who keeps a diary where he writes wise sayings.

I always wondered where this famous Twain quote came from: “Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” Now I know.

I recommend the book. Also recommend this cauliflower dish, which is so easy to prepare you don’t need a college eduction to make it.

Roasted Cauliflower with Crumbs

  • 3/4 cup Panko

  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix the Panko, garlic and dill together and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil and mustard together until thoroughly blended. Place the cauliflower in the mustard-oil bowl and toss to coat the pieces on all sides. Place the coated pieces on a baking sheet. Scatter the Panko over the pieces and toss to coat the pieces lightly. Roast for about 15 minutes or until crispy and tender, turning the pieces once or twice. Most of the crumbs will separate from the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in a serving dish, scatter the crumbs on top.

Makes 6 servings

The Silver Platter Simple Elegance Cookbook

The older I get, the easier my recipes become. Years ago I was willing to trek through a 3-pager with multiple steps. I made dishes such as French Onion Soup only after preparing my own stock. I was willing to put together a long-winded recipe for Paris-Brest.

No longer. I don't have the time, energy or patience -- and will leave those wonderful, worthy chores to younger folks. These days I create recipes that are simple, flavorful and interesting, but without taking shortcuts that would detract from the food.

I also appreciate when other people share the same ideals, which is why I love "The Silver Platter Simple Elegance," a new cookbook from the kitchen of Daniella Silver, with tips and notes from Norene Gilletz, renowned food blogger, cookbook author and matriarch of kosher cooking.

This is not merely a book where you can pick up a good recipe or two. Every recipe is approachable, using ingredients that even novice cooks will find familiar, with selections that are perfect for everyday cooking and many that are suitable for entertaining: Zucchini Dill Soup and Flaked Quinoa Schnitzel and Mustard-and-Garlic Roasted Potatoes and Granola Ice Cream Cake are just a few, glorious but easy finds that will make your family happy at dinnertime.

There's more: at the bottom of each recipe are tips from the master, Norene Gilletz, on such topics as what equipment is best to use, what can be done ahead, what substitutions are appropriate, how to make an everyday dish more company-friendly, and so on. 

The photos are gorgeous too.

The first recipe that caught my eye is the one for Candied Cauliflower. Can you imagine such a thing?! With but 5 ingredients (not including salt and pepper), this sounded too fabulous to miss, and it was every bit as delicious as it looks on the page. (And includes tips on buying cauliflower and nut-seed substitutions.)

Next, the Mango Wild Rice, because I love any dish with mango in it. This recipe is fairly simple, colorful, flavorful and with the bonus that you can cook it ahead. One of Norene's tips is to substitute dried apricots for the dried mango, but I used fresh mango instead. The recipe is versatile too!

Taste for yourself: Here are the two recipes I found particularly worthy. The recipes and photos are reproduced from The Silver Platter Simple Elegance by Daniella Silver with Norene Gilletz, with permission from the copyright holders. ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, LTD.

Another thought -- this book make a delicious Hanukkah gift for someone who likes to cook.

 

CANDIED CAULIFLOWER WITH ALMONDS

pareve, Passover, gluten-free, do not freeze, yields 6 servings

 

Candied cauliflower, drizzled with honey and thyme and topped with sliced almonds, is a beautiful dish that will keep your guests coming back for more. I suggest you double the recipe!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower, trimmed

  • kosher salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 3 Tbsp honey

  • ½ cup sliced almonds

  • thyme sprigs, for garnish

 

Method

 

1.  Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  Cut cauliflower into 2-inch florets. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. 

3.  Sprinkle florets with salt, pepper, and thyme. Drizzle with oil and honey. Top with sliced almonds. Rub all over to coat evenly. (Can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated.)

 4.  Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, or until cauliflower is golden brown and tender. Serve immediately.

 

Norene’s Notes:

 

Variation: Use pecan pieces or coarsely chopped cashews instead of almonds. If you have a nut allergy, substitute pumpkin seeds.

 

Hot Stuff: Don’t worry about the almonds burning. The steam created during cooking prevents that from happening. If your oven is on the hot side, you may prefer to stir in the almonds during the last 15 minutes of baking.

 

 

WILD RICE WITH DRIED MANGO & RED ONION

pareve, gluten-free, freezes well, yields 8 servings

 

My three girls are in love with mango, and this wild rice dish has become their latest obsession. The nutty flavor of wild rice is a perfect match for sweet mango and red onion. The dried mango plumps up a bit when marinated in the dressing, adding some softness to the texture of this dish.

 

Ingredients

  •  
  • 4 cups water
  • 1½ cups wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ medium red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 12 dried mango slices, thinly sliced into strips
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup orange or mango juice
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

 

Method

 

1.  Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add rice and salt; cover. Reduce heat; simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the grains split and burst. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Drain, if necessary. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool.

2.  Add onion, dried mangoes, and cranberries. Stir in oil, orange juice, honey, parsley, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

 

Norene’s Notes:

 

Variation: Since wild rice is fairly expensive, you can use ¾ cup wild rice and ¾ cup whole grain brown rice — their cooking time is about the same.

No dried mango? Substitute dried apricots.

Wild rice is gluten-free, fiber-packed, and high in protein and B vitamins. Elegance in health!

An easy way to cut dried mango is to use kitchen scissors.  

 

 

 

Cauliflower wins

Because it is the prettiest, mildest and most versatile of all the cabbages.

Because, for me anyway, it doesn't do the same awful things to my tummy as the other cabbage cousins do.

It's pretty, and usually has a creamy-color head but you can get it in several other colors, including purple.

It's healthy.

It tastes so good, especially when you roast it.

The other day I had a cabbage and a Meyer lemon in the bin. What to do?

Make this incredibly easy side dish for dinner:

Roasted Cauliflower with Meyer Lemon

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice (or use regular lemon juice)
  • salt to taste
  • Aleppo pepper, cayenne or crushed red pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Wash the cauliflower, trim the ends and break the head up into smaller pieces. Wipe dry with paper towels. Mix the olive oil and Meyer lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower pieces and toss the pieces to coat them on all sides. Place the pieces on the prepared sheet, drizzling them with juices left n the bowl. Sprinkle with salt and Aleppo pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally, or until the pieces are crispy and lightly browned.

Makes 4 servings

Sauteed Cauliflower with Scallions, Aleppo Pepper and Mint

Need a quick side dish for a holiday dinner? Or any old time?  Try this cauliflower recipe. Just a few ingredients, lots of flavor. You can eat it hot or at room temperature (if you want to make it ahead).  Aleppo pepper is a hint smoky. Substitute crushed red pepper or smoked paprika instead.                                                                                                                                                                                      Sauteed Cauliflower with Scallions, Aleppo Pepper and Mint  One head cauliflower  3 tablespoons olive oil  4 medium scallions, chopped  1 large clove garlic, chopped  1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper  salt to taste  3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint  Wash and trim the cauliflower and cut it into bite size pieces. Place the pieces into a saucepan, add 1 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan and cook the pieces for 3-5 minutes or until barely tender. Drain and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the cauliflower pieces, scallion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until well browned. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper and salt, toss the ingredients for 30 seconds or so, then  place the contents of the pan into a serving dish. Sprinkle with mint and serve.  Makes 4 servings

Need a quick side dish for a holiday dinner? Or any old time?

Try this cauliflower recipe. Just a few ingredients, lots of flavor. You can eat it hot or at room temperature (if you want to make it ahead).

Aleppo pepper is a hint smoky. Substitute crushed red pepper or smoked paprika instead.                                                                                                                                                                                    

Sauteed Cauliflower with Scallions, Aleppo Pepper and Mint

One head cauliflower

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 medium scallions, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

salt to taste

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Wash and trim the cauliflower and cut it into bite size pieces. Place the pieces into a saucepan, add 1 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan and cook the pieces for 3-5 minutes or until barely tender. Drain and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the cauliflower pieces, scallion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until well browned. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper and salt, toss the ingredients for 30 seconds or so, then  place the contents of the pan into a serving dish. Sprinkle with mint and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Roasted Whole Cauliflower

Cauliflower is the  next big thing.   That’s what I’ve been reading.  Of course, there’s nothing new about cauliflower at all. This cabbage cousin, a native of Asia, has been cultivated for centuries (and in the United States for about 100 years).   But the prediction is it will have a new resurgence in 2014. Like kale in 2013. Kale was also “old hat” but rose in the ranks of popularity like a geyser gushing oil.  I don’t know if cauliflower will ever be as popular as kale, but it is fairly certain you’re bound to see new ways to cook it. Like roasted cauliflower with crispy crusts and cauliflower steaks and most likely, whole cauliflower, which makes a beautiful presentation. You can carve it like it’s a roast turkey or prime rib you’re serving for dinner.  Looks grand. Tastes grand.   Roasted Whole Cauliflower         1 small cauliflower    1 cup white wine    water    salt to taste    6-8 whole peppercorns    3-4 sprigs parsley    1 small onion, peeled and halved   2 tablespoons olive oil  2 tablespoons lemon juice  1/2 teaspoon garlic powder   pinch or two of cayenne pepper     Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove the green leaves at the bottom of the cauliflower and trim most of the fibrous stem attached to the head. Rinse the cauliflower and set it aside. Pour the wine and 8 cups of water into a soup pot. Add salt, peppercorns, parsley and onion and bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the liquid for 15 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook, turning the head occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until almost tender. Remove the cauliflower using a large strainer, let drain and place on the cookie sheet. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Brush this over the cauliflower. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender and crispy.   

Cauliflower is the next big thing.

That’s what I’ve been reading.

Of course, there’s nothing new about cauliflower at all. This cabbage cousin, a native of Asia, has been cultivated for centuries (and in the United States for about 100 years). 

But the prediction is it will have a new resurgence in 2014. Like kale in 2013. Kale was also “old hat” but rose in the ranks of popularity like a geyser gushing oil.

I don’t know if cauliflower will ever be as popular as kale, but it is fairly certain you’re bound to see new ways to cook it. Like roasted cauliflower with crispy crusts and cauliflower steaks and most likely, whole cauliflower, which makes a beautiful presentation. You can carve it like it’s a roast turkey or prime rib you’re serving for dinner.

Looks grand. Tastes grand.

Roasted Whole Cauliflower

 

1 small cauliflower

1 cup white wine

water

salt to taste

6-8 whole peppercorns

3-4 sprigs parsley

1 small onion, peeled and halved

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

 pinch or two of cayenne pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove the green leaves at the bottom of the cauliflower and trim most of the fibrous stem attached to the head. Rinse the cauliflower and set it aside. Pour the wine and 8 cups of water into a soup pot. Add salt, peppercorns, parsley and onion and bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the liquid for 15 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook, turning the head occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until almost tender. Remove the cauliflower using a large strainer, let drain and place on the cookie sheet. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Brush this over the cauliflower. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender and crispy.

 

Cauliflower Salad with Olives, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Peas

I like the old favorites: cole slaw, potato salad and so on. But after a couple of months of summer, the same old grilled food accompaniments get a bit boring, so I begin to make more vegetable salads instead. 
 Ages ago I discovered that cauliflower is one of the good vegetable choices for salad. I love cauliflower  hot , any way at all: plain old steamed or roasted with herbs or  sprinkled with cheese . But the cauliflowers have been so especially good this year that I’ve experimented using them in whole grain salads and even as the main salad item itself.  
 I served this cauliflower salad at a party recently and it went over very well. 
     
  Cauliflower Salad with Olives, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Peas  

 1 head cauliflower 
 1/2 cup chopped imported olives 
 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes 
 1/2 cup thawed frozen peas 
 3 scallions, chopped 
 2 tablespoons olive oil 
 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano 
 salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
 toasted pignoli nuts, optional 

  
 Trim the cauliflower and cut the florets into bite size pieces. Wash and place in a saucepan, covered with water. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for about 6 minutes or until tender but still crispy. Drain and place the pieces in a bowl. Add the olives, sun dried tomatoes, peas and scallions. Pour the olive oil over the vegetables and toss. Pour in the lemon juice and sprinkle in the oregano. Toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in pignoli nuts if desired. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings

I like the old favorites: cole slaw, potato salad and so on. But after a couple of months of summer, the same old grilled food accompaniments get a bit boring, so I begin to make more vegetable salads instead.

Ages ago I discovered that cauliflower is one of the good vegetable choices for salad. I love cauliflower hot, any way at all: plain old steamed or roasted with herbs or sprinkled with cheese. But the cauliflowers have been so especially good this year that I’ve experimented using them in whole grain salads and even as the main salad item itself. 

I served this cauliflower salad at a party recently and it went over very well.

 

Cauliflower Salad with Olives, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Peas

1 head cauliflower

1/2 cup chopped imported olives

1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes

1/2 cup thawed frozen peas

3 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

toasted pignoli nuts, optional

Trim the cauliflower and cut the florets into bite size pieces. Wash and place in a saucepan, covered with water. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for about 6 minutes or until tender but still crispy. Drain and place the pieces in a bowl. Add the olives, sun dried tomatoes, peas and scallions. Pour the olive oil over the vegetables and toss. Pour in the lemon juice and sprinkle in the oregano. Toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in pignoli nuts if desired. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings