Roasted Vegetable Salad

Technique tips: Roast different vegetables separately — they’ll cook at different rates and this way you can make sure they are all properly cooked. When roasting vegetables, space them out so they don’t touch. Overpacking the pan will cause the vegetables to steam and get mushy instead of crisp and brown.

Salad

1 bunch young carrots, peeled

1 small head cauliflower

1 small head romanesco

1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, halved

2 cups cooked white beans, liquid reserved

4 ounces French feta cheese, broken into large crumbles

Extra virgin olive oil

Kosher or Sea Salt

1 cup cilantro leaves

1 cup fresh dill

1/2 cup mint leaves

Red Wine Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon finely diced shallot

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Place oven racks in lower middle and upper middle positions. Preheat oven to 425°F. Halve Brussels sprouts through the stems, then place in a large bowl. Toss with enough oil to coat, about 3 tablespoons. Season with salt and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the carrots in the same large bowl and toss, adding more oil as needed to coat. Season with salt and place in a single layer on a second baking sheet. Lightly trim the root end of the cauliflower and romanesco, then cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices through the root. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons oil onto another baking sheet and lay slices in a single layer, keeping cauliflower on one side of the pan and romanesco on the other side. Place vegetables into oven and cook until tender and caramelized, about 26 to 30 minutes. Check on the vegetables after about 12 minutes. Rotate the pans and switch their positions to ensure even browning. When the roasted vegetables are brown on the outside and completely tender when pierced with a knife, remove them from the oven. Set aside to cool for a few minutes. Reserving the cooking liquid, drain beans and place into large bowl. Dress with 3 tablespoons vinaigrette and season with salt and 1 teaspoon za’atar. Add a little bean liquid to make it juicy. Taste and adjust dressing and seasoning as needed. To assemble salad, layer cauliflower, romanesco, carrots, and Brussels sprouts on a large platter. Drizzle with vinaigrette, sprinkle with za’atar, then spoon beans over vegetables. Sprinkle with large crumbles of feta. In a medium bowl, lightly dress cilantro, dill, and mint with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette and salt. Place atop salad and serve immediately. From Fat, Salt, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat.

 

Simple Cauliflower Soup

Sometimes people are not too fond of the mustardy flavor cauliflower can have.  We have learned from Cook’s Illustrated that the compounds that make that flavor are eliminated when the florets are cooked for 30 minutes or more.  What remains are the nutty flavors you get from roasting cauliflower.  We took advantage of this to make a simple creamy soup by simmering cauliflower in broth for thirty minutes then blending that along with sautéed onion with an immersion blender until creamy.  We sautéed a few florets in browned butter and added it to the soup after blending to get the full range of flavors.  You don’t need to add cream (but we did) and it was delicious.

Wide Green Noodles, Cauliflower, and Broccoli in Mustard Butter

  • 7 oz. fresh pasta noodles (spinach fettucine is ideal)
  • 7 Tbs. soft butter
  • 2 Tbs. strong Dijon mustard
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. parsley or a handful of arugula, chopped
  • 1 c. bread crumbs
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes, cut in pieces
  • 3-4 c. broccoli and cauliflower florets, broken into tiny pieces
  • thin strip lemon peel, finely slivered
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cream 4 Tbs. of the butter with the mustard, green onions, garlic, vinegar and parsley or arugula.  Melt the remaining butter, add the bread crumbs, and fry them until they are crisp and browned.  Melt the mustard butter over a low flame, add a little of the boiling pasta water and the sun-dried tomatoes.  Drop the broccoli and cauliflower florets into the boiling pasta water, return to a boil, and cook about 1 minute.  Scoop them out and add them to the mustard butter.

Next, cook the pasta; then add it with the lemon to the vegetables.  Toss well with a pair of tongs to mix, season with salt and pepper.  Serve on warm plates garnished with breadcrumbs and Parmesan.

Serves two to four.

Adapted from The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison with Edward Espe Brown.

Stir-Fried Beef and Cauliflower

  • 1 lb. cauliflower
  • ½ lb. flank steak or sirloin tips
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbs. peanut or corn oil
  • 2 tsp. dry sherry
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 piece ginger
  • salt
  • ½ c. broth or water
  • 3 c. thinly sliced Swiss chard or spinach

Break cauliflower into flowerets.  Cut steak into 1/8-inch thick strips (if you semifreeze it ahead, it will be easier to slice thinly).  Combine 1 Tbs. of the soy sauce, the sugar, and 1 Tbs. of the cornstarch with 1 Tbsp. water and 1 Tbsp. of the peanut or corn oil.  Pour over steak, marinate for 15 minutes.  Mix 1 tsp. cornstarch with 2 tsp. water; add the remaining soy sauce, sherry and sesame oil; set aside.  Heat the remaining oil in a wok or large saute pan until very hot; reduce heat slightly.  Mash garlic; add to oil along with ginger. Stir in cauliflower pieces, tossing to coat with oil.  Add a dash of salt and the broth or water.  Cover; steam-cook for 3 minutes.  Uncover, spread the meat on top, cover, and steam for 2 minutes.  Add the chard, spinach or other greens, cover and steam 1 minute longer.  Uncover, turn the heat to high, and toss all together.  Add the reserved sauce, and stir for 10-15 seconds before serving.

Serves 2-3.

From The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash

Deep-Dish Hazelnut Vegetable Pie

  • 3/4 c. cauliflower
  • 3/4 c. broccoli
  • 2 c. chopped fresh or frozen spinach
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 c. grated Cheddar
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 c. biscuit mix
  • 3 eggs
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into small florets and steam until almost tender. Drain and mix with spinach, onion, garlic, and Cheddar cheese. Spoon mixture into well-greased 10-inch pie pan or baking dish. Top with hazelnuts. Beat together milk, biscuit mix, eggs, salt and pepper. Pour over hazelnuts and vegetables and bake 35 to 40 minutes.

Serves 6.

From the Winter Harvest Cookbook by Lane Morgan.

Daniel’s Kim Chee

This is a general kim chee recipe, adaptable to any vegetable, sent to us by our friend Daniel, who did an internship at the Cultured Pickle in the Bay Area. While these instructions are for turnip, cauliflower and carrot, the method works for any combination of vegetable.

-Shredded pickles: this is essentially the same method for sauerkraut but it works really well with root vegetables. Basically you shred the vegetables (with a food processor is easiest) and then salt them. The salt draws moisture out of the veggies creating a brine. Here are step-by-step instructions for this method.

1. Wash the roots and cauliflower and trim off any soft spots

2. Weigh all the veggies and record the weight

3. Calculate anywhere from 1.5 – 2% of the vegetable weight and weigh out that much salt.

4. Shred the root vegetables and cut the cauliflower into small pieces combining all in a giant bowl as you go.

5. Thoroughly mix the shredded roots and cauliflower with the salt (you can add any spices, chopped garlic, shredded ginger, minced anchovies, herbs or citrus zests that you want at this point. Be aware that garlic flavor tends to bloom and get stronger during the pickling process).

6. Let the mixture sit for a couple of hours and see how the liquid is drawn from the vegetables.

7. Pack the vegetables with their liquid into a crock or as many gallon glass jars as it takes to hold them. Try to press out as much air as you can and leave some head room because the fermentation will bubble up.

8. Put some sort of cover on the surface of the veggies and a weight on top of the cover to keep them pressed under their liquid. I like to use the outer leaves from a head of cabbage folded as needed to cover the shredded vegetables with a gallon jug of water as weight.

9. Let the jars ferment for anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks. It should be in a corner somewhere with a temp around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit. Taste it as it goes. Push it back down every once in a while. Skim off any mold or white yeast blooms that show up on the surface (they are not harmful, don’t worry).

10. When the flavor has gotten sour enough for you, pack the pickles into jars in the fridge to stop them changing further, or move them to a cool root cellar. (If you want the pickles to be stable for months and years at above refrigeration temperature, you can up the salt percentage to near 3%.

 

-Whole Brined pickles: these are very easy and quick and take less shredding.

1. Wash and trim the vegetables

2. Cut the cauliflower into florets and if the roots are large I would cut them into about two-inch chunks.

3. Make a brine: measure out enough water that you will be able to cover all the prepared vegetables in your crock or gallon jars. Then dissolve in this water 50 percent of its weight in salt. For example, 1 liter of water gets 50 grams of salt, 6 liters gets 300 grams of salt. Also add any flavoring to the brine like flowering dill and smashed heads of garlic. I like to add a bunch of dried chiles. Chile flakes and ground spices are good too. You can also heat the brine to dissolve the salt and add the spices like a tea for more flavor,  just make sure it has cooled completely before the next step.

4. Put all the prepped vegetables in your fermentation container and pour the brine over to cover them completely.

5. Again put some sort of cover with a weight to keep the vegetables from coming to the surface.

6. Let them ferment for at least two weeks. Check them as they go.

7. Refrigerate to stop the process or put in a cool place to slow it down.

Curried Cauliflower and Potatoes

  • 2 green chiles, seeded and cut into long slivers
  • ½ inch piece of ginger, julienned
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. black mustard seed
  • 4 Tbsp. ghee or a mixture of vegetable oil and butter
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into spears
  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 medium red or green tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp.; brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro or parsley
  • Lime or lemon wedges

Combine chiles, ginger, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds in a small bowl.  Heat the ghee or oil-butter mixture in a large nonstick saucepan over moderate heat.  When it is hot, but not smoking, pour in combined seasonings and fry until mustard seeds begin to pop.  Drop in potatoes and cauliflower and stirfry for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables pick up a few brown spots.  Add the tomatoes, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, brown sugar, salt and half of the fresh herb.  Stir well, cover and gently cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. You may want to sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over the vegetables if they begin to stick.  Stir gently to avoid mashing or breaking them.  Serve garnished with remaining fresh herb and lime or lemon.

Serves 5 or 6.

From The Best of Lord Krishna’s Cuisine by Yamuna Devi.

Cauliflower-Cheese Soup

  • 2 cups potato chunks
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups cauliflowerets
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 4 cups stock or water
  • 3 medium cloves garlic

Place above ingredients together in pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Puree in blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a kettle or double-boiler and heat gently while whisking in: 1 ½ cups grated cheddar,  ¾ cup milk, ¼ tsp. dill weed, ¼ tsp. ground dill or caraway seed (or ½ tsp. whole seed), ¼ tsp. dry mustard, and black pepper. Steam or sauté 1 ½ cups more cauliflowerets and add to soup. Just before serving whisk in ¾ cup of buttermilk. Top with chopped scallions.

Serves four to five.

From the Moosewood Cookbook.

Cauliflower Pakoras

This Indian cauliflower recipe actually got our kids to try and like cauliflower!

Batter:

  • 3/4 c. garbanzo bean flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seed (optional but nice)
  • 2/3 c. warm water
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander

Other ingredients:

  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • vegetable oil for deep frying

Whisk together batter ingredients until smooth. Let sit 20-30 minutes in a warm place.  Wash cauliflower and break into florets. Cut large ones in half.

Heat oil for deep-frying, 2 inches deep, in a medium saucepan to approx. 375 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, test temperature by dropping a small piece of cauliflower into the oil. It should rise quickly to the surface, bubbling vigorously.

Coat each floret with batter and lower carefully into hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the pot. The florets should be golden brown and tender, but not too soft. Don’t let oil get too hot or the fritters will be too brown and crisp.

Remove florets with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and either serve immediately or keep warm in the oven while subsequent batches are prepared.

From Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant.

Cauliflower Gratin with Gruyere and Hazelnuts

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup crème fraiche (see note)
  • ¾ c. shredded gruyere cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. flat parsley for garnish

Butter a 2-quart baking dish or gratin pan.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut cauliflower into small florets.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously.  Add cauliflower florets to pot and cook until tender, but not mushy, about 5 minutes.  Drain florets and pat dry with a kitchen towel.  Toss cauliflower with crème fraiche and half the cheese in the prepared baking dish.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over cauliflower, then top with bread crumbs and hazelnuts.  Bake on center rack until cheese has melted and bread crumbs and nuts are golden, 20-25 minutes or more.  Garnish with parsley.  Serves 5 or 6.  Note: you can make crème fraiche by whisking 1 cup whipping cream with 1/3 c. sour cream in a nonreactive bowl.  Let stand at room temperature until thickened, 6 hours or longer; then cover and refrigerate.

Makes about 1 1/3 cups.

From Foodday.