Archives for category: Cauliflower

A la greqce cauliflower 012

I was thinking of Thomas Keller when I was trying to figure out what to do with all of this lovely cauliflower I had in my refrigerator.  I usually roast cauliflower, or make a soup or just steam it, but I wanted to do something new.

Thomas Keller has a  recipe for vegetables a la grecque.in his cookbook Bouchon. I love bistro food and preparing food ahead of time to be eaten later.  This recipe is perfect for making a day ahead and enjoying it all week.

You gently cook veggies in a court bouillon with olive oil, aromatics and lemon juice.  After cooking you store the veggies in the refrigerator in the cooled cooking liquid and reduce the liquid and make a vinaigrette before serving.  Genius.

I tweaked the recipe a little bit and substituted  butter for olive oil and  white wine for lemon juice.  The result was amazing.  I have been eating little happy bites of cauliflower lightly scented with herbs and wine for days now.  Heavenly.

This is a wonderful recipe for a party since most of the work can be done up to 2 days ahead of time.

A la greqce cauliflower 010

Start by cutting up your cauliflower.

Feb 27 2013 019In a large pot add 2 cups water, 2 cups white wine, 1/4 cup butter and aromatic herbs.  I used thyme, sage and rosemary.  I also threw in a garlic clove sliced into rounds.  Season the water with 1 teaspoon sea salt.

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Bring water to simmer and add veggies.

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Cook until tender crisp.

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Rinse veggies in very cold running water to stop the cooking process.

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Cool the cooking liquid and store veggies in the cooled cooking liquid for up to 1 week in your refrigerator.

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I suggest you try both my method and then go out and buy the Bouchon cookbook and try Thomas’ recipe as well.  I am sure I will be making this dish all summer when it is hot because the veggies, right out of the fridge are cool and packed with flavor.

The first time I tried milk roasted cauliflower was on my foodie day out with Maddie.   We stopped by Brasserie Ten Ten in Boulder Colorado and snacked on some of the wonderful happy hour items they offer.  One of the dishes was milk roasted cauliflower.  I am hooked.   This is perhaps on of the best ways to prepare cauliflower I have ever tasted.  Since cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies this is saying a lot!

While I was in California recently I made it for my family.  They loved it.  Here is the recipe and I encourage you to try it.  It is super simple and very delicious.  You will not be disappointed.

Milk Roasted Cauliflower with Pancetta, Parmesan, Lemon and Rosemary

1 head fresh cauliflower preferably organic

1 cup whole milk

3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan

1 tbs fresh lemon juice or white wine

1/4 cup thinly sliced pancetta pan-fried crispy

Cracked pepper and sea salt to taste

Cut up the cauliflower in florets. Arrange in a baking dish.  Make sure the dish is not too big so that the milk spreads out too thin.  I used a small rectangle pan.  Pour milk over veggie.

Add lemon juice, herbs and salt and pepper.  Roast at 425 degrees until cauliflower is slightly browned on top.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until veggie is tender but not too soft.

To serve place veggie on a plate and spoon over the milk mixture.  The milk mixture should reduce and become slightly curdy.  This tastes delicious.  Top with parmesan and pancetta.

Last weekend my daughter and I visited Pearl Street in Boulder.  When down on Pearl Street  we always stop by the Boulder Book Store.   We can spend  hours browsing this well stocked independent bookstore.  The cooking section is outstanding.

Next we stopped for a snack at Brasserie Ten Ten

This is one of my favorite restaurants.  They have a happy hour that is delightful.  Lots of delicious little plates that are affordably priced and always excellently prepared.  

Maddie had the Frites, french fries & truffle aioli and I had the Shrimp Cocktail and Choux-Fleur, milk roasted cauliflower with lemon-almond brown butter & shaved comte.  Talk about a little bit of heaven.  The shrimps were perfectly poached and the cocktail sauce had a pleasant bite of fresh horseradish.  The cauliflower was the best preparation of cauliflower I have ever had.  The cauliflower was cooked tender but not over cooked with a sweet flesh.  The brown butter, almond and lemon sauce was perfectly balanced and the salty comte cheese topped it off to perfection. 

Next we headed over to the walking mall to check out Bayleaf.

This locally owned store is an adventure in its self. Pearl Street is well-known for its quirky local shops and this foodie mecca does not disappoint.  With its mixture of imported stock, local offerings and eclectic items, Bayleaf is a foodie delight! 

Our next stop was Oliverde just off Pearl Street on Broadway.

This was my first time in this shop.  I had seen it driving down Broadway but I had no idea exactly what they sold.  I am very glad I stopped in.The wide variety of olive oils and balsamic vinegar had me thinking of different recipes all week.  They had a dark chocolate balsamic that would be just perfect on lightly grilled strawberries on rosemary skewers.  You can sample the different oils and vinegar alone or with bread.  I will be back in that shop again soon.

Our final stop of the day was to Savory Spice Shop. 

Located next to Oliverde on Broadway this store simply amazed me.  I was a bit overwhelmed.  This store literally has hundred of spices, spices blends and dried herbs.  All of it is the highest quality.  The smells alone made me swoon.

The charming owner Dan Hayward talked to me about the store but I can frankly remember very little about what he said as I was too overwhelmed.  He must have thought I was an idiot or he is just used to that kind of reaction from people.  I felt as if I had stepped into a dream world.  Ok so maybe that is exaggerating but not really. 

The place is truly amazing. 

One of the herbs I bought at Savory were Organic French Thyme.  I made a quick chicken salad and tossed in some of the thyme and it tasted fantastic. 

I highly recommend this store to anyone in the Boulder area.   If you are not in Colorado you can purchase online at Savory Spice Shop.

Chicken Salad with French Thyme

2 baked chicken breasts, diced

1/4 cup real mayonnaise

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp thyme

salt and pepper to taste

Toss together and enjoy on bread, crackers or over salad greens.

What is it with Cauliflower?  This frequently overlooked veg is fabulous.  When treated with love and respect Cauliflower will reciprocate with a sweet flavor that just cannot be beat.

At the store recently I was confronted with a particularly lovely head of organic cauliflower.  I gazed upon its creamy white head.  Ah so beautiful.  Looked at the price and said “ouch”.

I walked away but kept thinking about the lovely cauliflower.   I came back and grabbed it.  My veg budget was skewed but I was happy.

At home I cut up the veg and tossed it with some olive oil and sea salt.  Laid it out on a foil lined sheet pan and cranked the oven up to 425 degrees.  Added some fresh cracked pepper over the top and tossed it in the oven.  Turned on the oven light and sat down to keep an eye on it.  After about 10 minutes the cauliflower was browning nicely on the very top edges and on the bottom side that was connected to the hot pan was browned perfectly.

I brought it out of the oven and impatiently waited while it cooled.   As soon as the veg was cool enough to handle I grabbed a floret and popped it in my mouth.  OOOOOOhhh….

So very yummy.  Sweet, salty and tender.   I grated some white sharp cheddar cheese on top and let it melt.  I used a Dubliner Irish Sharp Cheddar from Costco.  Delightful.

If you have not roasted cauliflower before please do so,  you will not be disappointed.  It was even wonderful cold, straight from the fridge later that night.

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