Sunday, April 10, 2016

Eating lately: As good as they say

Here's a recent meal made up of two recipes that came highly (highly!) recommended from various quarters of the internet. Both of them, happily, lived up to the hype so I thought I would share.

First, Parmesan-roasted cauliflower. I discovered this recipe on the the delightful simple-living blog known as Assortment; it comes from Allie Lewis Clapp of Bon Appetit via Molly Wizenberg of Orangette. Everyone who writes about this dish seems to apologize for its simplicity and then shout its deliciousness from the rooftops. Consider this my addition to the genre.

(One small tweak I may make next time, though, is to steam the cauliflower by covering it with an inverted baking sheet for the first 5 minutes of cooking -- a trick I learned from the America's Test Kitchen recipe for oven fries. I think that should help the thicker parts of the cauliflower soften and cook through before the smaller morsels and onions get too far beyond the desired "just this side of burnt" stage.)

With my cauliflower -- the Romanesco version works just as well here as the common white stuff -- I served a hearty spoonful of chick peas. This dish was inspired by a recipe I pinned ages and ages ago from the blog Hungry Bruno. I liked the idea of "just chick peas," but to make things really work according to the original recipe, I think it would be necessary to cook the chick peas from scratch. Here I made do with the canned version, mashed them up partially, and simmered them for  about 20 minutes with some olive oil, a little bit of vegetable broth, and some finely chopped, spicy Mama Lil's peppers. And despite my rather loose interpretation of the recipe, this one, too, was as good as they say.


  1. These posts are always such an inspiration to me, Sarah! Except for potatoes, I rarely (if ever!) think to roast vegetables, but I really should --- I suspect there'll be a world of difference in the flavour, and it certainly would add some variety to our meals, which my family would greatly appreciate! The roasted cauliflower looks like a perfect partner to the chick peas, which is perhaps giving me an idea for a main dish which might possibly (?) pair with macaroni and cheese ... my 11 year-old is a big fan of mac and cheese (which I don't necessarily mind - I make the cheese sauce from scratch, which seems just a bit less reprehensible than going with Kraft Dinner) but now that my husband doesn't want to eat salmon I've been at a bit of loss as to what to pair it with. (But hmmm, perhaps the mac and the chickpeas would be too similar in colour/size/texture...).

    This post has also reminded me that I had once, quite some time ago, thought about sharing a Pinterest account with my daughter, so we could inspire each other/share ideas for meals. I really, really need to get going on this, especially now that she will not be coming home for the summer. She's said she wants to do a lot of "experimental" cooking this summer (and farmer's market shopping!) and it would be so lovely to somewhat-more-actively share in this via a common Pinterest account. (And the Plant Based Protein FTW looks like it's got a treasure-trove of ideas!)

    1. So glad these posts are useful to you, Marian! I think the chickpeas would work as a side dish with mac and cheese, though I have to admit that I think of mac and cheese as a main dish in itself. You know what is great IN mac and cheese, though? You guessed it, roasted vegetables! Broccoli, cauliflower, summer squash, or butternut squash are all great. I'd serve that with a nice green salad and call it good!

      I definitely recommend starting a Pinterest account to share meal ideas with your daughter. That could be so much fun and a nice way to stay connected while she is away for the summer! I think Pinterest is a great tool for meal planning.

    2. I agree, mac and cheese IS a main dish! Also, I think beans are too starchy to serve in large quantity along with pasta. My focus is always on vegetables and/or fruits to go with the mac and cheese.

    3. That sounds sensible to me although there is that famous dish, pasta e fagioli. The exception that proves the rule, I guess! (Or maybe it's about the quantities -- both relative and absolute -- of each.)