cauliflower

warm salad of roasted carrot, cauliflower, dal & mustard

10th January 2017

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So good to have my site back.  It had disappeared for 10 days – having it back was like having the comfort of an old friend.

We just came back from a holiday with my husband’s family travelling through parts of Kerala in the South of India.  We started in Cochin, staying in a lovely place called The Eight Bastion in Fort Kochi, where the food was exceptional and prepared by a wonderful chef who catered for all our odd dietary needs, taking such pride, care and enthusiasm in everything he prepared.  We saw the Chinese fishing nets and visited a few local churches and a Synagogue – in the heart of Fort Kochi. We then travelled high up into the hill stations of Munnar staying at a lovely resort called ‘The Spice Tree”, where we were literally up in the clouds.

We went on hikes through the plantations and saw all sorts of spices grown – peppercorns, cardamom, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and even had a go at cutting and harvesting rice. The evening sunset walks were particularly special, enjoying the breath-taking views down into the valley.  The last part of our trip was exploring the backwaters. We spent a day on one of the typical house-boats made of teak and bamboo – observing how the local people lived on the water, using the river to bathe, to wash their clothes and dishes, as a source of food and transport and everything in between.  We watched palm tree after palm tree pass us by, paddy fields and colourful houses and a romantic way of life that seems unchanged for centuries.  This is the beauty of Kerala.

For the last 25 years, we have been travelling to India, and this was the first time as a tourist, rather than a budding yoga practitioner.  India as always, presented her magic and opened all our hearts – it was a truly memorable and magical trip.

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~ Chinese fishing nets in a bright sky at Fort Cochin

~ Tea Plantations taken from the bus window at the end of a winding, five-hour journey, Munnar

~ Domestic chores along the river, Kumarakom

~ Water, vegetation and sky all become one, Backwaters

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a warm salad of roasted carrot cauliflower, dal & mustard

Recipe slightly adapted from Grown and Gathered.

Don’t be shy with the kale greens, just make it green and lots of it.  I love how the carrot adds a splash of colour; roasted beets would also work.  I serve it with a whole avocado, sliced and spread into a fan, and slices of grilled halloumi. It is also great with a bowl of hummus.  A welcomed dish to take along to a lunch or dinner.

Serves 4, as a side dish or 2 as a main.

ingredients 

400g carrots or Baby (Dutch) tops trimmed to 2cm

½ head/400g cauliflower

½ cup/100g whole moong dal (mung beans)

3 cups water

120g kale, mustard greens, chard, spinach, coarsely chopped

mustard dressing 

1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp brown sugar/jaggery/honey

zest from two lemons

vinaigrette 

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

4 Tbsp lemon juice (1 large lemon)

½ tsp fine rock salt

⅛ tsp ground black pepper

1 Tbsp honey/sugar (optional)

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 190 C/ 375F.

2.  Cut the cauliflower into rough 4 cm florets, and peel the carrots and cut into matchsticks, about 5 cm in length and place in a large bowl – set aside.

3. In a mortar and pestle, grind the mustard seeds until about half are ground and half are cracked; add the remaining dressing ingredients and continue to grind gently until combined.

4.  Pour the dressing over the cauliflower and carrot and toss, using your hands until thoroughly combined.

5. Spread the vegetables out on a baking tray in a single layer and roast for 45min – 1 hour, or until the vegetables are just beginning to blacken around the edges.

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6.  Wash the dal and place in a saucepan with the water, bring to a rapid simmer and leave, uncovered until they are tender – about 20 – 30 minutes. Just keep in mind you may have to add more water when cooking – depending on the quality of your dal. You really need to keep an eye on them and judge so that you are not left with mush. You want the dal firm, but cooked. When ready, pour into a strainer to drain off any excess water – leave for a few minutes.

7.  Prepare the vinaigrette – place the oil, lemon juice, zest, honey, salt and pepper in a jar. Seal with a lid and shake well.  Set aside.

8.  Remove the stem from the kale, mustard and chard, and roughly chop, then lightly saute in a skillet, turn off the heat and cover for a few minutes until just wilted.

9.  Place in a large salad bowl, pour over the vinaigrette, add the cooked dal and toss gently.  The heat from the dal will help soften the leaves even more – set aside for the flavours to come together while the vegetables are still roasting.

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10.  When the vegetables are ready, add them to the marinated greens and dal and gently combine. Garnish the top with a large avocado, sliced and spread out into a fan, then add a few good rounds of freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

golden cauliflower soup

9th November 2014

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on a windy day…..

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everything moves….

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golden cauliflower soup

Serves 4 – 6 

Inspired by ‘The Sivananda Yoga Cookbook.’

This has very minimal ingredients but is surprisingly delicately flavourful.  I served it with a loaf of freshly baked bread, this beetroot salad (all finely chopped instead of grated) and this guacamole.

ingredients 

1 large/750g cauliflower

1 Tbsp ghee

1 Tbsp cumin seeds

½ teaspoon turmeric

2 potatoes/1 sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped -185g

4½ cups/1.5L boiling water

1 Tbsp dried coconut, soaked in enough hot water to cover

1 tsp fine rock salt

fresh ground pepper

preparation  

1.  Break the cauliflower into small florets and chop stalks – set aside.

2.  Melt the ghee in a large pan, add the cumin seeds and toast until golden – 1 minute, then lower heat, add the stalks, cauliflower pieces and turmeric – saute for 5 minutes, stirring well to make sure the florets are coated with turmeric.

3.  Remove half the florets with a slotted spoon and set aside to add to the soup at the end.

4.  Add the potatoes and boiling water – simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.

5.  Cool slightly, then puree the soup in a food processor or using a hand immersion blender, until smooth.

6.  Stir in the coconut and its soaking water, add the reserved cauliflower florets and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes longer.

7.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve drizzled with ghee and a sprinkling of turmeric and freshly ground cumin.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

cauliflower & white bean soup

19th January 2011

Ok, it has been a while since I last posted.  Stacey has been the main supplier of the recipes, which I am thankful for.  Life has been extremely busy and even though I have still been cooking, photos and posts have taken a back seat.

Now, however as I am sitting in Stacey’s wonderful new kitchen, it literally inspires the urge to create and cook.  Not sure whether it is the country-like brand new kitchen (I feel like I am in a ‘Country Homes and Garden’ photo shoot), the abundance of fresh, quality ingredients, or the fact that I have the ‘time’. For whatever reason, I shall not question it too much.

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With Stacey away in India, and I in charge of her kitchen and feeding my niece, a light dinner was called for last night.  Soup. Always an easy option, particularly when Stacey’s vegetable garden has a wide selection of Winter produce on offer.  A wander through revealed 5 perfect snow-white heads of cauliflower.

Not one of my favourite vegetables, but these were so perfectly formed.  In a soup combined with some pre-soaked white beans from the freezer (thanks, Stace), a couple of bay leaves, salt and lots of fresh, cracked pepper, veggie stock and parmesan cheese, this fairly bland vegetable transforms into a soothing, comforting dish.  Served with parmesan toasts and guacamole, it was an ideal choice for a cold Winter’s night.

cauliflower & white bean soup

ingredients 

1 whole cauliflower, roughly chopped into small pieces

olive oil

1 cup cannellini beans, pre-soaked overnight

1L vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

freshly ground pepper and sea salt

¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + extra for serving

preparation 

1.  Heat a generous splash of olive oil, add cauliflower, bay leaves and cook for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Season with pepper. (Leave salting till the end as it toughens beans during the cooking process).

2.  Add stock and beans, bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer until cauliflower and beans are tender, about 30 – 40 minutes.

3.  Remove from heat and puree with hand blender until smooth or to desired consistency.

4.  Add the cheese, salt and plenty of fresh ground, black pepper.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve with parmesan toasts and extra grated parmesan cheese.

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5.  Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

6.  On a lined baking sheet, place slices of a good-quality bread (sourdough is lovely), leaving gaps between them.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with grated parmesan and bake until golden brown and cheese has melted.

Goodness shared from Donna

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