Monday, December 1, 2014

roasted cauliflower, grape, and cheddar salad.

After being on a hiatus from everything I am slowly returning to the routines of my life pre-wedding. This includes reading books (I missed you Kindle as much as you missed me), tackling the stack of magazines that always appears to be on the verge of toppling over, completing the Wire (and figuring out which show to binge-watch next), and returning to the kitchen to cook us comfort food (and lots of vegetables).  

In the last couple of weeks I've eaten my share of cookies, bread, and burritos, but now I am trying to ween myself off such things (mostly because I don't want to look like a burrito in a couple of months time). The only way to do such a thing is to turn the healthy foods into the kinds of things I crave which means cheese has to be involved.  

I've had this recipe from the Plenty More cookbook earmarked for some time now (because it pretty much includes all of my favorite things) but only this past weekend did I finally have the chance to make it.  Why I waited so long remains to be seen since this couldn't be easier.  A whole head of cauliflower is broken down and roasted  and then tossed with nuts, cheddar, and grapes.  A tangy dressing composed of dijon mustard and honey (my favorite kind of dressing) brings the whole thing together.  The resulting salad is both bright and utterly fall appropriate and while it is virtuous, it doesn't taste that way (this is why I ate almost all of it).  

Roasted Cauliflower, Grape and Cheddar Salad 
Recipe from Plenty More

I don't think some farro or bulger tossed into this salad would be a bad thing.  That is if you are looking to turn the salad into a meal. 

1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds/900 grams), broken into florets
5 tablespoons grapseed or olive oil
Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon honey
About 1/4 cup or 30 grams raisins
About 1/3 cup or 40 grams toasted hazelnuts or almonds, roughly crushed 
2/3 cup/100 grams red grapes, halved and, if necessary, deseeded 
3 ounces/80 grams creamy cheddar, crumbled 
1/4 cup/10 grams roughly shredded parsley

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons of the oil, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Spread on an oven tray and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once or twice, until nicely browned. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl whisk the remaining oil with the vinegar, mustard, honey and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Add the raisins and leave to soak for at least 10 minutes. Just before serving, transfer the cauliflower to a bowl with all the other ingredients. Pour over the dressing, toss gently, adjust the seasoning to taste and serve.

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