Sunday, June 26, 2016

Familiar Favorites and novel Interpretations & A Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Pistachio Salad


To me the Now feels like a really good time to start out with a new outlook on things. To get in the kitchen or boost your outdoor grilling season with fresh, healthy ingredients that although they have a strong character and are delicious when they stand alone, are even more delightful when placed together in an extraordinary summer dish. A meal that is without equal.




We can all keep cooking this summer relying on those well-known, much-beloved, tried and true recipes or we can turn our minds and hearts to new challenges ahead of us. As much as I love those family favorites that are guaranteed to please them all (at least at our house and around our table) – I love to see the look on everyone´s faces when they discover new tastes and different, interesting flavor combinations, perhaps some they have never tasted before.




Trying out new ideas is exciting to all of us and discovering new ingredients is always great fun. But discovering new and different ways to cook with ingredients that are already familiar to us, is, however, possibly even more fun. Take this salad recipe, for instance. You will find yourself happily grating raw cauliflower into crumbs and discover that the little white bits are crunchy and fresh and work well in all manner of raw salads, salsas and other dishes. You might then consider mixing grated cauliflower with other chopped raw vegetables such as carrots or even beetroots or dress them with a tangy vinaigrette and dot with some local goat's cheese. Or, as is done in this recipe, mix-up the freshly grated cauliflower with oven-roasted, caramelized cauliflower florets, for an entirely new taste experience.




I have always loved roast cauliflower, and I have cooked many a dish using cauliflower. There was Stir-fried Sesame Cauliflower (you can take a look here) or Cheat´s Cauliflower Cheese (here) to name but a few but I have not really been known to rave about how tasty it is grated raw, so imagine how delighted I was to discover that the combination of the oven-roasted with the freshly grated cauliflower works spectacularly well.

What better place to look for a recipe today than amongst those creations from the endlessly talented, much-admired and tireless Yotam Ottlenghi who is working and creating and cooking in London, England…




When researching, the first recipe that caught my attention before I prepared Yotam Ottolenghi´s Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Pistachio Salad, was his delightful recipe for Roasted whole Cauliflower with Crème Fraîche. Now that is a looker. Once you have removed the beautifully roasted whole cauliflower from the oven, you then serve it with a lemony crème fraîche and a little extra sea salt (my favorite being Maldon sea salt here with its distinct crystals) for sprinkling on top or alongside.




Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Pistachio Salad
(recipe inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi)

Ingredients
  • 60ml sunflower oil
  • 1 white onion, (M), peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 cauliflower, (L) leaves removed and base trimmed
  • 60ml mild olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 25g Italian parsley leaves, chopped
  • 10g mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 7g tarragon leaves, finely chopped
  • seeds from ½ medium pomegranate (about 80g net weight)
  • 35g unsalted pistachios, toasted and lightly crushed
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice




Preparation
  1. Heat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
  2. Put the sunflower oil in a small sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for eight to 10 minutes, until golden-brown and starting to crisp. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Coarsely grate a third of the cauliflower (about 160g-worth) and set aside in a large bowl. NOTE: to do this hold the cauliflower by its base and roughly grate the florets on the largest holes of a cheese grater, you should end up with 160g of cauliflower resembling cooked bulgur wheat. The stalks can be discarded or used in crudités.
  4. Break the remaining cauliflower into medium-sized florets about 3cm wide at the top. Toss the florets in half the olive oil and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, then spread out on a baking sheet.
  5. Roast for 20 minutes, until cooked through and a dark golden-brown. Remove and set aside to cool.
  6. Add the onions and their oil to the grated cauliflower, then stir in the remaining olive oil and a quarter-teaspoon of salt.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients apart from the roast florets, mix well, then gently fold in the florets and serve at once.




And, yes, Germans are known to love, love their cauliflower dishes. But times are changing. And to me it is not enough to rely only on known recipes such as the rather bland Boiled Cauliflower with Butter and Table Salt that I ate when I was a child. Do not get me wrong. This was a dish that was alright at the time but that is not satisfactory anymore. And we all know that. We all know that we can do so much more when we take a fresh and unbiased look at everything and everyone around us. So, be bold. Get out there and get those familiar ingredients but give them a fresh, colorful and healthy make-over that might surprise you, your family, friends and guests in more ways than you ever imagined.




And, yes, the pomegranate´s colorful and bold red seeds add juicy bursts of natural sweetness to this salad, and yes, the bright green, somewhat wonderfully sweet pistachios bring crunch to it and yes, the many different herbs add a delicious fresh flavor here…but more importantly, the flavors come together amazingly well in this delightful, unique and healthy summer dish.

Try it, you might like it.

To me, the Now is begging for new perspectives…


22 comments:

  1. Both dishes look delicious, Andrea!!! I love the idea of roasted and raw in combination. A variety of textures and flavors!!!

    As always, your photos are gorgeous and make all of your dishes look so appealing. Hope you and the family are doing well!! BTW, I am still enjoying making dishes from RCV. 😊

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    1. Dear Candy, sounds like you would enjoy both these dishes from the lovely Mr.Ottolenghi as well - one never knows how a dish will taste in the end, not really and after all these years of cooking, I am still up for surprises...
      Thanks for stopping by - glad that you still enjoy cooking from River Cottage Veg Everyday - my copy is in shreds, which is entirely a good thing.
      Andrea

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  2. I have tried garlic roasted cauliflower and enjoyed it, so I am sure I'd like this version too. Your salad looks so bright and delicious.

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    1. Dear Gaye, cauliflower seems to be the veggie of the day these days - so many ways to prepare it and so many ways to enjoy it.
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Andrea

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  3. Hi Andrea, both dishes are eye cathers in my book, both look like a delicious and healthy way to enjoy your veggies!

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    1. Thank you, Cheri - both were amazing - lovely ways to enjoy that cauliflower...

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  4. How lovely, both recipes she's are something my vegie hating husband would eat. He will eat raw and roasted cauliflower. Your salad looks amazing.

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    1. Gerlinde, you are the best! Thank you!
      Hope your niece´s wedding was as wonderful as I imagine it must have been despite all that naughty weather...
      Ganz liebe Grüße,
      Andrea

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  5. I love the idea of using both the roasted and raw cauliflower in a salad. Just gorgeous with the pomegranate jewels!

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    1. Thank you, Liz, this is one heck of a wonderful recipe!

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  6. That looks so delicious, Andrea! As you know, I am a big Ottolenghi fan, and hope to score reservations at one of his restaurants when I am in London in September.

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    1. Well, as much as I adore recipes from the talented Mr. Ottolenghi - this is not at all what this post was meant to be about...
      LG,
      Andrea

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  7. Wow Andrea, what a beautiful recipe...I love the roasted cauliflower in this, the flavors sound amazing...not only pretty for the eyes also great taste and textures...
    Hope you are enjoying your week my dear :)

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    1. Juliana, so very kind of you dear friend - love all your warm and heartfelt comments!
      Andrea

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  8. Both of these cauliflower recipes sound terrific! Can't wait to give them a try.

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    1. Beth, you should, these two recipes are truly outstanding!

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  9. Only you, Andrea, can make cauliflower look like the food of the Gods!! O, my, goodness! xx

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    1. Ha! dear friend! you are making my day/week!!!

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  10. Andrea, I'm so glad to know I'm not alone in my love for cauliflower dishes and this is one exciting, beautiful recipe! It looks absolutely delicious. Love all of your links and references to the other great recipes too. Thanks for sharing all of the wonderful recipe suggestions :)

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    1. Marcelle, as I said before we do live in a country of cauliflower lovers so I am quite used to eating it but nowadays it is all about enjoying it!
      Thank you for stopping by,
      Andrea

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  11. Beautiful Andrea. Love the combination.

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