Archive for ‘Salads & Sandwiches’

January 20, 2016

Mediterranean Cauliflower (kind of) Couscous Salad

IMG_5860

I know things have been on the quiet side here. Sometimes you just have to take a little break once in a while when life gets in the way, but the holidays are over and it’s a new year. I haven’t stopped cooking for a second. In fact, I have tons of recipes to share. If you don’t follow me on facebook or instagram, please do. I tend to post lots of good stuff there almost daily, while these fancy formal blog posts seem to be happening much more infrequently – emphasis on the “much.”

As always, we’re still trying to eat healthy here. I wanted to share this recipe I found on the kitchn website, some creative licensing on my part included. I know it’s not very winter’esque, but I love cauliflower! I keep seeing these cauliflower recipes popping up everywhere. Has anyone tried making the cauliflower grilled cheese? Mashed cauliflower used in place of potatoes is really good. Throw in a little cheese and it’s a nice stand in for the spuds. I’ve seen cauliflower fried rice, cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower gratin… so many cauliflower recipes! I included a few links to more recipes below.

The recipe said that by pulsing the cauliflower florets in the food processor, being careful not to purée it – you’d end up with something that resembles couscous. I was poking around online and found that some recipes say to use the cauliflower raw at this point, while other sauté it in a little olive oil so it will be more tender. In this case, I used it raw. The whole family was surprised at how good this was. It has an addictive crunch and my husband and I found ourselves unable to stop eating it – nom nom nom! Really delicious. Do you think this looks like couscous?

IMG_5851

 

INGREDIENTS

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Place the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking to emulsify the dressing. Set aside.

For the salad:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 – 15oz can chickpeas – drained, rinsed and dried
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 large cucumber – peeled, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts*
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Separate the cauliflower into florets and place in a large food processor. Pulse, careful not to purée the cauliflower. Once it resembles dry crumbs, pour into a large salad bowl. Remove any large pieces that may have not chopped properly and run them through the food processor again. Maybe my cauliflower head was large, but I had to do this process in a couple of batches.

Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the cauliflower and toss to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the cauliflower and toss again. Enjoy!

* To toast the pine nuts place them on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 5 or so minutes. Watch them very carefully. They go from pale to golden quite suddenly. Allow them to cool before putting them into the salad.

IMG_5872

Some other fabulous cauliflower recipes:

  1. Food and Wine Cauliflower Recipes 
  2. well+GOOD Cauliflower Grilled Cheese
  3. Closet Cooking Cauliflower Pizza 
  4. Eating Well Cauliflower Recipes
Advertisements
May 14, 2015

Lentil Salad with Radicchio & Gorgonzola

IMG_5447

Lazy lentil lovers rejoice! I recently discovered one of the greatest short cuts in the kitchen, canned lentils. Food snobs feel free to ignore this recipe if you’re turning your nose up at the thought of using lentils from a can. I guess it’s not that complicated to simmer dried lentils, but it does take time. Time that you might not have during the week. I have always used dried lentils, but now when I’m in a pinch, I have my arsenal of canned lentils.

If you’re making lentil soup or any dish that uses warm lentils, I’d stick with traditional dried lentils. Canned lentils are on the softer side and you obviously don’t have the control you have when cooking them on the stove. But for cold salads like this one… so good!

IMG_5476

This salad is not for those who prefer milder flavors. Between the gorgonzola, bitterness of the radicchio and the onions – this salad is full of flavor. It would go perfectly with grilled meats or fish, or even as a vegetarian main course. I’ve used inexpensive Goya brand lentils, as well as pricier organic brands. I have to say I didn’t find one better than the other. Your grocery store might only carry one option. They are not available in every grocery store where I live.

IMG_5489

IMG_5469

INGREDIENTS

For the salad…

  • 2 – 15oz cans lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small head of radicchio, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • A big handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • Wedge of gorgonzola, sliced

For the dressing…

  • 2 heaping tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt & pepper

Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and pour over the lentils. Toss and serve with a wedge of gorgonzola on top. A hunk of baguette might be a necessity here, too.

IMG_5561

Enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: