Last time I was in Texas and I brought home a big ol’ head of cauliflower from the Kroger, Mom said, “Oh, I don’t like cooked cauliflower. I only like it raw.” That was before I roasted it up and she couldn’t stop eating it right off of the cookie sheet.
So I knew this time I’d have little resistance from her.
Plus, cauliflower was on sale, and I was in need of taking a little break (albeit a tiny one) from the All Taco, All The Time Diet that I’d been on since I arrived (thank goodness for stretchy jeans).
Mom and I had this for dinner one night and I finished the rest over the next day or two, eating it straight from the fridge. It’s one of those things that can be made in less than a half-hour, which is always a good thing, and is healthy, sure, but the reason I make it – and like it so much – is because it tastes so good. As all things should be. Plus it’s pretty. Any other green leafy of your choice could be swapped out for the spinach (kale, Swiss chard, etc.), and the dressing can be made ahead of time, too.
Now that I’m back in Paris, I’m going to make this again. Hopefully, M. Choufleur-hater will come around — if not, just that much more for me.
Roasted Cauliflower, Spinach and Quinoa
Makes 4 to 6 servings
- 1 head of cauliflower, florets removed
- olive oil
- sea salt and pepper
- 1 cup/170 grams of quinoa (uncooked)
- 2 tablespoons of capers, rinsed
- a big handful of baby spinach
- a few fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 8 sundried tomatoes (in oil), chopped
- a handful of walnuts, toasted then roughly chopped
- a big pinch of red pepper flakes
- E-Z French vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1. Preheat your oven to 475°F/245°C and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Toss the cauliflower florets onto the cookie sheet, drizzle a bit of olive oil all over and mix it up with your hands. Salt, pepper and slide into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is browned.
2. Make your quinoa by putting 2 cups of salted water onto boil. When it boils, add the quinoa, turn off the heat, and cover. Let rest for 15 minutes or until the quinoa absorbs all of the water. Fluff.
3. Put your salad together by mixing the cauliflower with the quinoa, capers, spinach, sage, sundried tomatoes, walnuts, and red pepper flakes. Add a bit of the E-Z Dijon French vinaigrette to this and toss. Taste for seasonings and serve warm, room temperature, or cold.
E-Z French Vinaigrette
Makes ¾ cup
- ¼ cup/60 ml of sherry vinegar
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- sea salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh herbs (basil, thyme, chives)
- ½ cup/120 ml of olive oil
Put your sherry vinegar, minced shallot, mustard, a big pinch of salt and pepper, and herbs in a jam jar and shake until combined. Let rest for about 10 minutes — this softens the intensity of the shallots’ flavor and allows the salt to dissolve; then add the olive oil. Taste for seasonings.