cauli salad + curry vin
WOOOH! It has been a crazy few months over here. I feel like I say that everytime I post-- it's been a while, longer than I wanted, and it feels like the time in between was a crazy blur. The fact is the last few years have been full of a lot of changes, large and small, fast and slow. I alternate between feeling incredibly impatient that things aren't moving faster, and overwhelmed and stressed that life is moving too quickly! There seems to be nothing in between. Le sigh.
Am I being vague? I apologize. Basically in the last few years I've been in an exploratory phase of life as I try to figure out how to find/form some sort of creative career for myself to the extent that I can eventually quit my “day” job. Even though my day job happens to techinically be my night job. Lol. My passions include (but are not limited too): writing, cooking, food photography, candid portraiture, the performing arts especially theater but also comedy and burlesque, playwrighting, and the interpretation of dreams. Someone recently suggested I become a life coach. So.... I guess what I'm saying is, I'm perhaps a tad scattered. In this situation it's hard to know how to procede because there isn't exactly one specific job I can just apply for, get hired at and then be happy and fulfilled (is there? Do you know of a job for me? Please contact me immediately!!!). So, in a nut shell, trying to sort through all this is what I've been up to. Consider yourself up to speed.
In other news, this recipe. It is an original recipe, written by me in a fit of annoyance while at a coffee shop in San Francsico with no wifi. Not having wifi is a thing down there. They also don't have non-fat milk. Because it's simply not traditional (eye-roll). But, I begrudgingly admit I was extremely productive in the sugar-and-caffein fueled 25 minutes I spent there angrily banging away on my laptop.
The result is this beautiful recipe. It's simple, relatively painless, and perfectly encapsulates how I like to eat. Veggies, chickpeas, a super-flavorful dressing and plenty of fresh herbs make up this dish. You can make it ahead, take it to work or on a picnic, eat it alone as a light but filling lunch or serve it along side a protein for a cozy dinner. A simple lemon roast chicken would be perfect with this. It utilizes supermarket staples and is perfect for any season. You're welcome.
cauli salad + curry vinaigrette
one head cauliflower
one lb sweet potatoes (mini or regular)
olive oil (for cooking)
one clove garlic
one teaspoon honey
two teaspoons curry powder
one cup+ good extra virgin olive oil
one can of chickpeas, rinsed or a cup and a half of cooked chickpeas
large handful chives
large handful cilantro
Preheat your oven to 425F. Cut your sweet potatoes into large chunks. I used mini sweet potatoes from Trader Joe's and cut them thickly on the diagonal into slices about an inch thick. You could use any size sweet potato and cut into one inch chunks. No need to peel. Place the sweet potatoes onto a sheet pan- I use parchment paper on mine to make cleanup suuuuper easy. Douse generously with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. After 10 minutes take the pan out and flip the pieces over to get both sides nice and golden brown. Continue to check every 10 minutes until nice and golden brown on the outside and soft all the way through, about 20-30 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, steam the cauli. Cut into florets-- they don't have to be uniform, just aim for large bite-sized pieces, about the same size as your sweet potatoes. Place a steamer basket into a medium pot and fill with water just up to the bottom of the basket. It's fine if there's a little water visible at the bottom of the basket, better to have too much water than too little. Put the pot over high heat until the water boils, then turn off and let sit untouched for 15 minutes. If you are concerned about overcooking you can check after 10 minutes. The cauli should be crisp-tender or cooked to your liking.
For the vinaigrette: grate a large clove of garlic on a microplane into a small mixing bowl. If you don't have a microplane go order one from Amazon imediately and while you wait for it to be delivered simple mince your garlic or grate it on your smallest-holed grater (both of these options are fine, your dressing will simply be a bit chunkier). Add a big pinch of salt. Zest half a lime into the bowl, then cut both limes in half and squeeze in the juice. Add the honey, curry powder, and a couple big grands of black pepper. Mix everything together. If you are feeling patient let everything sit and marinate and get all friendly together for a few minutes (5-10) before you add the oil. Start by adding about a half cup of good olive oil and whisk baby whisk! vigorously until emulsified. Taste and add more oil as needed to achieve your desired balance of acid to oil (you will prob use at least one cup). The best way to taste dressing is by dipping something into it, in this case a little cauli floret is perfect. You can use a lettuce leaf as well or anything else that you have handy that is edible. If it is tasting too sour add more oil! Taste again and add more salt, honey, or curry as desired. If it tastes flat add more salt and curry, if it tastes harsh try a little more honey.
When the pots and the cauli are done cooking but still warm, add to a large bowl along with the chickpeas. Add about three quarters of the dressing. Use kitchen scissors to roughly cut half the herbs into the bowl. Toss gently to combine and make sure everything is coated in dressing. Transfer to a platter or serving bowl and cut the rest of the herbs over the top. Finish with a sprinkle of salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This is also great the next day, and is perfect for a picnic or as a make-ahead lunch. Let come to room temp before eating.