On Quick Eats, Part II

…and the cauliflower obsession continues. I cannot seem to leave the market without a head of cauliflower in my basket these days – sincerely. My most favorite method of preparation is to roast until golden and nutty and serve alongside some dal and pita. This afternoon, however, I was thumbing through my Jerusalem cookbook when a lovely recipe for cauliflower salad caught my eye. A few minor variations and voilà!
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Pomegranate Molasses

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Pomegranate Molasses

It’s a relatively straight-forward recipe that comes together quickly, and can easily be made more substantial with a bit of grated, hard-boiled egg, or served alongside some dal or a filet of roast salmon.
Enjoy, and much love.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Pomegranate Molasses
1 head cauliflower; trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
coarse sea salt and pepper
1/3 c parsley leaves (I prefer Italian flat-leaf)
1/2 c chopped toasted almonds
sm. handful chopped dried cherries or 1/4 c pomegranate arils (seeds)
1/4 tsp flaked red chili
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Toss cauliflower with olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Roast for ~40 minutes or lightly charred, stirring about halfway through.
Allow to cool slightly and then combine with remaining ingredients.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Striking a balance.

It seems like the last couple of days have been bustling as I recover from the holidays. The New Year promising exciting things; opportunity for creativity and adventure. An occasional craving of a hearty meal, balanced by my perpetual indulgence in sweets.

Thousand Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thousand-layer Chocolate Chip Cookies
Honestly, it is rare to let a day go by with at least a few bites of chocolate, a piece of pie, a cookie. Something. Unfortunately, when it comes to sugar, I am unaware of my threshold, and what often occurs is I substitute these things for real food, or miss a meal entirely.
And so for me, it becomes absolutely necessary to have a contrast, something grounding, that pulls me back in, reignites my connection to hunger and satiety. The savory always does that for me.
Roast Pork Shoulder

Roast Pork Shoulder

I am desperately in need of a vacation, so any dispensable time is spent dreaming about Paris, reading about Paris, listening to French podcasts; falling in love with MFK Fisher’s The Gastronomical Me and giggling my way through Ann Mah’s Mastering the Art of French Eating…all the while craving cassoulet, crepes and tarts.
However, when it came to planning last night’s dinner, I ventured to make something decidedly un-French, albeit quite deliberate and requiring an investment of time. The slow roasted, mahogany-hued pork was truly impressive; the aroma of sage and garlic and the warmth of the kitchen helped burrow its scent into my clothing. The pork required minimal work, just a periodic spooning of juices to keep it moist. After several hours, it developed a crust that was sweet, salty, crunchy; with just the right amount of fat to keep the flavors lingering, if only for a moment. I served it with creamy polenta, garlic-y sautéed kale and pickled onions; the latter of which were quite easy to prepare and provided a nice contrast to the pork.
I’ll provide a recipe for the pork, and the pickled onions. The roast is quite forgiving; feel free to play with the spices a bit. The onions need about an hour to cure. Polenta is quite easy, though also will take an hour to cook and a bit of a stir every few minutes. There are loads of preparations available online, and most basic cookbooks have a recipe for polenta tucked inside. To sauté a large pot of greens, simply warm a bit of garlic in olive oil, add greens toss every few minutes, adding a bit of broth or water if the pan seems dry. season with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice.
Enjoy, and much Love,
Roasted Pork Shoulder
1 4.5-5 lb pork shoulder, bone-in
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tsp pepper
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1-2 Tbsp fresh sage, or savory herb blend
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
Combine salt, pepper garlic and herbs to make a paste; rub into pork shoulder.
Set pork on a baking rack, lined with parchment, in a large roasting pan
Roast pork, uncovered for 20 minutes, then turn heat down to 325 degrees.
Continue to roast, basting pork every 20 minutes for ~2 hours.
Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer; the internal temperature should reach 155 degrees when pork is finished. Continue to roast; checking every 20 minutes to baste until temperature is achieved (this may take 3 hours).
Remove from oven, and baste again.
Increase oven heat to 500 degrees.
Return pork to oven and cook for 5-10 minutes, with close monitoring. It will smoke a bit; remove from oven if this is excessive.
Remove from oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for ~20 minutes.
Pickled Onions:
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
2 tsp salt
juice of two limes.
Place onion in small, non-reactive bowl. Pour boiling water over and let sit for ~20-30 seconds; drain. Return to bowl or jar and combine with salt and lime juice. Let stand for ~60 minutes. Serve with pork.