Monday, January 18, 2016

How Does My Garden Grow: Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Hazelnut, Orange, and Saffron


Winter has finally arrived in North Florida and my garden remains utterly confused.  The garden pests feasted on young fresh winter greens with wild abandon, and procreated endlessly in the warmth of the sun.  War was waged in the garden and we emerged in victory when Old Man winter made an official appearance, and got the garden show on the road.

My main victory this garden season was my cauliflower.  Now, before you shake your head too much from left to right, hear me out. CAULIFLOWER ROCKS!  It needs a little extra attention but its blank canvas explodes in flavor with minimal effort.

I am a big fan of roasting vegetables.  All vegetables have natural sugars that when roasted come alive.  Cauliflower is no exception and it is dressed to impress, when the roasting flavors are orange, hazelnut and saffron.  The roasted cauliflower is returned to the oven, and steamed in coconut milk.

Next time you're at the farmers market or your local grocery store toss a cauliflower head into your basket and get your Veg feast on!



Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Hazelnut, Orange, and Saffron
Serves 4
Recipe from Vegetarian Times yummybeet.com

Ingredients:
1 large head cauliflower, green leaves removed
1 Tbs. roasted hazelnut oil or olive oil
1 orange, juiced ( 1/4 cup) and zest grated (2 Tbs.)
1 pinch saffron
1/4 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place cauliflower in large Dutch oven or other high-sided ovenproof dish.

Stir together oil, orange juice, orange zest, and saffron in small bowl.  Pour mixture over cauliflower, rubbing with hands to distribute evenly.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.  Put dish in oven, and bake uncovered, 40 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together coconut milk and 1/4 cup water in small bowl.

Remove cauliflower from oven, and pour coconut-milk mixture over top.  Bake 10 to 15 minutes more, or until cauliflower is tender.  Slice cauliflowers into quarters, and sprinkle with parsley and hazelnuts.

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Meyer Lemon Gimlet Cocktail with Rosemary


"There is more to life than increasing its speed" -Ghandi

We rang in the New Year quietly at home.  Exhausted from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and spending the year moving in a million different directions has produced a lot of noise in my life, and has left me feeling hurried and stressed.

The New Year Resolution is old and tired and "resolutions" have been replaced with a new buzz word "themes" (honestly, I prefer themes to resolutions).  People will argue and say "everyday is a new day and you can start on any of the other 364 days."  Yes, but a new year symbolically provides us with a blank canvas to attempt once again to get it right.

So at least for now, I got it right. I slowed down this week to a crawl.  Counted my blessings, and my steps, and practiced quieting my mind by getting comfortable with sitting and doing nothing.

On New Year's Eve I soaked in the quiet abundance of my backyard Meyer lemon tree and the sprawling rosemary bush to create a twist of flavors on a classic gimlet cocktail.

Happy New Year to you and your families. May 2016 bring you everything you hope for and more.



Meyer Lemon Gimlet with Rosemary 
Serves 1


Ingredients:
2 ounces good quality gin
3/4 ounce fresh Meyer lemon juice (or other variety)
3/4 ounce rosemary infused simple syrup
Lemon slice and a sprig of rosemary for garnish

Rosemary Simple Syrup:
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Handful of fresh rosemary sprigs 
2 lemon slices (optional)

Directions:

Simple Syrup
In a small saucepan, on medium heat, add water and sugar. Bring to a boil.  Stir until sugar dissolves .  Add rosemary and lemon wedges.   Let steep for 2 hours or overnight. Place in a jar and refrigerate up to a week.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake hard until very cold.

Strain into a cold coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge and rosemary sprig.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!