cauliflower biryani º
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: From “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook” by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen. “We prefer the flavor of basmati rice in this recipe, but long-grain white, jasmine or Texmati rice can be substituted,” write the authors.
• 1 (2-lb.) head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1/2-in. florets
• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom, divided
• 1/4 tsp. ground cumin, divided
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 onion, sliced thin
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded and minced
• 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
• 1 1/2 c. basmati rice, rinsed
• 1/4 c. dried currants or raisins
• 1/2 tsp. saffron threads, lightly crumbled
• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
• Yogurt-Herb Sauce (see recipe)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together cauliflower, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom, 1/8 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread cauliflower onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft and dark brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes.
Stir in garlic, jalapeño, cinnamon, ginger, remaining 1/8 teaspoon cardamom and remaining 1/8 teaspoon cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in rice and cook until well-coated, about 1 minute. Add 2 1/4 cups water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and sprinkle currants (or raisins) and saffron over rice. Cover, laying a clean, folded dish towel underneath lid, and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove cover, fold in cilantro, mint and roasted cauliflower. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with Yogurt-Herb Sauce (see recipe).
Nutrition information per each of 6 servings without sauce:
Calories 293 Fat 10 g Sodium 29 mg Saturated fat 1 g
Carbohydrates 49 g Calcium 44 mg
Protein 5 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 4 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 2 ½ bread/starch, ½ other carb, 2 fat.
Makes 1 cup.
Note: This sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. From “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook.”
• 1 c. low-fat plain yogurt
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 2 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
• 2 tbsp. minced fresh mint
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, cilantro and mint, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand for at least 30 minutes to blend flavor.
Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons:
Calories 20 Fat 0 g Sodium 22 mg Saturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 2 g Calcium 58 mg
Protein 2 g Cholesterol 2 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: free food.
roasted cauliflower and juniper soup
Note: Juniper berries are available from the bulk section of natural foods co-ops. From “The New Nordic: Recipes from a Scandinavian Kitchen,” by Simon Bajada.
• 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) salted butter, diced
• 4 dried juniper berries
• 1 tbsp. flaked salt
• 1 (1 1/2-lb.) head cauliflower
• 1 tbsp. canola oil
• 1 1/4 c. chicken broth
• 1/4 c. crème fraîche or sour cream, optional
• Pinch of white pepper
• Rye bread or seedy crispy flatbreads, for serving
To prepare brown butter: In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook butter until it starts to turn light brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately remove pan from heat and transfer it to a cold surface to stop the cooking (a stone surface is ideal for this; otherwise use a chopping board or a dish towel). The butter will keep cooking after you have removed it from the heat, so make sure you transfer it before it gets too dark. (You will know immediately if you have burnt it or have taken it too far on the heat as it won’t smell so sweet and you will likely detect a smoky bitterness.) Reserve browned butter.
To prepare soup: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the juniper berries with the salt.
Remove most of the leaves from the cauliflower, keeping a few around the base. Rub juniper berry mixture and canola oil over the cauliflower. Place on a baking tray and roast until golden brown, about 40 minutes (check that it’s cooked through by piercing the thicker stems with a sharp knife; they should be tender). If it’s not quite ready, reduce temperature to 350 degrees and roast a little longer.
Remove from oven and cool. Break apart the florets, reserving the thinner leaves for garnish.
Working in batches, carefully combine cauliflower with chicken broth in a blender, adding a little chicken broth at a time, and blend until soup achieves a fairly thick consistency (you may not have to use all of the broth). Add 1/4 cup brown butter, crème fraîche or sour cream (if using) and a pinch of white pepper, and blend again. Taste for seasoning. Garnish with reserved leaves and serve with bread.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 160 Fat 15 g Sodium 760 mg Saturated fat 8 g
Carbohydrates 5 g Calcium 29 mg
Protein 2 g Cholesterol 31 mg Dietary fiber 2 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 3 fat.
Olive and orange cauliflower
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: From “Seven Spoons” by Tara O’Brady. To toast almonds, place nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to release their fragrance, about 2 to 4 minutes.
• 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
• 1 shallot, thinly sliced
• Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 (2-lb.) head cauliflower, cut into florets
• 1/3 c. olives, any type, pitted and chopped
• 2 seedless oranges
• 1/2 c. feta cheese
• 1/4 c. diced dried apricots (about 10 halves)
• 1/2 c. sliced almonds, toasted
• Small bunch of fresh chervil or flat-leaf parsley
• A few handfuls of baby arugula
In a small bowl, pour vinegar over shallots, sprinkle with salt and let sit for a few minutes. Stir in olive oil and reserve.
Working in batches, place cauliflower florets in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until florets have been reduced to the size of rice. Transfer cauliflower to a microwaveable bowl, cover and cook on high until tender, carefully stirring once with a fork, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven and fold in olives.
Slice bottom and top off 1 of the oranges so that the flesh is exposed and the orange stands up on a cutting board. Using a knife, remove peel and pith, from top to bottom. Cut orange into thin rings, then fold into vinaigrette. Repeat with second orange.
Hold back orange slices and pour most of the vinaigrette over the cauliflower. Fluff with a fork, then transfer cauliflower to a serving dish. Scatter orange slices over cauliflower. Sprinkle feta cheese, apricots, almonds, chervil (or parsley) and arugula and serve.
Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:
Calories 225 Fat 17 g Sodium 230 mg Saturated fat 4 g
Carbohydrates 16 g Calcium 136 mg
Protein 6 g Cholesterol 11 mg Dietary fiber 4 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, ½ fruit, ½ medium-fat meat, 3 fat.