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2.0 turned 40 in September, and I’m supposed to turn 40 in May. I’m thinking that I might opt out. Mostly because if someone were to give me a box of Lucky Charms to dive into (no milk, thank you very much), I would. Once you turn 40, you aren’t supposed to think Lucky Charms are the greatest food invention ever. Once you’re 40, you are supposed to eat salad and drink scotch on the rocks and go to cocktail parties. And when you’re at that cocktail party you are supposed to offer to play a little tune on the piano. I know this because that was my mother’s argument for the piano lessons we took for years on end. You know, so I can play the Skater’s Waltz from Book 3 of the Leila Fletcher Piano Course at a badass cocktail party. Can I get a what what? Bounce wit me.
2.0 and I made a New Year’s resolution. We are going to make an effort to stay alive. It’s a real pain in the ass, because it means we have to eat healthier food. Like vegetables. But I’m taking the position that eating real food – stuff you’ve made yourself with easily identifiable ingredients – counts as eating better too. I say eat chocolate cake, but eat chocolate cake that you’ve baked yourself. Because you probably aren’t going to add any weird chemicals in there. Well, maybe you would. Cripes, you probably like Rob Schneider movies.
So, back to the vegetables. I think you might like this little salad. It’s got roasted cauliflower and garlic in it, along with some olive oil and lemon juice. When you roast the cauliflower, there’s an awesome nutty thing that happens. Like, it tastes kind of nutty. And you’ll be throwin’ some toasted pine nuts in there too. Pine nuts are expensive, which means they are very adult and could be served at a cocktail party. Also, this salad has chopped parsley. So when you serve it to people at a cocktail party, there’s a good chance they’ll get some stuck in their teeth. That’s a side dish of fun, people.
The picture of the salad below was taken at night. At Rosie Beaucoup‘s. It wasn’t a cocktail party or anything, because The Beaucoups are in their 60’s. That means they’ve moved past cocktail parties and are now heading toward Murder She Wrote marathons. Anyhoo, it’s kind of a crap photo. But I’m sure you can use your pretty little head to picture the salad perfectly styled and properly exposed. Heck, you could just whip a batch of the salad up, see what it looks like for reals, and then send me a better picture.
Oh, and I used some more of Carol’s super awesome olive oil for this recipe. It is super. And awesome.
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Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Salad – inspired by a Gourmet Magazine recipe (Ruth Cousineau), November 2004 – print, make and serve at a fancy cocktail party
Yields enough for 6-8 people.
- 2 small to medium sized heads of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch-wide florets
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
- 2 shallots, sliced thinly
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup loosely packed finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- juice from 1 lemon
Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Spread the cauliflower and garlic in a large, shallow baking pan. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil over top of the cauliflower and garlic, and then sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over top. Mix to combine and then spread evenly in the pan. Roast the cauliflower and garlic, turning over with tongs halfway through roasting, until tender and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Set the pan on a cooling rack, and allow the cauliflower and garlic to cool slightly. Transfer to large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, shallots, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Then whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a slow stream, until emulsified. (Alternatively, shake the vinegar, shallots, salt, pepper and oil together in a mason jar to combine.)
Add the parsley and pine nuts to the cauliflower, cover with the dressing and toss to coat. Squeeze/pour the lemon juice over the mixture, and gently stir to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.