Sunday, February 3, 2013

Trending: #Cauliflower

Don't get me started on how much twitter is a waste of time. I know. It's ridiculous. But I've braved through report card season with a twitter browser in front of me, refreshing every 5 minutes, and I still made it on time. It's also a great news source depending who you follow. Ahhhh! I've jumped on the twitter wagon and it's hard to jump off.  Help.

In other matters, I've noticed that awhile back, everyone was making cauliflower. 'Tis the season, I suppose, and I joined right in. I made this lovely, bright yellow stew that I've bookmarked for more than a year. The original recipe calls for farrow, which was out of my reach at the time, and so I made do with some Nishiki rice, a medium-grain sushi-type rice. It has a lovely nutty, sweet flavour, and plumps up nicely in the stew, giving it bulk and texture. I also added some fennel, which gave it a lovely, warm fragrance. This is a real meal in a bowl. I added chopped spinach, but any green will do. I also added red lentils because I wanted a nice creamy broth, and they did just the trick -- turned it from soupy to stewy and creamy in minutes. Perfect.

 In my mind, I'd like to make the cauliflower recipes mentioned above really soon -- especially the cauliflower with pasta -- but in reality, I'll probably be eating pureed squash soups and squares of tofu for another little while. In my mind, I'll make a beautiful wild rice and mushroom pot pie, something I've been wanting make for a while, but in reality, I'll probably be making this lentil soup for the 50th time this year. In my mind, I'll get up next Saturday morning and post about an exciting baking adventure I had in the middle of week, but in reality, I may not get to posting until much later.

I hope this soup hold you over during this unsettled time. Be well!

Curried Cauliflower Stew with Brown Rice and Lentils
adapted from Leek Soup
makes a big pot

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1/4 bulk of fennel, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 hunk of ginger (whatever you can handle!), minced
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of tumeric
1/4 cup of red lentils, rinsed well
1/4 cup of Nishiki rice, rinsed well
4 cups of vegetable stock of water (or a mixture of both)
1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
1/2 bunch of spinach, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a big pot, heat the olive oil, and add the onion, carrot, celery, fennel, ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until the veggies are glistening and starting to soften.

2. Add the spices, salt and pepper, and stir well. Cook for about a minute, until things start getting a little sticky at the bottom of the pot. Add the lentils, rice and stock/water, stirring well to pick up all the fragrant bits from the bottom.

3. Simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until the lentils have melted away and the rice is almost all cooked.  Add the cauliflower, cover the pot and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until the cauliflower is gender.

4. Stir in the spinach, and simmer again for another 5 minutes, to let the liquid reduce a little.

5. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve and be comforted.

Happy Cauliflower!

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