The Bored Vegetarian

Roasted Cauliflower & Steamed Kale Salad1 small head of Cauliflower, broken into florets3 cups raw Kale, large stems removes, leaves chopped small2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive OilJuice from half of a LemonSalt & Pepper to taste Toasted Sesame Seeds (optional) 
Preheat oven to 350.  On a baking sheet, toss florets in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cauliflower is soft and begins to brown (toss about halfway through to brown on different sides).  Fill a soup pot or large sauce pan with an inch or two of water and place over medium/high heat.  Place a vegetable steamer in the pot and add the kale.  Steam the kale until tender.  Remove cauliflower from oven and let cool until you can handle it.  Chop up cauliflower into very small pieces.  In a bowl, toss with steamed kale and season with salt and pepper.  Add to a serving bowl and squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Can be served warm or room temperature.  
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Roasted Cauliflower & Steamed Kale Salad

1 small head of Cauliflower, broken into florets
3 cups raw Kale, large stems removes, leaves chopped small
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice from half of a Lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste 
Toasted Sesame Seeds (optional) 

Preheat oven to 350.  On a baking sheet, toss florets in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cauliflower is soft and begins to brown (toss about halfway through to brown on different sides).  Fill a soup pot or large sauce pan with an inch or two of water and place over medium/high heat.  Place a vegetable steamer in the pot and add the kale.  Steam the kale until tender.  Remove cauliflower from oven and let cool until you can handle it.  Chop up cauliflower into very small pieces.  In a bowl, toss with steamed kale and season with salt and pepper.  Add to a serving bowl and squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Can be served warm or room temperature.  


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Cauliflower Soup with a Parmesan Crisp and Truffle OilWhen I’m feeling a little uninspired in the kitchen, sometimes all it takes is a visit to an amazing restaurant or two to get the wheels turning again.  Usually it’s because I’ve had a new combination of ingredients or take that I hadn’t considered, but sometimes I get inspired to recreate a dish that isn’t as good as I think it could have been.  Case in point the cauliflower soup I had a place in Bushwick recently.  While it wasn’t terrible, I thought it was missing the rich silkiness (ew, that word) that cauliflower can create.  I decided I should try my hand at it at home to see if I could make a version that captured the comforting and warm feeling that soup should give in the deep hellish depths of winter (also known as February in New York.)1 head Cauliflower, trimmed of stalk and leaves1 cup chopped Onion2 cloves Garlic, minced1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil6 cups Vegetable Stock1 cup Half & HalfSalt and Pepper to tasteTruffle Oil (optional)In a large pot, saute chopped onion and garlic on low/medium heat until translucent.  Chop cauliflower into small, manageable pieces.  Add to pot and cover with vegetable stock.  Turn heat to medium/high until cauliflower is very soft, about 15-20 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly.  Using an immersion blender, blend the stock and vegetables until smooth.  Add half & half and continue to blend.  Salt and pepper to taste.  If soup is too thick, you can add a little water or more half and half.  If it’s too thin, continue to cook until to desired thickness.  Serve hot in a bowl with a drizzle of truffle oil and a parmesan crispFor the Parmesan Crisp1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese(for those asking, BelGioioso makes a rennet-free parm)Preheat oven broil.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread cheese in an even layer so that you can’t see the area of paper, about 4-5 inches around.  Broil in oven until cheese melts and begins to crisp and brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Break into pieces and serve with soup.  Thanks to Mardi of Sprout & Pea for coming over for dinner and to share an amazing bottle of First Fruit from Shinn Vineyard on Long Island that I’ve been holding onto for far too long.  It’s time I made a trip back there…   View high resolution

Cauliflower Soup with a Parmesan Crisp and Truffle Oil

When I’m feeling a little uninspired in the kitchen, sometimes all it takes is a visit to an amazing restaurant or two to get the wheels turning again.  Usually it’s because I’ve had a new combination of ingredients or take that I hadn’t considered, but sometimes I get inspired to recreate a dish that isn’t as good as I think it could have been.  Case in point the cauliflower soup I had a place in Bushwick recently.  While it wasn’t terrible, I thought it was missing the rich silkiness (ew, that word) that cauliflower can create.  I decided I should try my hand at it at home to see if I could make a version that captured the comforting and warm feeling that soup should give in the deep hellish depths of winter (also known as February in New York.)

1 head Cauliflower, trimmed of stalk and leaves
1 cup chopped Onion
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 cups Vegetable Stock
1 cup Half & Half
Salt and Pepper to taste
Truffle Oil (optional)

In a large pot, saute chopped onion and garlic on low/medium heat until translucent.  Chop cauliflower into small, manageable pieces.  Add to pot and cover with vegetable stock.  Turn heat to medium/high until cauliflower is very soft, about 15-20 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly.  Using an immersion blender, blend the stock and vegetables until smooth.  Add half & half and continue to blend.  Salt and pepper to taste.  If soup is too thick, you can add a little water or more half and half.  If it’s too thin, continue to cook until to desired thickness.  Serve hot in a bowl with a drizzle of truffle oil and a parmesan crisp

For the Parmesan Crisp

1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

(for those asking, BelGioioso makes a rennet-free parm)

Preheat oven broil.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread cheese in an even layer so that you can’t see the area of paper, about 4-5 inches around.  Broil in oven until cheese melts and begins to crisp and brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Break into pieces and serve with soup.  

Thanks to Mardi of Sprout & Pea for coming over for dinner and to share an amazing bottle of First Fruit from Shinn Vineyard on Long Island that I’ve been holding onto for far too long.  It’s time I made a trip back there…  

Roasted Cauliflower Steak with Whipped Feta and Scallions1 large Cauliflower head, trimmed1/4 pound Feta Cheese2 ounces Cream Cheese2 Tbsp Heavy Cream1 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive OilScallions for garnishSalt & Pepper to tastePreheat oven to 375.  Place flat side of cauliflower on cutting board and cut 3/4 inch “steaks” from the middle of the head.  In a pan, heat olive oil and sear each side of the cauliflower, flipping to brown each side.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and roast on a cookie sheet on the lowest rack of the oven until tender.  In a food processor, blend feta, cream cheese, cream cheese and lemon juice until smooth.  Spoon whipped feta onto plate with a cauliflower steak.  Garnish with scallion.    
Last week’s Valentine’s Market was a great time, even with the blizzard.  Thank you to everyone who stopped by our table and sampled or bought a jar of nutella.  Markets of New York did a nice post about our wares.  Check it out! View high resolution

Roasted Cauliflower Steak with Whipped Feta and Scallions

1 large Cauliflower head, trimmed
1/4 pound Feta Cheese
2 ounces Cream Cheese
2 Tbsp Heavy Cream
1 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Scallions for garnish
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.  Place flat side of cauliflower on cutting board and cut 3/4 inch “steaks” from the middle of the head.  In a pan, heat olive oil and sear each side of the cauliflower, flipping to brown each side.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and roast on a cookie sheet on the lowest rack of the oven until tender.  In a food processor, blend feta, cream cheese, cream cheese and lemon juice until smooth.  Spoon whipped feta onto plate with a cauliflower steak.  Garnish with scallion.    

Last week’s Valentine’s Market was a great time, even with the blizzard.  Thank you to everyone who stopped by our table and sampled or bought a jar of nutella.  Markets of New York did a nice post about our wares.  Check it out!

Inspired by Juliette: Grilled Cauliflower Salad with Toasted Pinenuts & Pumpkin Seeds, Basil, Capers, Golden Raisins & Sherry Vinaigrette

If you live in New York and haven’t been to Juliette, the adorable French bistro in Williamsburg, you’re missing out!  In February, I had an amazing cauliflower salad there that I’d been meaning to recreate.  An impromptu picnic in McCarren this afternoon was the perfect excuse. 

Grilled Cauliflower Salad with Toasted Pinenuts & Pumpkin Seeds, Basil, Capers, Golden Raisins & Sherry Vinaigrette  

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
2 Tbsp pinenuts, toasted
3 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped
Fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp capers
4 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 Tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp olive oil

On a stovetop grill, brown cauliflower with olive oil until tender.  Whisk sherry vinegar, mustard and olive oil together in a bowl and set aside.  Remove cauliflower from heat.  In a bowl, toss with raisins, pinenuts, pumpkin seeds, basil and capers.  Dress with sherry vinaigrette and toss to coast.  Serve immediately.  

The last two weeks have been packed with summertime fun - including a pool party on Long Island (Thanks Yakuboff family!!), Coney Island, Roosevelt Island tram, boating in Central Park, 4th of July celebrations etc.  My camera came along!

Sweet, Hot & Smokey

Say hello to my cookbook collection.  

I have made approximately one recipe from each.

Laura gave me New Flavors for Vegetables a few birthdays back.  While it’s not exclusively vegetarian, the recipes are delicious and beautifully photographed.

Today I made Caramelized Cauliflower with Honey and Smoked Paprika.  Sounds amazing, right?  It is!

Caramelized Cauliflower with Honey and Smoked Paprika (from New Flavors for Vegetables)

3 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbls unsalted butter
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
1 shallot, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
2 tbls honey
1/2 lemon (juice)
salt and pepper

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 tbls of the oil and melt the butter. Add the cauliflower florets, sprinkle generously with salt and toss to coat.  Spread the florets into 1 layer and cook, without stirring, until the undersides are lightly browned (3-4 mins.) Flip each piece over and brown.  Repeat until al sides are evenly browned.

Add the remaining 1 tbls oil, the shallot, red pepper flakes and paprika to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the shallot is softened (2-3 mins.)  Add honey and 2 tbls water and saute until the liquid reduces to a glaze.  Squeeze the juice from the lemon over the cauliflower, stir to combine and cook for 30 seconds.  Remove from heat and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.   

This is easy to prepare and a nice balance of sweet/hot/smokey.  I have a dinner party to attend in a few weeks, so this is on the short list of ideas.

Can you tell that spring is on its way?  I’m feeling very excited about what the next few months may bring and I hope you are too.  

Activities as of late: 

1. Listening to Django Reinhardt.
2. Planning BYOB (details to come!)
3. Boston trip, searching for plane tickets for Seattle trip next month.
4. Buffet lunch, losing $10 to the slot machines, losing at Scrabble and enjoying the magical mess that is Atlantic City.
5. Plastic nose wearing? 

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