Hooooeeey! Good morning! That’ll wake you up, a nice, brisk, 33 (!) degree walk to start the day. Few first snow flurries to boot. Whoa! But I was ready, with long underwear and windpants, a pocketful of tissues, and a soft hat. I actually enjoyed being out there, mostly because I’ve been so house-bound since getting sick last week. But also because the howling winds have yet to blow down all the beautiful leaves. Ah, Minnesota. Lovely; yet brrrrr…!
Happy Birthday to my father-in-law John! I hope you’re planning a fabulous meal and some damn good wine!
Today, since I have CSA-veggie share broccoli and cauliflower sprouting from my fridge, I’m going to make another couple of Jacques Pepin gems – broccoli puree with brown butter and cauliflower with scallions and sesame oil. Both are gorgeous, delicious, simple. (Recipes posted in comments, below.)
And hey, I’ll add a couple more recipes to boot, I made myself a tasty and satisfying lunch – miso soup and a cabbage, spinach, and apple salad with sesame dressing. Both super-simple, and good together. (Recipes posted in comments, below.)
Cabbage, Spinach, and Apple Salad with Sesame Dressing
1 c. shredded cabbage
1 c. shredded spinach (or lettuce)
½ apple (Honeycrisp is terrific), sliced into matchstick pieces
1 scallion, sliced thin
salt and pepper
2 tsp. dark (toasted or Asian) sesame oil
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Combine cabbage, spinach, apple, and scallion in a medium bowl. Sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss into greens. Serve.
1 tsp. oil
2 scallions, chopped
1 small carrot, sliced thin
2 mushrooms, sliced thin
Other vegetables, sliced thin (cabbage, cauliflower, whatever you feel like or have)
2 c. (or 1 14-oz. can) chicken or vegetable broth
¼ c. firm tofu, cut into small cubes
2 Tbsp. miso paste (red or white, I like red)
Heat the oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Stir in vegetables and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in broth and tofu, bring to a boil, then stir in miso until dissolved. Simmer over low heat, partially covered, for 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Cauliflower with Scallions and Sesame Oil
From Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pepin
1 firm, white cauliflower head (about 1 ½ lbs.), trimmed of any green leaves
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. peanut oil
2 tsp. dark (Asian) sesame oil
1/3 c. fine minced scallions
Divide the cauliflower into 12-14 florets. Bring about ½ inch water to a boil in a stainless steel saucepan and add the florets. Cover and cook over high heat for 8-10 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender but still firm. There should be almost no water remaining in the pan.
Transfer the florets to a serving bowl and immediately add the remaining ingredients. Toss gently to coat the cauliflower and serve immediately.
Broccoli Puree with Brown Butter
Adapted from Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pepin
3 bunches broccoli (about 1 ¾ lbs.)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp. butter
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Cut the broccoli florets from the stems. (You should have about 1 lb. florets.) Reserve the stems (about ¾ pound) for a different use or discard.
Bring about 2 c. water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the broccoli florets and the garlic. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; reserve the liquid. Put the solids in a food processor.
Melt the butter in a skillet and continue cooking it over medium heat until it turns light brown. Add to the food processor along with the salt, pepper, and 3 Tbsp. of the reserved cooking liquid. Process into a fine puree. (You will have about 2 cups.)
Serve immediately, or cool, cover, refrigerate, and reheat in a microwave oven at serving time.