Getting Back To The Basics

A place to show the changes in our yard, our garden, our home, and our life.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower, Spinach and Quinoa Salad

Another great recipe found on pinterest is a salad with roasted cauliflower, spinach, and quinoa. Last Wednesday my puppies forced me to harvest my cauliflower because they were trying to eat the last two precious heads of it I had. This is the recipe I found and made to use up the first ever harvest of cauliflower from my own garden.

This is the cauliflower in question. I bought this cauliflower, called Romanesco Cauliflower, from a nursery last spring. The one on the left is a true romanesco. The one on the right is a hybrid between a romanesco and a purple cauliflower. That's our best guess anyway, since they were all supposed to be true romanesco.

The first step involves cutting off the floretes, tossing them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the edges.

A close up, because it's pretty

Roasted and perfect

While that is roasting in the oven, the quinoa requires cook time. 
This stuff is pretty amazing.

While all that is going on, we made the dressing. Note to future self - add less scallions. Maybe less. I might try cooking some half-way and mixing it into the salad that way.

While waiting on the quinoa and cauliflower I put everything else together in a big bowl. 
Spinach, herbs, capers, toasted walnuts, sundried tomatoes, and red pepper flakes

All mixed up: the above bowl ingredients plus the cauliflower, quinoa, and dressing

Serve, and enjoy

Here is the recipe in it's original form. Personally it was a little too high in the onion dept - I think it was the scallions in the dressing that did it. Next time we will alter that particular aspect of the recipe.

  • 1 head of cauliflower, florets removed
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup/170 grams of quinoa (uncooked)
  • 2 tablespoons of capers, rinsed
  • a big handful of baby spinach
  • a few fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 8 sundried tomatoes (in oil), chopped
  • a handful of walnuts, toasted then roughly chopped
  • a big pinch of red pepper flakes
  • French vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat your oven to 475°F/245°C and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Toss the cauliflower florets in a drizzle of olive oil in a bowl until uniformly coated. Place on parchment paper evenly, add Salt, pepper and slide into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is browned.
  2. Make your quinoa by putting 2 cups of salted water onto boil. When it boils, add the quinoa, turn off the heat, and cover. Let rest for 15 minutes or until the quinoa absorbs all of the water. Fluff.
    As an alternative to this cooking method (it didn't quite work for me, it required more heat and cook time) you can follow these cooking instructions I found on youtube. It's the same water/quinoa ratio. Video on how to cook Quinoa
  3. Put your salad together by mixing the cauliflower with the quinoa, capers, spinach, sage, sundried tomatoes, walnuts, and red pepper flakes. Add a bit of the E-Z Dijon French vinaigrette to this and toss. Taste for seasonings and serve warm, room temperature, or cold.
    Video on how to toast walnuts:
French Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup/60 ml of sherry vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh herbs (basil, thyme, chives)
  • ½ cup/120 ml of olive oil
  1. Put your sherry vinegar, minced shallot, mustard, a big pinch of salt and pepper, and herbs in a jam jar and shake until combined. Let rest for about 10 minutes — this softens the intensity of the shallots’ flavor and allows the salt to dissolve; then add the olive oil. Taste for seasonings.

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