Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gemelli with cauliflower, crispy prosciutto and sage

As we all know, smothering things in cheese (at absolute minimum, not the orange goo that came in the box) is delicious, but cauliflower is a much more versatile vegetable than most people realize. Back in the days of the Atkins craze my sister would steam and puree it in place of mashed potatoes, which was good, but decidedly not going to fool anyone. In my opinion, the optimal cauliflower preparation method is roasting, thanks to the magic of caramelization. One of my favorite sides of all time is roasted cauliflower and green olive pasta, with all its salty olive loveliness, dotted with crunchy pine nuts and a smattering of Parmesan. I serve it under broiled salmon with a squeeze of lemon on a near-weekly basis.

But I was ready to branch out from ole faithful, and found this whilst thumbing through the latest Everyday Food. This recipe calls for browning the cauliflower in a pan instead of oven, but the effect is the same: caramelized tasty goodness.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pasta with fennel, tomatoes, olives and shrimp

Many Americans are only familiar with fennel as the seeds in their sweet Italian sausage, but raw fennel has become really easy to find and there are all kinds of things you can do with it. Fennel has this great fresh anise flavor that's crisp and sharp when raw, but sweet and mellow when cooked.

This recipe is from a new cookbook (gifted by a certain lovely Auntie!) called Weeknight Fresh & Fast. It's full of wonderful quick recipes all organized by season, which I love. I flipped straight to "Winter" and quickly selected this as the inaugural dish. It came together in under half and hour and was comfortingly delicious.