Wednesday, July 6, 2011

One Night of Cauliflower

Remember when I bought four cauliflower plants back in May, thinking they were cabbage? Well, I can't remember a single time I have cooked cauliflower before tonight. I pulled out two of the four plants to make room for the cabbage seedlings I went back and bought, but tonight I harvested the compact but reasonably-sized cauliflower heads on the other two plants.

I turned to Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone for some advice, and found just what I was looking for-- an Indian dish that would also use the fresh cilantro that is ready (and when it's ready, you just have to go ahead and eat it) and the arugula greens. (This is why I bought this cookbook to begin with, because I am challenged when thinking up vegetarian dishes.)

Her recipe title is, like almost all of them in the book, purely descriptive: Cauliflower, Spinach, and Potato Stir-Fry with Coconut Milk.


I had picked up a jar of something called Coriander Chutney made by SWAD the last time I was at the Asian market, a wonderful mix of cilantro, serrano pepper, ginger, garlic (and other ingredients you don't want to know about). I also had some green curry paste in the freezer.

Of course, when finished this dish that was not just delicious but also the most nuclear color green imaginable. I'm choosing to believe it was the combination of cilantro and turmeric and not the FD&C Blue #1 and Yellow #5 in the chutney. I do indeed love India and Indian food!

And that's it. Cauliflower season, c'est finis!

Here it is, with my adaptations:

Cilantro, Cauliflower and Greens, Indian Style

1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 lb of red potatoes, sliced 1/3 inch thick
1 bunch scallions (or spring onions) with some greens
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or 1/3 cup SWAD coriander chutney)
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 serrano chilis, minced (or 1 Tbs green chili paste)
4 Tbs vegetable oil
1 large bunch greens, such as spinach
1 15-oz can coconut milk

Boil the cauliflower and potatoes in water until tender, then drain.
Puree half the onions and most of the cilantro, turmeric, chiles and 1 Tbs oil-- if you have coriander chutney and chili paste, skip this step.

Heat a wok, add 2 tsp oil and, when hot, add the onions and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the greens and stir-fry until wilted and tender. Set aside.

Add another 2 tsp oil and fry the chili paste and chutney until fragrant. Add the cauliflower and potatoes, season with 1/2 tsp salt, and cook until heated through.

Pour in the coconut milk and add the spinach. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and scallions and serve over brown basmati or jasmine rice. Serve to happy, freshly-showered with no 7 p.m. bid to run off to landscaping husband.


Alison said...

SWAD coriander chutney is the best. I got converted to cauliflower with a Malay Kofta dish.

fluerdelyis said...

Sunset mag. has a great recipe for Creamed Cauliflower Soup.