One of the things I love most about Secret Recipe Club is that I get to visit a “sometimes” new-to-me blog and check it out in depth. I always seem to find a great recipe or idea that makes me slap myself upside the head because I didn’t think of it myself. Such was certainly the case when I visited Well Dined, a blog written by Sarah.
Sarah originally stated her blog to write restaurant reviews, but it soon morphed in to a food blog with great recipes. Sarah likes to cook as seasonally and as healthy as she can. I found two delicious recipes for this holiday season, Bourbon Bacon Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Butter and Sage and Cranberry Custard Pie. Other recipes on my to-make list are Maple Bourbon Glazed Chicken, Apple Butter Glazed Pork Loin and Snickerdoodle Surprise Cookies.
The recipe that made me do the slap myself upside the head thing mentioned above was Spiced Cauliflower “Couscous.” What a great idea to chop cauliflower in the food processor until it resembles couscous. The cauliflower cooks very quickly this way and can be seasoned with almost anything you want. This is probably going to be my favorite way to cook cauliflower, and I am next going to use the technique to make the cauliflower and use some of the seasoning ideas that Sarah has in this post on cooking with couscous..
In the posted recipe, a middle east spice blend called Za’atar was used. The only place that I could find this in my medium-sized, northwest town was at a local Greek restaurant that sells a small selection of middle east foods. I had to purchase a large jar so I probably have enough Za’atar to last my life time, but this will give me incentive to use it in other recipes. I am thinking of using it on a roast chicken. If you have a Penzey's Spice store in your town, they have it there or you can get it online in a 1/4 cup amount.
I could not find raw cashews and had to settle for roasted, salted ones, so I left the salt out of the recipe. I am not a fan of raisins but did go ahead and use them. I plumped them in a little hot water so they would be softer. My personal preference would be to use dried apricots, dates or dried cherries or cranberries in place of the raisins.
Unfortunately I have a hubby who will not touch cauliflower no matter how it is prepared so I only made half the recipe. He doesn’t have any idea what he is missing with this one. I love it, and I can’t wait to make another variation. I thought it didn't taste anything like cauliflower, and I think you could serve this and people would have no idea they were eating cauliflower.
Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah. Go visit her blog and get some great recipes.
Spiced Cauliflower “Couscous”
From Well Dined and Food 52
1 large cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lbs. of florets)
5 oz. raw cashews (I had to use already roasted so skipped the cashew roasting step.)
5 T. olive oil
4 T. lemon juice
2 T. mined parsley
1/2 t. Za’atar (if you can’t find this, I would try Greek Seasoning)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 t. finely shredded lemon zest
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (I left out the salt as the cashews were salted.)
If using raw cashews, Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low; add the cashews and toast for about about 8 minutes, until lightly golden and gently charred. Stir frequently to make sure that they do not burn. Let cool, then cut half of the cashews into smaller pieces.
Break the cauliflower into florets, making sure to leave behind as much of the stem as possible. Chop
the florets into smaller pieces. Transfer part of the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse until the pieces are finely chopped and resemble couscous. Be careful not to over-process. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
Heat three tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan, stir well to coal with the olive oil and cook about 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the couscous from the heat and let cool.
Add the raisins, cashews, Za’atar, cumin, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and the remaining two tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Leave the couscous for about 15 minutes to allow the flavor to combine. Serve at room temperature. Serves 4-6.
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