Let's talk about cauliflower, shall we? I know, I'm throwing you for a total loop there, talking about cauliflower in a post about cauliflower recipes.... WEIRDEST.THING.EVER. Don't worry... we're not talking about the forlorn little florets haphazardly shoved onto the grocery store items that I refer to as dejected rainbows (more commonly known as a 'veggie tray'). No, the cauliflower we're talking about is the real dizzle dazzle deal, yo. It's one of my all-time favorite veggies and for good reason. You can do evvvvverything with it. Whip up a pizza crust, make faux buffalo "chicken" nuggets, puree it into a rich and creamy sauce, heck you can probably even make it into glue and bind a book with it (but why would you want to waste it doing that?!). Obviously, this is one powerhouse of a vegetable. To show you just how versatile (and tasty) it is, Grace, Luci, and I decided to tackle cauliflower recipes for this month's 3x3 post. With a dip, salad, and main dish, it's safe to say the cauliflower will be taking over your life....or at least your next meal.But considering you probably still have your fair share of Christmas cookie sins to redeem, I don't think you'll be complaining too much....
ONE-POT CAULIFLOWER & CAPER PASTA
1 pound of spaghetti
2 tablespoons of olive oil + extra for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
The juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges for serving
3 tablespoons capers, drained
3 cups finely chopped cauliflower
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
1 can garbanzo beans
2 1/2 tablespoons bread crumbs (I like to use Italian seasoned ones)
1/3 cup goat cheese, plus more for serving (if desired)
Salt & pepper
Dill, for serving
First, make sure you have a rack in the middle of your oven. Then, turn it on to broil.
Fill a large ovenproof pot (I like to use my Le Creuset) with water (and a pinch of salt and a dash of olive oil!) and bring it to a boil over high heat on the stovetop. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, about 8 minutes. (Now is the perfect time to chop your veggies, if you haven't already.)
Drain the pasta and, without rinsing it in cold water, immediately add it back to the pot. Stir in the olive oil, pepper flakes, salt, lemon juice, capers, and garbanzo beans.
Once everything is well mixed, top the pasta with the fennel and cauliflower pieces. Sprinkle that with the bread crumbs and a dash of salt and pepper and then drizzle the whole thing with olive oil (I probably drizzled on approximately another 2 tablespoons). Finish the top off with the goat cheese crumbles.
Place the pot in the oven and broil for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese and veggies have turned a slight golden color. If you'd like, serve the pasta with one, a few, or all (or none) of the following: extra cheese, salt and pepper, a sprinkle of dill, lemon wedges, pepper flakes, or a drizzle of olive oil.
Sever with a kale salad, crunchy bread, and a glass of white wine.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
As with all my recipes, this one is totally customizable. Therefore if you don't like capers, fennel, or garbanzo beans, feel free to either replace them or leave them out completely.
In place of the goat cheese try using parmesan cheese, feta cheese, or ricotta cheese, or eliminate the cheese altogether.
To make this less zesty/spicy, leave the pepper flakes out.
This recipes is vegetarian. To make it gluten-free, eliminate the bread crumbs and use a gluten-free pasta. To make it dairy-free, eliminate the cheese.