Thursday, July 12, 2007

Last minute recipe
--Pasta with Cauliflower or Broccoli

Pasta with Cauliflower or Broccoli
How To Cook Everything Copyright 1998

1 head cauliflower or broccoli, 1 pound or more
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound penne, ziti or other cut pasta
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; salt it.

Trim the cauliflower or broccoli and divide it into florets. Cook the cauliflower or broccoli until it is tender but not soft when pierced by a knife (it will cook further in the sauce, so be careful not to overcook it). Remove the cauliflower or broccoli and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the oil and garlic together in a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When the garlic is golden, turn off the heat if you’re not ready to proceed.

Add the cauliflower or broccoli to the skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring and mashing the cauliflower or broccoli, until it is hot and quite soft. You can't quite mash broccoli so I chopped it up.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta. When the pasta is just about done, drain it, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the skillet with the cauliflower or broccoli and toss with a large spoon until well combined. Add salt and pepper along with some of the pasta water to keep the mixture from drying out. Garnish and serve. I added Parmesan cheese.

Even though this recipe was title 'Pasta with Cauliflower or Broccoli', I think it lacked something with the broccoli. Cauliflower would have been sweeter and more flavorful. So I added some finely grated Parmesan cheese which could barely be seen in the final dish but I think it was needed. I thought this was going to be a bit of a disappointment but it was actually quite flavorful in the end.

I used locally grown broccoli that was just a buck at the auction. Last week felt like a lull. Strawberries are done and while there was plenty of produce, nothing local seemed to be in full force (well, there were lots of melons but I'm not sure if they were local or not). I'm looking forward to peaches, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. I found a great site, that if you navigate through, you can find a harvest schedule for your state if you're like me and not quite sure when your local produce is in season. Just choose your state in the middle of the page and there's a link for crop availablity/harvest schedule on the next page. It also list Pick Your Own farms.

Last night was menu planning night and what really came in handy is this menu planner that last May's cookbook giveaway winner, Alisha at Cook.Craft.Enjoy., sent me as a thank you. A thank you was really not necessary but it was very much appreciated. It couldn't have been more perfect for me if I had designed it myself.

Here's the planner folded up:

This is what it looks like unfolded. There are bookmarks to mark the recipes I'm planning to use, there's a two week planner, a shopping list and an area for notes.

The problem is, I almost didn't want to use it - it's so pretty. My menu planning has been very by-the-seat-of-my-pants lately which is why I really had to laugh at Jan's comment yesterday. I was picking out this pasta with broccoli recipe at 6:15am before I left for work yesterday.

And speaking of the cookbook giveaway, I know I've been really late this month but I will get one out there.

Blast From The Past: Caucasian Eggplant Caviar from August 2007. I started attending the auction late last year and discovered eggplant right as it disappeared. I can't wait to get my fill this year.

Question of the Day: Have you ever visited the Adirondacks? (I'm trying to plan next year's vacation so if anyone has any recommendations for that area, please let me know!)


Anonymous said...

That planner looks great!
The closest I've come to the adirondacks is I have two of the chairs....

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Anonymous said...

Can't help with your vacation. Like Mrs.L, that's the closest I've come also.
Ooh, one of my favorite dishes is pasta and veggies. That looks so delicious. Darn pasta carbs!
I "got it together" tonight and made the teriyaki beef with a different cut of beef than you used. Very good, everyone liked it, even the 7 year old - and that's saying something. I also freestyled fried rice. See what a good influence you are?


The Cookbook Junkie said...


I used Dreamfield pasta, which is supposedly lower in carbs.

I'm glad every liked the teriyaki beef. My son loved that it too.