Give food a golden glow and you immediately make it more appealing, sunnier.
White rice? I'll eat it, but it doesn't do much for me aesthetically. Show me yellow rice, on the other hand, and I'm like, "Helllllo, beautiful. Let me buy you a drink."
Same with cauliflower. I made a cauliflower-cheese soup a few weeks ago and it looked like a big bowl of Elmer's.
BUT, if you sprinkle cauliflower with gilded fairy dust (okay, turmeric), you'll start turning heads.
Excuse me, but is this seat taken?
Two days left to enter your cookie in the swap. I must admit, even I'm irritated by the lag time between when I started this little exchange and when I can get baking, and I'm the one who organized this shindig. So get your cookie ideas in by Sunday. Morning. Seriously. I make the rules here, and I say Sunday morning's the last time to submit a cookie. I'll then open the voting for your top three. But more on that Sunday. Or Monday.
Recipe for Curried Cauliflower with Peas
(adapted from The Essential Asian Cookbook, Whitecap Books, 1998)
Here, the homely cauliflower undergoes an extreme makeover. By partnering with warm spices (especially turmeric, which lends a sunny glow) and bright green peas, this flowering cabbage gets a major lift. To make it daintier and easier to eat, be sure to cut the florets as small as possible. Serve as a side, or pair with cubed, baked tofu for a healthy vegetarian entree.
Serves 4, generously
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 head cauliflower, cut into tiny florets (munch the leftover stalks as you work, or save for soup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I prefer full-fat in this recipe)
1-1/2 cups frozen peas
Cubed, baked tofu (optional)
Heat your largest saute pan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Swirl to coat.
Saute the cauliflower for about 5 minutes, tossing with tongs, until nicely browned. Season with the salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Lower the heat, add the water, and cover. Steam until just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
Wipe out the pan, if necessary, and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Over medium heat, cook the onions, garlic, and ginger until softened and fragrant, but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the spices and sugar and cook, stirring, for one minute. Reduce the heat and stir in the yogurt, cooking over very gentle heat until warmed through, about 4 minutes longer.
Return the cauliflower to the pan and add the peas and tofu, if using. Cover and cook until the peas are hot but still bright green, about 2 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately.