This Thanksgiving, Don’t Forget The Crucifers This Thanksgiving, Don't Forget The Crucifers - 27 East

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This Thanksgiving, Don’t Forget The Crucifers

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Seasonal Chef

  • Publication: Food & Drink
  • Published on: Nov 8, 2019
  • Columnist: Janeen Sarlin

Food pundits have suggested broccoli and cauliflower are passé. I challenge you to rethink cauliflower after tasting either one of these recipes. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is high in vitamin C with a fair source of iron. Look for a firm cauliflower with compact unblemished florets; the leaves should be crisp and green with no signs of yellowing. To store, wrap the cauliflower in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to five days.

Broccoli, a first cousin to cauliflower has its peak season in October and November. Look for deep strong green color or green with purple-tinged buds that are tightly closed, and crisp leaves. Refrigerate unwashed, standing in a jar of water as if it were flowers and a plastic bag inverted over the top. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C as well as riboflavin, calcium and iron.

Crispy roasted broccoli deserves applause when accompanied with pistachio salsa verde and yogurt sauce.

If your family revolts at the notion of something new on the dinner table, by all means, add traditional vegetables to keep everyone happy, after all it’s Thanksgiving! Bon appetit!

Glazed Whole Cauliflower

Adapted from Aldo Somm Wine Bar

(Serves 4 to 6)

1 large head white cauliflower, trimmed, washed and cored

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lemon, juiced

Sea salt to taste

For the glaze:

1/2 teaspoon smoked cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon coriander

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

To prepare:

Trim, wash and remove the core of the cauliflower. Rub garlic inside the core, brush the outside with lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and set the cauliflower in a steamer basket that will fit inside a large pot over high heat with about one inch of simmering water. Cover and steam until the cauliflower is nearly tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the cauliflower, let cool to room temperature. (Can be done ahead, reserve until glazing.)

Meanwhile working in a spice grinder, add cumin, paprika, cardamom, coriander and pepper, grind until blended.

To glaze the cauliflower, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Set the cauliflower on a baking sheet, and brush or drizzle with olive oil and rub spice mixture over the surface. Place on the top rack of the oven and bake until the top is glazed and the cauliflower is hot, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate, cut into wedges and serve at once.

Cauliflower Purée Garnished With Balsamic Glaze

(Serves 4 to 6)

1 large head cauliflower, trimmed, cored and broken into florets

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter

About 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut cream

Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

About 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or more to taste

About 2 tablespoons Balsamic glaze — found in gourmet section of the market

To prepare:

In a large pot of boiling salted water, add the cauliflower florets and cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Cooking time depends on the size of the florets. Drain and shake off the excess water. Transfer the cauliflower to the food processor. Working in batches if necessary, pulse until evenly chopped. Add olive oil or butter and coconut cream and process until puréed. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg, blend and taste, correct the seasonings and taste again. Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Just before serving, reheat in microwave, transfer purée to a shallow serving bowl, drizzle balsamic glaze around the edges of the purée and serve at once.

Crispy Broccoli With Pistachio Salsa Verde And Yogurt Sauce

(Serves 4 — can be scaled up in direct proportions)

2 medium heads broccoli, cut into florets, stems peeled and cut into thin coins

About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the salsa verde:

1/4 cup toasted salted pistachios

1/3 cup packed fresh flat parsley leaves

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon drained capers

1 flat anchovy

1 small clove garlic, peeled

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the yogurt sauce:

1 cup thick plain Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon turmeric or more to taste

To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Toss broccoli florets and coins with olive oil, scatter on prepared baking sheets, season with salt and pepper and bake until tender and golden in spots, about 25 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and turmeric, season to taste with salt and pepper and reserve. Can be done ahead.

For the salsa verde: Working in the food processor, pulse the pistachios, parsley, mint, capers, anchovy, and garlic together until evenly chopped. Add olive oil, lemon juice, and combine well. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper and reserve. Can be done ahead.

To serve, spread the yogurt sauce on the bottom of serving platter, arrange crispy broccoli on top and spoon salsa verde over the whole affair and serve at once.

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