Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Image of a plate of Roasted Cauliflower SteaksSteak Your Veggies
My relationship with cauliflower is difficult. I have only just recently started to eat it because my daughter can’t stand broccoli and cauliflower is a fairly easy substitute. My difficulties started when I was a kid when my mom would make cauliflower with a cheese sauce. And, for a long time, I was okay with it. I’m not sure exactly what went wrong. But, after having it one night I got sick. No one else got sick. Just me. From that day forward, in much the same way that college tequila shots have ruined margaritas for many people, I never wanted to eat cauliflower again.

It has taken 40 years but I have tried cauliflower—just a little bit now and then. Cauliflower has that great attribute of not having a strong flavor and therefore will soak up the flavor of anything it’s in. This is why I can handle cauliflower in Indian food, for example. But, large amounts of cauliflower on its own is a hurdle I haven’t cleared…yet.

I am intrigued by cauliflower steaks. There is something about this concept that appeals to me. The idea makes so much sense. A beautifully roasted or sautéed caramelized steak with a flavor-filled sauce of choice sounds so good in my head. So, I have been researching recipes so that I can take the leap…

While this version by Gordon Ramsay with salsa verde seems like it would be right up my alley, I have begun with something more basic as I dip my toe into these waters.

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks Recipe
Adapted from All Recipes
Yields 4 servings

Try these oven-roasted cauliflower steaks seasoned with a simple lemon-garlic sauce. Serve them with Chimichurri or topped with roasted tomatoes, olives, and feta. Read more…

Summer Stone Fruit Salad

Peachy-Keen
I have a thing for fruit trees. When we first moved into our house 12 years ago, we planted rootstock for 14 different fruit trees. I had this bucolic vision of walking through my orchard with my children, laughing and snacking while picking the seasonal fruit we found there. Life, water issues, and bad soil said hold my beer…

The orchard failed.

Two years ago, my wonderful children gave me a peach tree for my birthday. We planted it in the now vacant chicken area of our property. It goes without saying that the previous occupants helped make the soil much better on this part of “the farm”. We had peaches the first year—though they never matured. The tree was too young to support their growth. The second year was the same. This year was bonkers.

We had at least a bushel of softball-sized sweet peaches. It was glorious. I use the past tense here because they are now all gone. Some we ate right off the tree. Some were used in Saturday morning scones. Some were shared with appreciative friends and family. Others were quartered and put in the freezer. Many of these beauties found their way into evening salads. Sometimes we grilled them, sometimes we didn’t. You be you…

One of my favorite summer salads is a recipe for my Summer Stone Fruit Salad that I posted a while ago—it is still a good one. I have since updated things a bit.

Peaches are still going strong in the marketplace. So, give this updated version a go if you find yourself with some ripe sweet peaches.

Amy’s Summer Stone Fruit Salad
Adapted from Joanne Weir’s More Cooking in Wine Country
Yields 6 servings Read more…

Zucchini with Chickpeas and Peanuts

Image of a bowl of Zucchini with Chickpeas and PeanutsLotsa Squash
If you have a zucchini plant in your backyard, chances are you are running out of ideas for how to use your bounty. In my house, we are partial to this Zucchini Bread recipe from The New York Times. It’s ridiculously good. The problem is we can’t go around eating nothing but cake—much to the disappointment of our inner ten-year-old.

There are plenty of non-baked good ways of using your zucchini. You could spiral it and use it like pasta, or you could pickle it for a new twist on a summer favorite. Mediterranean cuisine is an excellent place to look for zucchini recipes. Yotam Ottolenghi has some really tasty ideas in his collection of books and/or online.

I found the recipe for Zucchini with Chickpeas and Peanuts on The New York Times website. I can’t quite call it Mediterranean cuisine—though the flavors and ingredients would suggest that it is.

I have modified it to my own tastes in that I like a little bit more cumin and I felt it needed a little garlic. Also, the original called for Sumac. I prefer to use Za’atar which has Sumac in it as well as other warming spices.

Zucchini with Chickpeas and Peanuts Recipe
Yields 4 servings
Adapted from The New York Times Cooking 
Read more…

Grilled Corn Salad

Image of Grilled Corn Salad on a plateCorn on the Side
Summer dinners tend to be a lot easier to produce. There is very little in your fridge that can’t go on the grill. Chicken, fish, beef, and veggies can all take a turn over the flames. The same is true when it comes to your side dishes.

Since you are going through the trouble of heating up the grill, might as well get the most out of it. If you’re like me, you have garden zucchini coming out of your ears. It’s easy to toss some with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and throw it on the grill next to your steaks. Corn is another great vegetable to put on the grill. You can leave it in the husk and grill it as is for on-the-cob greatness. Or, you can grill it husk-free for the Grilled Corn Salad recipe below.

Just prep the ingredients before you start grilling and while your meat is resting, throw it all together for a tasty smokey side. Bonus points if you grill the peaches too…

Grilled Corn Salad Recipe
Adapted from Love and Lemons
Yields 4 servings Read more…