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Cauliflower & broccoli

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Aug. 10th, 2008 | 10:25 pm
posted by: meryddian in tastycreations

I get a weekly delivery of organic vegetables, and so I've been trying to find new ways to prepare them so I don't get bored.

A couple things I tried today with good results:

- Beets : Did some minimal peeling, scrubbed them, then chopped into bite-sized chunks. Was a bit surprised to see they were white-and-red streaked inside; but when I boiled them, they turned pink. I don't know if it was because they were so fresh instead of being canned, but the flavor was pleasant and light, instead of overpowering, as can sometimes happen with canned beets. Next time I get beets, I think I may do a light boil, then chill and keep for salads.

- Cauliflower and broccoli : Originally, I thought I'd steam the heads of cauliflower and broccoli. I was trying to avoid using butter or sauces. Instead, I opted to put a teaspoon of fresh ginger powder and a few shakes of mustard powder in the boiling water just before I dumped in the broccoli and cauliflower. It created a nice, just-there flavor without being overpowering. After draining the pot, I sprinkled a pinch or two more over the dish, and a squeeze of lemon.

- Vegetable soup : Now, I have my mom's vegetable soup recipe, and it's awesome. But sometimes you just have to wing it based on what you have in the house. Today for me that meant: collard greens, beefsteak tomatoes, onions, broccoli stems, green peppers, and cabbage. (I would've liked some zucchini, too, but maybe next week.) I started out with half a stick of organic butter and melted it in the soup pot. I added two medium white onions, diced, and the collard greens (6-7 leaves), also diced, and let those cook at a low simmer with some salt and pepper while I cleaned/diced the rest of the vegetables.

Once the onions and collard greens had softened, I added the cabbage, and one that softened a bit, threw in the shredded green pepper and diced tomato and broccoli stem. I added 2 Tbsp of dried celery greens, a few shakes of cayenne, a tsp. of sweet paprika powder, and several shakes of the Spice House's Sunny Paris seasoning blend.

I added two cups of fire-roasted tomato soup (Whole Foods and other grocers have this, usually in the boxed soups), a 20-24 oz. can of stewed unsalted Roma tomatoes (I like Trader Joe's), and two measures of beef bullion. Added enough water to give the soup a soupy consistency and let sit over low heat for an hour. While it tasted good tonight fresh from the stove, can't wait to see how it tastes over the next day or two while it has time to sit and the herbs and flavors really build up.

Collard greens are not something I usually cook with, but I thought these had a really nice flavor - a little milder than spinach, and the thickness of the leaves made it stand up really nicely for soup.

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