Sunday, November 24, 2013

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

This whole roasted cauliflower is an impressive addition to a holiday dinner or any occasion.

Golden on the outside, tender and moist on the inside, with a fresh lemon complement, this just might convert some people who think they don't cauliflower.


1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Parsley for garnish
Lemon wedges for garnish and sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the green leaves and the core from the cauliflower, leaving the head intact.

Rub the cauliflower evenly with the olive oil, and then sprinkle lightly with salt.

Place the cauliflower, core side down, in a deep baking dish or roasting pan.

Roast for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or longer as needed, until the cauliflower is tender. (It can take up to 2 hours, or perhaps longer, depending on the size of the cauliflower, how soft you want it, and how well your oven is calibrated.) If the cauliflower starts to get too dark, cover it with foil to reduce further browning.

Transfer the cauliflower to a serving platter. Garnish with the parsley and the lemon wedges.

The lemon can be squeezed over the cauliflower to add extra flavor, as desired.

-- 4-6 servings

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, and Onions

Roasting is my favorite way to prepare most vegetables. It gives them a rich yet mellow flavor.

These simple roasted root vegetables are healthy, delicious, and easy to make.


1 to 1 1/2 pound red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
2 or 3 medium-to-large carrots, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into 2-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, cut vertically into 6 or 8 wedges, depending on size
1 or 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss the potato cubes, carrot pieces, and onion wedges with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Use only enough olive oil to lightly coat all of the vegetables.

Arrange the coated vegetables in a single layer in a deep baking dish or roasting pan.

Cover with foil, and roast for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir.

Return to oven and roast uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 30-45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and golden.

Sprinkle with the parsley (if using), and serve.

-- 3-6 servings

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Simple Sherry Vinaigrette

Sherry wine vinegar gives this simple vinaigrette a rich, nutty taste.

It's great in a green salad, potato salad, or pasta salad.


6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Shaking method: Combine all ingredients in a jar or cruet with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until well blended.
Whisking method: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until well blended.

Use immediately or refrigerate. If using later, shake or whisk again just before using.

-- Approximately 1/2 cup of dressing

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Spaghetti with Red Bell Pepper, Pine Nuts, and Feta

Bell pepper, pine nuts, and feta are a delightful Mediterranean flavor combination.

Here I combine them with spaghetti for a healthy yet satisfying dish.


2 tablespoons pine nuts
8 ounces dried spaghetti
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin julienne slices
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (approx. 3-4 ounces), at room temperature*
3 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over low to medium-low heat for few minutes until lightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the red bell pepper, and saute for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, and saute for a minute or two until fragrant. Do not let the garlic burn.

Add the spaghetti. Toss to combine.

Add the feta, parsley, and toasted pine nuts, along with salt and pepper to taste. (Go easy on the salt, as the feta is rather salty.)

Toss lightly, until the feta is warm but not completely melted.

-- 3-4 servings

* Note: Take the feta out of the refrigerator when you start to heat the water for the pasta. It should be close enough to room temperature by the time you’re ready for it.