A friend at my synagogue stopped me a couple of weeks ago and told me that she loved the Meatless Monday posts, but wanted to understand my obsession with cauliflower. She really liked most of my recipe ideas, but she herself absolutely loathed cauliflower and broccoli. I laughed and apologized, but told her that it probably wouldn't end any time soon. The fact is that both vegetables are staples in our house, favourites of both The Husband and myself. They are cruciferous foods that add greatly to the vitamin and antioxidant intake of our vegetarian diet. As well, cauliflower is extraordinarily filling and hearty, and consumption tends to inhibit our dangerous evening snacking habits. Also....and this is important.....we both absolutely HATE eggplant which tends to be a go-to ingredient in far too many veggie entree recipes. (Please don't fill my inbox with "can't miss", "you haven't tried eggplant until you've tried this eggplant", or "even my kids eat eggplant this way" recipes. It is a non-starter!) Cauliflower seems to act as a main course vegetable for us in a way that eggplant never will.
So, friends here comes another cauliflower recipe for Meatless Monday. Apologies to my friend at synagogue, but I will try to do better for you next week.
Sauteed Cauliflower with Israeli Couscous
Israeli couscous, also known as p'titim, is an Israeli developed toasted pasted shaped like little balls. It is made of hard wheat flour and toasted in the oven. It can also be found in whole-wheat and spelt varieties. It can be purchased at bulk, health food, or gourmet shops if not at the local supermarket.
1 ½ cups Israeli pearl couscous
1 tblsp olive oil
4 cups cauliflower, florets
1 small shallot, peeled and sliced
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
pinch cinnamon, to taste
¼ cup dried tart cherries, cranberries, or raisins
1 tblsp red wine vinegar (I actually use a pomegranate vinegar because I love the flavour. Use your favourite.)
¼ cup parsely, chopped
1. Cook the couscous according to package directions until just tender. Drain if needed. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the cauliflower and shallots and sauté about 5 minutes or until the florets are slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper and cinnamon. Add the cherries and sauté about 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked couscous and red wine vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or chives and serve hot.