Friday, August 01, 2008

cuckoo for cauliflower

Last month the NY TImes ran a very amusing article on "recipe dealbreakers" that any cook would probably relate to. For me, the mention of candy thermometers, any phrase similar to "keep the individual sheets of filo moist with damp paper towels between each layer", or "don't be afraid", in a recipe generally turn me off. But what about the other side of the coin? What makes me decide that I absolutely have to try a recipe, without even completely reading it? Perhaps, cauliflower?

I think I have a fair number of cauliflower recipes on here. And here's another. But I tried to at least makes things a little more aesthetically interesting by using an orange cauliflower for this one. Pretty.

This is from Mark Bittman's recipe for Indian-Style Rice Salad in this week's Dining & Wine section. I had pretty much all of the ingredients available at home, so I couldn't resist. And it was as yummy as I had hoped. Recipe after the jump:

(Slightly) adapted from The Minimalist at

1 1/2 to 2 cups brown basmati rice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1 cup cubed cooked potato
2 cups cooked cauliflower florets
3/4 cup cooked green peas
1/2 cup light coconut milk, or more as needed
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, or more to taste
1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste
1 jalapeƱo or other hot fresh chili, stemmed, seeded and minced, or to taste, optional
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro.

1. Cook rice in abundant salted water, as you would pasta, until it’s just done; white rice will take 10 to 15 minutes, brown 30 or a little longer. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again, then combine with vegetables in a large bowl.

2. Combine black pepper, coconut milk, rice wine vinegar and curry powder in a bowl and whisk until frothy. Taste and add more vinegar a teaspoon or two at a time until balance tastes right to you, then add more curry powder, salt, or pepper, if needed.

3. Drizzle vinaigrette over rice and vegetables. Toss to combine, fluffing rice and tossing gently to separate grains. Stir in chili and cilantro, taste, and adjust seasoning or moisten with a little more dressing. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to a day, bringing salad back to room temperature before serving.


Leah said...

That's a great article! Yup, candy thermometers are a deal-breaker. Also for me, cookie dough that requires rolling. I'm a sissy.

And the yellow cauliflower is really pretty.

faycat said...

I'm actually going to do a recipe today that contains one of my usual recipe dealbreakers - making several different components of the dish separately. What a pain in the ass...