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No rants this time. Just a simple recipe for a healthy side dish.

As those of you who follow this blog know, I’m totally enamored with my Grant Family Farms CSA delivery. The realization that my 26 weeks of local, organic produce is about to come to a screeching halt, is slowly sinking in. In another 19 days I will be in full-fledged mourning. Weeping and wearing black; my pockets and purse filled with chicken, vegetable, and fruit milagros. I may be totally incapacitated. Just thought I’d warn you in case my blog is suddenly silent.

In the meantime, I will rejoice in eating my dwindling supply of fresh veggies.

I’m not a big fan of boiling the daylights out of my food and have found that a light steaming followed by a quick roasting is a perfect way to prepare broccoli and cauliflower. I’ve been receiving a lot of both of these gems lately. You know, in my-reason-to-live CSA delivery box that is about to come to an end (sniff, sniff).

Big sigh.

Back to the broccoli and cauliflower recipe. Jamie Oliver, who is one of my favorite chefs, has encouraged me to use a mortar and pestle to mush up my spices and I find this works perfect for this dish. Okay, he hasn’t encouraged me personally, but he does this all the time and I have taken a liking to the process. I now have several mortar sizes and use them for all kinds of things.

My dear friend, Miles, who is also a famous English chef uses lots of interesting spices as well. Okay, so Miles doesn’t know we’re dear friends, but he does have a very entertaining blog and has inspired me to use more exotic herbs and spices. Well, not me personally, but his readers in general. In fact, I have some recently purchased fenugreek seeds and cardamon pods sitting right here on my desk waiting for Miles to come to the rescue. He was the reason I bought them and all I’ve done so far is sniff them periodically. Oh my gosh, they smell so good. Especially the cardamon pods. Actually, it’s a toss-up (I just sniffed them both again). I’m addicted.

roasted broccoli & cauliflower
what you need

• several broccoli and cauliflower pieces, washed and trimmed
• 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
• 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
• 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/2 teaspoon salt (I much prefer Celtic sea salt or Kosher salt)
• 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
• fresh ground black pepper to taste
• extra virgin olive oil (1 tablespoon or so)

what you do
• preheat oven to 425
• lightly steam broccoli and cauliflower for a couple of minutes, drain well or spin dry, set aside
• put the seasonings in a mortar and grind well (see photo)
• toss veggies in small amount of olive oil (be careful not to use too much)
• cover with seasoning mixture
• spread evenly on rimmed pan and roast for 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally
• check often so they don’t burn
• serve immediately

Did I rant?

Well, if so, I’m sorry and sad and it’s not my fault.

Go forth and sniff your spices. Whew, all is not lost.

In good health,
Melissa

11 Responses to “roasted broccoli & cauliflower”

  1. Melissa,

    That looks absolutely divinely delicious. Your picture makes me want to run to the grocery and raid the veggie section.

    I’m sorry your delivery is close to its end, though maybe it’s not the end, but the start of a new kitchen adventure…? Painfully optimistic, I know :b

  2. Shirley says:

    I have to agree with Dana. That picture made me salivate! I also liked the mortar and pestle pic. I had one years ago, but it wasn’t made of marble. Maybe I should add one to my Christmas list. ;-) (The in-laws insist on us posting our wish list on their fridge.) Anyway, this recipe looks fantastic! Thanks.

  3. Miles says:

    Melissa,
    You’re too kind. The only thing Jamie Oliver and I have in common is we’re both ugly.
    Your cardamom purchase is praiseworthy indeed, put thyem in anything and everything. They go very well with roasted squash, lamb, fish and brilliantly with a pear tart tatin. Toast them gently then crack the pods. You don’t need many and avoid the black ones, they’re too strong. As for fenugreek, ‘crack’ them in hot oil before making a curry or dal. Buy less more often, they don’t store fantastically well.
    Pukka!!
    Miles (Melissa’s mate-as in friend, not male gorilla)

  4. Miles says:

    Melissa,
    Just read your post about pumpkin seeds, have you done any other posts on seeds because I’ve just bought a load and mixed them all up to snack on. I know they’re good for you but I couldn’t tell you why. I bought ‘goji’ ‘hemp”sunflower’ ‘sesame’ and a couple of others which I can’t remember!
    Thanks
    Miles

  5. Maria says:

    Melissa: I am also a member of the Grant CSA and am quite sad to see it’s end. I wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your blog right along with my veggies, however! This last recipe looks great–I think I am now fully inspired to go get a mortal & pestle.

    On another note…have you been freezing your veggies? With what I put away all season, I think I will be able to avoid the Safeway veg section for at least two more months, if not ’til spring (although I don’t know if I can possibly eat any more kale…).

    Happy cooking!

    - Maria

  6. Melissa, Thank you for this unique spice idea! I did this up last night on chopped Brussels sprouts (minus the fennel because I’m allergic) and it was awesome!
    Lauren

  7. Cid says:

    Melissa,

    What a fabulous blog you’ve made. Lots of information and such beautiful photographs…. all in all a really good read.

    For what it’s worth I like cardamom flavoured rice pudding and in the Indian dessert Kulfi which is a sort of icecream made with almonds and cream.

    Cid

  8. Melissa says:

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

    Dana — thanks for your sentiments and your positive attitude! Yes, here’s to new kitchen adventures!

    Shirley — I have grown to love my mortar and pestle and use it so often. It’s one of my top 10 kitchen tools. Definitely drop hints that you want one. They’re kind of expensive.
    :-)

    Miles — I have liked Jamie Oliver since he was a kid doing his Naked Chef thing. I like his fresh, simple recipes. Good “launching pads” as I like to call them. Much like your recipes. Hmmm? As for looks, I never thought of him as ugly, so you’re in good company. And thanks for coming to the rescue on the spices! I’m learning quite a lot from you and your blog. I’ll comment on the seeds later. Hemp is a GREAT source of plant protein. You’re not randomly drug tested, are you? Just kidding, no connection to the other stuff.

    Maria — yeah! Nice to “meet” you. And thank you for the comments. Next year I think I will coordinate something with Josh regarding recipes, etc. No, I haven’t been freezing my veggies, but I’ve done some dehydrating. I have some bags of dehydrated kale, spinach, cilantro, and parsley that I can throw into soups or stews. It works great. Happy cooking to you, too! Keep in touch!

    Lauren — You’re allergic to fennel? Ugh, that’s a drag, but there are so many wonderful herbs and spices available that you can surely find something to replace it!

    Cid — Funny to find you on this side of the pond! Thank you for the nice comments. Ohhh, your cardamom rice pudding sounds wonderful. I don’t know what Kulfi is, but that sounds amazing as well. You need a blog, Cid!

    Take care everyone and enjoy the day!

  9. michelle says:

    Melissa, Happy Thanksgiving! I wish I was in Colorado for the holiday, but a Hawaiian Thanksgiving will be a nice adventure too. I love both cardamon and fenugreek and I can’t wait to see what you do with both of them. I think I too will mourn the end of your CSA with you – but I know you will have all kinds of new things to cook this winter too – I can’t wait to see what unfolds.

  10. I’m glad you’re making the most out of your CSA! I do feel very lucky and spoiled to be living in CA, where produce is plentiful year round. But I’m not rubbing it in! :D
    What you have that I envy is SNOW! mountains! clean air! and skiing!

    I agree, boiling the crap out of beautiful veggies is not good. Your lovely roasted dish does so much delicious justice to a beautiful CSA bounty!

  11. Melissa says:

    Michelle — Hope you had a happy Hawaiian hula Thanksgiving!

    WORC — what’s happening with your potential get-a-way in the mountains? Sounds like you’re working on the best of both worlds!

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