I’ve said before how versatile this vegetable can be. Soaking up and blending with whatever flavors surround it, cauliflower fits right in just about anywhere. But cauliflower doesn’t have to go with anything. It’s great all on its own! Simply break it up into small pieces, toss in some olive oil and garlic salt, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 400° for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Green Bell Peppers:
The color of a bell pepper depends on what stage it’s at in the ripening process. All bell peppers start out green. A green bell is usually just an immature red bell pepper. Because of this, they are less sweet than a fully ripened pepper. They can be used interchangeably with other bell peppers and seem to keep their crunch a little longer.
It took me many trial and error attempts to learn how to cook this vegetable. More times than not, I ended up with a gooey mess. That being said, it may be worth spending a little extra time preparing this particular vegetable. The larger globe eggplant should be peeled and salted before cooking. To peel, use a small knife or peeler and cut off the skin in stripes, leaving some of the peel still intact to help hold its shape when cooking. Then cut into slices or cubes. The most important step is to “sweat” the eggplant. This helps in getting the best flavor and consistency. Do this by tossing in a generous amount of salt and leaving in a colander for about an hour. Rinse well under cold water and completely dry by squeezing them between a towel. To cook you can grill, bake or sauté. Sautéing eggplant seems to throw people the most because of how much oil eggplant can soak up. If you’re using globe eggplant, be sure to salt it and squeeze it dry. Also, make sure the oil is very hot. Put the slices/cubes in the pan in one layer. If you crowd the pan, the eggplant will steam instead of fry and won’t cook evenly. Turn often and adjust the heat to avoid burning until the slices are a rich brown color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Recipe: Eggplant & Cauliflower Curry ( Add shrimp or chicken for a non-vegetarian dish)
1 eggplant, cubed
1 small cauliflower head, cut into florets
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 tbsp red thai chili paste
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp ginger, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 can 14.5 oz light coconut milk
Preparation: 10 min Cook time: 30 minutes Total: 40 minutes
Note: wear kitchen gloves when handling the jalapeño pepper, if it gets in contact with sensitive skin/gets under your cuticles it will burn for a couple of hours.?
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and cook eggplant according to instructions above.
2. To make the curry sauce place all the ingredients from cilantro to turmeric into a blender and pulse until the mixture forms a paste.
3. Add coconut milk and process until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes over medium low heat.
4. Add cauliflower and simmer another 10 minutes, adding eggplant in at the end.
5. Turn off the heat. Serve over rice, with naan bread or as is.
Recipe adapted from OlivesandGarlic.com