My First Salad of the Summer
I made a remarkable grilled cauliflower salad the other night. I am calling it my first summer salad because it contains mint from my garden, and because it's finally summer on the calendar and in the air. I can't remember a colder June in Chicago--I wore jeans and a sweater on my mid-June birthday--but we are finally experiencing summer temperatures along record-setting rain levels. Gardens are flourishing in the rain, and I have enough mint for days:
My husband had reminded me how much he likes roasted cauliflower, so I read a few of my cookbooks, including my newest, "Dining In," by edgy chef Alison Roman.
Her recipe for Cumin-Roasted Cauliflower and Dates with Tahini and Pine Nuts looked promising. I already had tahini and pine nuts in my pantry, and I shopped for the missing ingredients--with the exception of the mint, which I picked by the handful--and got to work chopping roasting. I not only cooked with white cauliflower, I also added its green cousin Romanesco broccoli, a hearty vegetable that stands up well to roasting. I also grilled the dates--next time I will chop them smaller and cook them longer--and tossed the roasted vegetables with the chopped pine nuts, mint and cilantro. Placing the vegetables on top of a layer of tahini boosted the flavor even more.
My first summer salad made everyone at the table happy. And my husband enjoyed the roasted cauliflower of his dreams.