Tuesday, September 18, 2018
While it may be inadvisable to wear white after Labor Day, this pale, creamy gazpacho from foodandwine.com made with cauliflower is highly recommended (at least by me) all through the year. I substituted walnuts that I already had on hand for the suggested pine nuts and almonds to great effect, I thought. I would recommend (here I go again) that after blending all the ingredients together, to push the solids with the back of a wooden spoon through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and refrigerate the thinned soup then. Try it with toasty bread in the cooler months to take off the chill!
1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
2 slices of crustless white bread
1/4 cup pine nuts (1 1/2 ounces)
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups blanched slivered almonds
1/2 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped, plus 1/4 cup finely diced cucumber
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water until cool and drain well.
In a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups of cold water with the cooked cauliflower, bread, pine nuts, chopped garlic, sherry vinegar, chopped shallot, 1 cup of the slivered almonds and the coarsely chopped cucumber; blend until smooth. Add the olive oil and pulse just until incorporated. If necessary, add more water to thin the gazpacho. Season the soup with salt and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of slivered almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 6 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden. Ladle the gazpacho into bowls. Garnish the soup with the toasted almonds and the finely diced cucumber and serve.
First published in part in Food & Wine. Thanks to contributor Joy Manning and photographer Hallie Burton!
Saturday, September 15, 2018
In need of polenta, but fresh out? Do you perhaps have some popcorn? Throw it in a blender! At a high speed, the blender (a Vitamix fitted with a dry-grain container is ideal) will grind the popcorn to a coarse cornmeal powder--exactly what you need to make your polenta dish. A cup of ground polenta will serve at least four people once prepared. Follow this link for 'perfect polenta' of your own, courtesy of allrecipes.com. A little salt, butter, cheese and several cups of water on the boil are the basic ingredients for a creamy side dish, but certainly tailor your polenta to your taste. If you have never tasted or made polenta before, it's a must try!
A note: The polenta may take longer to cook than the suggested time and may need more water to acheive the perfect consistency, so plan accordingly.
Thanks to Karen Haggenmaker at allrecipes.com for the silky, satisfying polenta photo!