Monday, December 5, 2016

Roasted Cauliflower with Chermoula

Tomatillo Salsa
I have to admit I love any sauce that’s green. I don’t know what it is, but I'll take green tomatillo salsa over regular salsa, pesto sauce over marinara, and any herb sauce over a cream sauce, any day of the week. I have a thing for green, I guess!

One green sauce I make on occasion is called Chermoula, an intensely herbal, slightly spicy sauce used in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking. While regional differences will dictate the sauce's ingredients, it's usually garlic and coriander that are on the top of the list. Other versions can include chili peppers or black pepper. Chermoula is usually served with fish or seafood but can also be added to other meats or vegetables. Indeed, Chermoula makes the perfect foil for the subtle cauliflower. 

For this recipe, we’re going to blanch the cauliflower first and then roast it.

Here's what you need:

1 large cauliflower, broken into florets
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Chermoula (see below)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and the cauliflower. Blanch 2 minutes and transfer to a colander to drain. Blot dry. Heat the oven to 400. Toss the cauliflower with the EVOO and salt it to your liking. Bake 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned. Serve hot, with the chermoula.

Now for the Chermoula:

1-1/3 cups fresh cilantro
2/3 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
3-4 cloves garlic
5 Tbsp EVOO
2 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

This is easily made in a food processor. Add the herbs first, pulse, and then add the garlic, salt and oil. Pulse again. Then add all the spices and lemon juice, run the processor for about 30-45 seconds and  if it looks like it needs a little more, pulse again until everything's nice and smooth. You're done!

I usually serve the roasted cauliflower with a white fish because Chermoula really is good on both. I've tried it over shrimp before and it was delicious. You could also serve it with chicken or tofu or do an assortment of veggies and dribble the sauce over all of the them. 

You could put the sauce on any number of things and I'm certain it would all be good. That's what's great about allowing yourself to be creative - you never know what you'll discover that strikes your fancy.

Go Green!

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