ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH CHICKPEAS AND QUINOA

This goes to the OMG FILES – if I had one, that is… Great recipe brought to my attention by my friend Eha. You can find the original jumping here. I modified it quite a bit, turning it from salad into warm side dish, as at the present time we endure temperatures that have the potential to make Brazilians weep.


ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH CHICKPEAS AND QUINOA
(slightly modified from Cook Republic)

for the roasted component:
1 medium-sized head of cauliflower, cut in florets
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2 – 3 tbsps olive oil
½ tsp salt
black pepper, freshly ground
1 can of chickpeas, drained and well-rinsed

for the dressing:
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsps olive oil

to assemble the dish:
1 cup cooked quinoa, still warm
handful of raisins
handful of sliced almonds
fresh parsley, chopped, amount to taste

Heat oven to 400F. . Line a large, rimmed baking tray with non-stick aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Mix cauliflower florets, smoked paprika, ground cumin, olive oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Spread cauliflower on the prepared tray and roast in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes until golden and tender. Add the drained chickpeas, a little more olive oil and roast everything together for 5 to 10 additional minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Prepare the dressing by mixing balsamic vinegar, grain mustard, lemon juice and zest and olive oil in a small bowl. Mix well.
To assemble the salad, add warm quinoa quinoa to a large bowl. Add spring onion, raisins, toasted almond flakes and roasted cauliflower. Top with parsley and salad dressing. Mix well to ensure the dressing coats everything evenly. Serve with your main dish of choice.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Amazing combination of flavors and textures, I do think it is much better warm than it would be cold, but as I always say, your kitchen, your rules. Make it as a salad if you prefer, or if perhaps you are living the height of the summer right now. The balsamic vinegar is quite prominent so I advise you to choose a brand you love. The original recipe called for grainy mustard, which I did not have, so I went with regular, smooth mustard. Everything worked great, from the raisins to the almonds, and leftovers were delicious two days later. This one is a keeper all the way, and we will be enjoying it regularly. Thank you, Eha!

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ACCORDION POTATOES

I am not a fan of tiktok, but apparently this method to cut the potatoes was a huge hit a while ago, everybody doing, sharing videos, raving about it. I was intrigued, decided to give it a try. Super cool technique, and if you don’t need to make too many of those, the air-fryer does a great job. I made three, which fit well in the basket of our fryer. Most people deep fry the potatoes, but I almost never choose that path. I suppose you could use a very hot oven too, but I haven’t try it, so feel free to experiment. If you want to see how to cut the potatoes, this video explains it in detail.

ACCORDION POTATOES
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

3 large Russet potatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper

Peel the potatoes and trim them to form a nice rectangle shape. Place the trimmed potato over a cutting board, nudged between two chopsticks that will prevent your knife blade from cutting the potato all the way through. Make very thin slices – around 1mm thick. Turn the potato over, and make the same type of cut, but diagonally (check the video if you need clarification).

Thread a wooden skewer in the center of the cut potato and carefully open it like an accordion. Soak the potatoes and skewers in cold water for 30 minutes or so. Dry very well. Spray olive oil, season with salt and pepper and air-fry until golden brown, flipping the pieces every 5 minutes or so. Time will vary, depending on the power of your air-fryer and size of the potato.

You can deep fry if you prefer. Season with additional before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: It is hard to understand how to cut the potato without watching a video, so I advise you to either watch the one I linked in the post, or search the many options available on youtube. The most important thing is to cut the slices thin, or you won’t have the accordion effect. I sometimes wish we had a larger air-fryer, and this was definitely one recipe that would benefit from it. But for the two of us, three accordion slabs are enough, so no need to invest in a bigger machine.

.

The best part is the crispy edge, but the center will be cooked nicely, very creamy. Even if you mess up and cut the slices a bit thick, it will work, but might take a little longer and not be so crispy. Experiment with it, we made it three times already. I intend to try with sweet potatoes soon…

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BROCCOLI SLAW SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING

Do you buy packaged broccoli slaw for a stir-fry and then find yourself with bag of leftovers sitting in the fridge and getting less and less gorgeous each day? I do. This salad came to the rescue big time. I added it to mixed baby greens, but you could use kale or Romaine lettuce instead.


BROCCOLI SLAW SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING
(from The Bewitching Kitchen)

for the salad:
3 cups greens of your choice
1 cup broccoli slaw
toasted slivered almonds
dried cranberries

for the dressing:
1/3 cup yogurt, full fat
water to thin yogurt (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1 tsp poppy seeds
salt to taste

Start by making the dressing, mixing all ingredients, and whisking well

Add the greens and broccoli slaw to a large serving bowl. Drizzle the dressing all over and gently mix to combine.

Top with almonds and dried cranberries, and serve, adjusting seasoning if needed.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here


Comments: I made this salad twice so far. What I love about the broccoli slaw is the texture it gives, you “almost” don’t need the almonds, but then again, they do a great job intensifying the crunch factor. The amount of water is going to vary with the thickness of your yogurt. Start by thinning it until it is almost pourable, but not too liquid, as you will still add some liquid in the form of vinegar and syrup. If you use a sturdy green such as kale, the salad will stand in the fridge quite well for a day.

I enjoyed the salad with air-fried chicken parmigiana, a recipe I shared not too long ago, and you can find here.

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COMPRESSED EGGPLANT & GRUYERE SLICES

This recipe blew my little mind… You need two special gadgets to make it, a mandolin-type slicer and a vacuum sealer. My slicer is an OXO, easier to work and adjust than the original French model. Super thin slices of eggplant with a little cheese in the middle get compressed and later roasted at high temperature. It is eggplant like I’ve never had before.

COMPRESSED EGGPLANT & GRUYERE SLICES
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by Chef Tony Botella)

1 large eggplant, sliced very thin (3mm maximum) with a mandolin
Gruyere cheese cut in thin slices
Herbes de Provence to taste
salt to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
balsamic vinegar to taste
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Lay one eggplant slice on a flat surface, place a slice of cheese in the center, sprinkle with Herbes the Provence. Place another eggplant slice on top, carefully slide into a vacuum-sealable bag. Once all the little sandwiches are done, seal the bag. Place in the fridge for at least one hour, but you can leave it for a couple of days.

Fifteen minutes before dinner, remove them from the bag and place on a silicone mat, gently brush with olive oil gently on both sides, season with salt. Roast at 425F for 12 minutes, until golden. A little cheese might escape to the side, nothing wrong with that, the silicone mat makes it easier to lift.

Cut each slice in half, place in a serving dish, drizzle with balsamic and sprinkle almonds on top.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe click here

Comments: The key to this recipe is slicing the eggplant very thin. I doubt you will be able to do it by hand, so a mandolin is a must. I think different types of cheese could be fun to try, for instance a cheese with Habanero to heat things up. But it must be a reasonably sturdy cheese to avoid excessive melting. Gruyere was perfect.

I normally don’t care for the eggplant skin, but in this preparation it did not hurt anything. I will be making this again soon. It would be great as a little special appetizer at a dinner party, with a nice sourdough bread to go with it. Or as a first course on a meal. A fun new technique to play with!

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CRISPY AIR-FRIED ZUCCHINI

I adore Lolita, our air-fryer, and use it often. It does a wonderful job on many vegetables, and it is our default choice when we make cauliflower, butternut squash or sweet potatoes. Zucchini is a bit tricky, unless sliced super thin and air-fried in very small batches. But now I finally found a method to make it shine… Crispy, tender, and a reasonable amount can be divided in just two portions without turning the pieces into mush. If you don’t own an air-fryer, check the comments after the recipe.

CRISPY AIR-FRIED ZUCCHINI
(adapted from several sources)

3 medium zucchini
1 + 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (vegan friendly) or grated Parmigiano cheese
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix Panko, nutritional yeast (or cheese), salt and pepper. Reserve.

Trim off the ends of the zucchini and cut into quarters lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 3/4-inch thick pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the zucchini with the oil. Toss to coat.

Sprinkle the flour mix over the zucchini slices and mix gently to coat them.

Air-fry in two batches at 390F or as high as your fryer goes, for about 9 minutes, until golden brown. Shake the basket every once in a while. Once the first batch is done, air-fry the second portion, then join them both and air-fry for a minute or so together, just to heat the first batch again. You can also place the first portion in a low-oven to keep warm, but I found that not to be needed.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I used nutritional yeast simply because I love to play with ingredients and wanted to give it a try. It is salty and sharp, making it a very good substitute for cheese, so if you need to entertain a vegan guest, this recipe is for you. I am now finally satisfied with a method to air-fry zucchini, and suspect this will be a regular appearance in our meals. If you don’t own an air-fryer, use a 420F oven, spread the zucchini over a large baking sheet lined with parchment, and roast until golden brown, probably 20 to 25 minutes.

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