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cauliflower

Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

Pesto Broccolini

Pesto Broccolini // Karista's Kitchen

Some recipes garner a surprising response.  This little platter of Pesto Broccolini got loads of love on my Instagram and Facebook page which honestly, sort of surprised me.

So, I decided to post it here.  It’s just a simple side that I toss together when I’m in a hurry but I want something fresh and delicious to serve with my dinner entrée.

I was preparing a stuffed trout dish Monday night and I happened to have several bunches of Broccolini, which I typically pair with pasta or Gnocchi.  But Monday night I decided to serve it a la carte tossed with some basil pesto I had made the day before.  Voila! Pesto Broccolini.

This is something I also do with blanched broccoli or cauliflower, sautéed or grilled zucchini and on occasion, roasted baby red potatoes and carrots.  It allows me to serve a fresh seasonal side with minimal fuss – because minimal fuss is important when the day is long and dinner is late.

And who doesn’t love a crisp tender veggie lightly bathed in a spicy and herb laced pesto?  Even my picky eater loves this gorgeous Pesto Broccolini side dish.  If you don’t have the time to knock out a homemade pesto,  just buy one.  There are many excellent, high quality pesto’s in the market these days – many without any preservatives and made exclusively with extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs.

Here’s to making dinner fresh, simple and delicious! Cheers!

Karista

Pesto Broccolini

Serving Size: 4-6

Pesto Broccolini

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs Broccolini, trimmed and larger stalks halved
  • 1/2 - 1 cup Basil Pesto (prepared or homemade)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Instructions

  • Fill a large pot with water and heat over high heat. Once the water has reached a boil, add about one tablespoon of salt. Then add the broccolini.
  • Let the broccolini cook for 2 1/2 - 3 minutes for crisp tender or 4 -5 minutes for tender. Drain in a colander and then place in a bowl and toss gently with 1/2 cup of pesto or more if needed. Drizzle with a squeeze of lemon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Place on a platter and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan. Serve immediately.
  • Notes

    For this recipe, I don't place the broccolini in an ice bath once it's cooked as I'm usually serving this right away. If I were going to hold the dish for a few minutes, I'd prepare a bowl with ice and water and let the broccolini rest for a few minutes in the ice bath after cooking, before tossing it with pesto. If you do decide to let it rest in the ice bath, gently heat the pesto before tossing with the broccolini so the dish is warm when served.

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    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Sassy Side dishes Soup

    Red Curry Cauliflower Soup

    Red Curry Cauliflower Soup

    I could eat my weight in cauliflower and in red curry cauliflower soup.  I like it steamed, roasted, pureed into mashers, served raw with pesto or Bagna Cauda and in soup.  Who knew this opaque and not terribly attractive veggie could light my culinary fire?

    I think it has to be in the top five of my favorite veggies.  Cauliflower is versatile, affordable, nutritious and relatively painless to prepare, just like this Red Curry Cauliflower Soup. 

    Red Curry Cauliflower Soup // Karista's Kitchen

    This soup couldn’t be easier.  It also holds well in the frig for up to three days, as well as in the freezer for up to two months.  I love pairing this soup with a seasonal chopped salad and crusty bread or Naan for dipping.

    I also serve this soup as a starter for a dinner party or a light lunch with an Asian chicken salad.  And of course, you can dine on a bowl of this soup a la carte with your favorite glass of wine.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Red Curry Cauliflower Soup

    Serving Size: 2-4

    Red Curry Cauliflower Soup

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 large head cauliflower (about 2-2 1/2 lbs) stemmed and chopped
    • 1 large yellow onion, diced
    • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely diced
    • 1 stick lemongrass, halved vertically
    • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
    • 1 14oz can coconut milk (not light)
    • 2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 ½ tablespoons Thai red curry paste
    • ½ teaspoon turmeric
    • Squeeze of lime juice to taste
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • In a large pot heat the oil over medium heat. When it’s hot add the onion and sauté until translucent. Then add the garlic, chopped cauliflower, lemongrass, fresh ginger, cilantro and vegetable broth. Let the veggies and broth simmer on low for about 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft.
  • Next, stir in the coconut milk, Thai red curry paste and turmeric. Bring it back to a simmer. Let the soup simmer on low for another 5-10 minutes to bring all the flavors together.
  • With an immersion blender, blend the soup to a puree. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the soup to a blender or vitamix and puree. Then pour the soup back into the pot. If the soup feels too thick, add another ¼ cup veggie broth until you feel you have the right consistency.
  • Season with salt and pepper and then add a squeeze or two of lime juice to taste.
  • Garnish with sliced green onions or fresh cilantro.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pasta Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine with Garlic Béchamel

    Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine with Garlic Bechamel and Toasted Pine Nuts

    This Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine begins with fresh, naturally grown ingredients, clean flavors and brilliant whites. Like waking up to a new snow that’s settled on the frozen ground.

    I like white.  Ask Ranger Craig.  He’ll tell you I have an obsession with white.  It seems every trip to Costco I come home with a package of white towels, white wash cloths, or white kitchen rags.  Last trip I came home with white bed linens.  I like white.

    It’s a good thing I like white. I read recently that cauliflower is making a comeback (I didn’t get the memo that it left) and so this Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine had to make a comeback too.

    I’ve been preparing cauliflower for years.  Even when it wasn’t the cool veggie.  I like cauliflower.  Roasted, baked with lots of good quality cheese, steamed and mashed.  I even like it raw or fried with a spicy aioli for dipping.

    Cauliflower is my inspiration for this winter white Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine with Garlic Béchamel and Toasted Pine Nuts.  Fresh, enticing, distinctive in flavor and sporting the color of winter.  The taste of comfort… like a soft white blanket.

    This is a simple dish.  Simply flavored with its few ingredients.  To change things up I like playing with different types of cheese.  I’ve used Manchengo, a firm goats cheese, Parrano, and mixed a few other fave Italian cheeses with it as well.  If you don’t care for garlic, substitute with 1 shallot finely chopped.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love

    Karista

    Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine with Garlic Béchamel

    Serving Size: 4

    Ingredients

    • 1lb Fettuccine or Pappardelle
    • 1 head fresh cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
    • A squeeze of anchovy paste
    • 4 tablespoons flour
    • 2 cups whole milk, warmed
    • Squeeze of lemon
    • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
    • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Toss the trimmed cauliflower florets with the olive oil and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the cauliflower is crisp tender. Remove from the oven and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Prepare the fettuccine according to package directions. While the fettuccine is cooking prepare the béchamel.
  • In a large sauce pan heat the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When the butter is just about melted, whisk in the garlic and anchovy and gently cook until the anchovy is incorporated into the butter. Just a few seconds to a minute. Don’t allow the butter or garlic to brown.
  • Whisk in the flour and allow the flour to cook just for a minute or two, again, careful not to brown. Slowly whisk in the warm milk and continue whisking until nicely incorporated. As the sauce heats it will thicken. Continue gently whisking until the sauce begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the roasted cauliflower and ¼ cup toasted pine nuts to the fettuccine, add a squeeze of lemon and then toss with the sauce. The squeeze of lemon is used to elevate and bring all the flavors together in this dish.
  • Pour the pasta into a large serving bowl and garnish with fresh grated cheese and remaining pine nuts. Serve immediately.
  • Notes

    Serve as an entree or side dish to grilled or roasted meats.

    I like using roasted cauliflower as it brings out a deep sweetness to the vegetable. But feel free to blanch the cauliflower if you like.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    5 Sassy Sides

    sweet potatoes

    Coconut Sweet Potato Mashers

    “A side dish, is a side dish, is a side dish”, said one of my sassy gals.  Until, of course, she tasted one of my sassy sides.

    brussel sprouts

    Roasted Brussel Sprouts

    A sassy side can rev up dinner and make it take off to new heights.  Especially when fresh, lovely produce is abundant and time is of the essence.  A sassy side is the most perfect complement to a simple but tasty meal.

    cauliflower

    Cauliflower Mashers

    I love to pan sear chicken thigh and leg quarters, and then finish them off in the oven. (I’ll post that method soon)  All that’s needed is a little oil, salt and pepper.  They turn out divine!  But what takes this dinner over the top is the side dish.

    green beans with shallots

    Green Beans with Brown Butter and Shallots

    These are five of the Bennett Crew faves.  And yes… my two sassy gals love these five sassy sides. 🙂

    Roasted Delicata Squash

    Five Spice Powder Roasted Delicata Squash

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Coconut Sweet Potato Mashers

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    1 – 1 ½ lbs sweet potatoes (about 3 medium to large)

    1 cup coconut milk (Thai Kitchen canned organic is what I use)

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Pinch of cinnamon (optional)

    Directions

    Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

    Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork and set on a baking sheet.

    Roast the sweet potatoes until soft to the touch.  About 45 minutes.

    When the sweet potatoes are cool, remove the skins and lightly mash.

    Place them in a food processor or blender and add the coconut milk ½ cup at a time. Pulse until the coconut sweet potato mashers are at a desired consistency.  I like mine smooth but thick.

    Season to taste with salt and pepper and if desired a pinch of cinnamon.

    These can be prepared one day prior to serving. 🙂

    Roasted Brussel Sprouts

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    1-1 1/2 lbs Brussel Sprouts

    2 tablespoons high heat oil

    Salt and pepper to taste

    2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan (optional)

    Directions

    Pre-heat the oven to 375F.  If using a convection oven I only heat to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.

    Slice the brussel sprouts in half, trimming the ends.  Place them in a bowl and toss with the oil.

    Pour them onto the baking sheet in a single layer.

    Roast for about 10-15 minutes until toasty and soft.  I like my brussel sprouts very toasty 🙂

    Pull them out of the oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper and a little parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.

    Cauliflower Mashers

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    1-2 heads cauliflower (or one really large head cauliflower)

    salt and pepper to taste

    1-2 tablespoons of really good extra virgin olive oil ( I use California Olive Ranch Everyday Fresh) or 1 tablespoon melted butter

    1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

    Directions

    Cut the cauliflower into florets.

    Steam the cauliflower in a stove top steamer or for a more toasty flavor you can roast the cauliflower florets by tossing in a little oil and roasting on a baking sheet lined with parchment in a preheated 375F oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft.  Phew! That was a long sentence. 🙂  If you’d like to serve these florets as a side, just season with salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  To make mashers proceed with the recipe below.

    Once the cauliflower is soft, set the cooked florets in a colander and let them drain any excess water.

    Place the florets in a blender, food processor or vita mix and pulse just until nicely smooth.  Season with salt, pepper and olive oil or butter.  Serve immediately.

    Green Beans with Brown Butter and Shallots

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    1 lb fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed

    1-2 shallots, sliced

    1 stick unsalted butter

    Salt and Pepper to taste

    Directions

    You can either steam the green beans in a stove top or microwave steamer or you can roast them.

    To roast, I preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment.  Toss the beans in a little oil and then place them in a single layer on the baking sheet.  (Just like we did for the Brussel Sprouts) Roast just until nicely tender.

    While the beans are cooking, in a medium sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat.  Lightly swirl or stir the butter in the pan.  Just as it starts to develop those lovely little golden brown flecks, add the shallots and let the shallots crisp in the butter.  This should only take a minute longer.  The shallots should be slightly crisp and the butter brown.  Pull it off the heat and add the green beans to coat, seasoning with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

    Pour into a serving platter and serve immediately.  For a little variation you can add fresh chopped herbs with the shallots, or a squeeze of lemon before serving.

    Five Spice Roasted Delicata Squash

    Ingredients

    1 ½ – 2 lbs Delicata Squash

    1 tablespoon brown sugar

    1 ½  teaspoons Five Spice Powder

    2 tablespoons high heat oil

    Salt and Pepper

    Directions

    Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

    Mix together the brown sugar, five spice powder and oil until the brown sugar is mostly dissolved.

    Wash the squash and then slice about ½ inch of each end.  Slice down the center vertically and clean out the seeds in the squash with a spoon or small ice cream scoop.

    Then slice the squash to make little half moons.

    Put the slices in a bowl and toss with the Five Spice Powder, brown sugar and oil.

    Layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.

    Sprinkle with a little salt and black pepper.

    Roast on 400F for about 20-30 minutes or until nice and fork tender.

    This little dish can be served piping hot or at room temp.  Leftovers store easily in the frig for about 3 days.  Great for midnight snacking!