Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cauliflower a la grecque

So the past few days have gone something like this; Another visit to the ice cream shop which now has legendary status in my little world. Dolcezza in Georgetown cannot do wrong and this week threw up a combo of espresso and purple raspberry - sublime, sensual and thoroughly memorable in every sense. My new rule for this place is 'only when I have visitors' while my little voices are telling me 'who are you kidding, that will never last'

This took me back to reality with a little lunch party at the Embassy on Sunday which threw together a few lovely summer time rug on the grass kind of dishes, one of which was a neat little mushroom a la greque number. I felt it worked out pretty good assisted by the quite stunning weather and a number of other dishes in keeping with the moment. Something as simple as this was all that was needed to split the day up to recharge. Got me thinking though, and next opportunity it'll be cauliflower trated the same way. Perversely, here's a photo of Sundays' mushrooms, and  a sweet little recipe for the future of cauliflowers...

Serves 4-6

90ml tomato puree
90ml olive oil
90ml dry white wine
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
2 spoons coriander seeds, crushed
5ml grated fresh root ginger
450ml water
1 large cauliflower, broken into florets
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
15ml lemon juice
1 tsp shredded coriander leaves

Place the tomato puree, oil, wine, onion, garlic, coriander seeds, ginger, water, and salt and pepper in a large pan. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the cauliflower and cook for 10-15 minutes, until just tender. Leave to cool.

To finish, stir in the lemon juice and check the seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish and leave to come to room temperature. Sprinkle with coriander to serve.

This took us through to Sunday evening where the only thing left to do was light the barbecue and take in the sunshine as the day drew to a close. Sundays are totally made for this treatment and I could not imagine for a second spending this latest one anywhere near indoors, or worse still, a restaurant to fill me up. A few little quails all crunchy and charred to the point of almost being a little bitter on the skin, some big fat beef sausages spiked with thyme and a bit of cayenne and some chicken skewers marinated in onion juice and yoghurt helped wash a few local micro brewed beers down just nicely thank you very much. I think there were a couple of salads bouncing around in there, and a definite trace of anchovy in the air, but quite frankly, it was all about the meat/beer finishing off a glorious weekend.

Back to the day job, and the oppotunity to assemble some lighter lunch dishes is always great fun. Using the garden as inspiration, keeping the food light and in season while ensuring everything makes sense is just the direction I need to keep motivated, and this lobster dish ticks each and every box. So for lunch today we've got some steamed lobster claw meat, a few baby roasted artichokes, the tiny hearts of a couple of lettuces, paper thin shavings of a couple of different radishes and courgettes all brought together with the faintest splash of vinaigrette and a zesting of lemon. All good in DC right now...

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