On days I spend in Boulder I often bring home salmon for dinner. Bud will grill it on our gas Weber and all I need to add to the menu are some veggies. This morning in preparation, I put together a roasted cauliflower salad.
I cut up a cauliflower into 3/4 inch slabs, poured over about a tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and roasted in the oven at 400° on my wonderful grill pan. I must give a plug for this All-Clad pan. I use it often to grill vegetables. It is foolproof and roasts to perfection. I include the tiny bits of cauliflower that fall off when I cut the slabs. They get crunchy and provide another texture in the salad. I roasted the cauliflower for 15 minutes then turned, (you will be glad you have big pieces). Cook another 10-15 minutes, until browned and tender. Cut the slabs into mouth-sized pieces and toss in the vinaigrette.
In a serving bowl big enough for the cauliflower, combine a generous tablespoon of rough, whole-grain mustard, the kind with seeds, and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Slowly add about a 1/4 cup of olive oil. Dump the warm, cut up cauliflower into the bowl and toss.
Add 8-12 green olives, cut in half. I use a Spanish olive stuffed with anchovy, but Castelvetrano or your favorite green olive will be delicious. Green olives have the perfect sharp, pungent taste to contrast with the cauliflower. Just before serving at room temperature, add a handful of toasted, chopped hazelnuts. If you add them too soon they will lose their crunch, a nice note in this dish. I usually add a good handful of chopped Italian parsley but didn’t have any today. I make this ahead of our meal and leave at room temperature. If that makes you nervous, refrigerate but be sure to remove well before eating.
First thing when I returned home to our hillside refuge after my busy day in town, I set the oven to 400° in preparation for roasting sweet potatoes. My sister Susan turned me on to this fabulous method. She cautioned me, though, that these sweet potatoes are addictive. Her husband Charles kidded her, “are we going to have these Every night?”
Susan uses a spiralizer to prepare the sweet potatoes but I use the grating disk on my Cuisinart. After shredding, (no need to peel), I tossed the potatoes with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, added salt and pepper, and spread on my grill pan, (or use any baking sheet with sides).
I roasted them for about 15 minutes, while Bud heated the grill, then stirred them up and added asparagus to one side of the grill pan. The veggies finished roasting while Bud cooked our salmon ─ about 8 more minutes. Dinner is served. Buon appetito!
Top: Dinner at the Gateway, Oil on canvas, 60 x 36 inches (Noriko VanDyk and Nick Helburn)