I am a HUGE fan of dinner parties featuring well, dinners, composed of lots of interesting and equally delicious dishes which are centred around a some sort of theme (which could be general or very specific, either way). In an effort to officially begin the year 2018 in An Orderly And Responsible Fashion I spent a few days last week shopping for and then cooking some dinnertime basics I could pull out of the freezer as needed, one of these recipes being a loose riff on the sesame-spiced meatballs in the first Smitten Kitchen cookbook (I say loose in that I subbed pork and beef for the turkey and added sesame oil and finely chopped cilantro). Having things like meatballs, creamy puréed chickpea soup, beef stew, and bean burritos in the freezer means that meals are considerably less likely to be sidetracked for mediocre frozen pizzas and takeout on nights when I don’t feel like cooking. I also take advantage of my beloved freezer pantry when hosting those aforementioned dinner parties, hence the appeal of sesame-spiced meatballs. The fragrant scent of cumin, sesame, and cilantro became the main theme of this particular dinner and the surrounding spread went on to include tabouleh, a tahini-yogurt-lemon dip drizzled with mustard and coriander-steeped olive oil, finely chopped cornichons, and this beauty of a dish: roasted cauliflower and radishes with pickled onions. The tanginess of the pickled onions brightens the earthy flavours of the roasted vegetables without overwhelming them and the chopped cilantro adds just the right amount of herbacious green flavour while amplifying the overall appearance of this gorgeous, couldn’t-be-simpler recipe.
While I originally served this easy roasted vegetable recipe as-is, I was fortunate to have leftovers the next day which I stuffed (room-temperature) into fresh pitas topped with Greek yogurt and hot sauce.
roasted cauliflower with radishes and pickled onions:
for the pickled onions:
1/2 red onion, cut into thin strips
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
In a small bowl toss the red onion with the red wine vinegar and lime juice. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours before serving.
for the roasted cauliflower and radishes:
1 medium-sized cauliflower, cut into large bite-sized pieces
10 radishes, scrubbed and halved
Juice of 1 orange
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. coriander
2 tsp. sumac
1 tsp. kosher salt
Plenty of freshly cracked pepper
1 cup of cilantro, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine the chopped cauliflower and radishes. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the cilantro and toss to combine (I use my hands for this step).
- Spread the vegetables on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring three or four times throughout so that the cauliflower and radishes brown easily.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving dish. Top with the cilantro and stir to combine. Serve warm or cold with hummus, Greek yogurt or stuffed into pita bread.
Why yes I DO love 1980’s Joni Mitchell, thanks so much for asking (and when Peter Gabriel decides to tag along too, even moreso). I’m alone a lot during the day so I’ll listen to this album (Chalk Mark In A Rain Storm) as well as many other super-lady albums while I’m working away at my desk.
Joni Mitchell – My Secret Place