|Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad|
This week's vegetables included a head of cauliflower, a bunch of beets, and half a butternut squash (left over from the Vegan Chopped Challenge), so I put on an episode of Chopped (What? I was still in the zone!) and got to work. The oven was preheated to 400 degrees and the cauliflower, beets, and squash were washed, cut, tossed with olive oil/salt/pepper, and placed in baking dishes.
|Vegetables prepped for roasting|
Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Golden Pinenut Pesto
1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and black pepper
1/2 cup quinoa, well-rinsed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
Golden Pinenut Pesto:
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup pinenuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons mild white miso
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or heaping 1/4 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
toasted bread crumbs for garnish (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large rimmed baking dish, toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cauliflower for 20 or so minutes, flipping the florets about with a spatula half-way through to get even caramelization. Once cauliflower is done (tender all the way through, but not in any way soft), remove from oven and let cool. I suggest erring on the side of slightly underdone, as the cauliflower will continue cooking even after you take it out of the oven.
While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare your quinoa. Toast the rinsed quinoa in a dry saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes, until most of the residual rinsing water has evaporated and the grains have separated from each other and become a bit golden. Add the water, nutritional yeast, and salt, cover the pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer quinoa, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat, but keep covered and allow quinoa to steam for 5 minutes. Fluff grains with a fork and set aside.
While the quinoa is cooking, you'll have just enough time to make your pesto. Rehydrate the raisins in boiling water for about 10 minutes or until plump and soft, then drain. I recommend reserving the water when draining the raisins - you'll want this on hand in case your pesto needs a bit of thinning. In the meantime, toast the pinenuts in a dry pan over low heat until fragrant and lightly golden. Once the raisins and pinenuts are ready, toss them into a food processor or blender along with the olive oil, lemon juice, miso, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Pulse to combine until an evenly incorporated, but textured sauce forms - remember, you're making pesto, not puree. If the pesto is too thick, add water a teaspoon at a time to thin it out.
In a large bowl, combine the roasted cauliflower and cooked quinoa. Add the pesto and toss to coat the salad. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with toasted bread crumbs if desired.