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Hunkering Down

Most of the leaves are off the trees, and the view from my window is brown and gray. We are preparing to self-quarantine for the winter. Our larder and freezers are full of food prepared during our growing season. For all practical purposes we are ready to be home. The wood is stacked and the farm put away for the season.

Winter is actually a much needed quiet time on the farm, regardless of the pandemic. Val and I have stacks of books at the ready. The days are centered around food, discussion, reading, writing and cribbage. It is a simple life that suits us. There are times when the only sounds are the ticking of clocks, the wind across the lake and the crackling of the wood stove. This quiet is the counterbalance to the pandemic and the political tension all around us. With open hands, rather than fists, we will heal our tattered hearts and listen.

The following recipe makes more Indian butter sauce than you will need for one head of cauliflower, but it freezes beautifully and can be at the ready the next time you want to make it. If you want a little more bulk, steam some jasmine rice and serve it along side. It soaks up that wonderful sauce; and you might not have leftovers. You also will want all your spices measured out before you make the sauce, so you can sprinkle them in all at once. Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients, it comes together rather quickly; and you will find it on your regular rotation.

Steamed cauliflower sections with Indian butter sauce ready for roasting.

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH INDIAN BUTTER SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 1 large head of cauliflower, cut in quarters leaving as much of the green leaves as possible

  2. 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  3. 2 large or 3 small shallots, minced

  4. 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  5. 2 teaspoon garam masala

  6. 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  8. 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

  9. 2 large garlic cloves, grated on Microplane or minced

  10. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  11. 1 28 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes and their juices

  12. 1 cup heavy cream

  13. 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

  14. Cooked jasmine rice (if using)

  15. Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Roasted cauliflower with Indian butter sauce

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large pot over high heat, place a steamer basket, 2 cups water, and your quartered cauliflower. Cover, bring to a boil and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the cauliflower with tongs and gently let it drain on a clean kitchen towel. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Next, make you butter sauce. In a medium heavy sauce pan over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, add the shallots and a pinch of salt; cook until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes.

  3. Stir in the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, cumin, paprika, garam masala, and lime juice. Sauté for another 2 minutes.

  4. Add the heavy cream, and tomatoes with their juices. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off heat and using a stick blender, blend until smooth. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and lime zest.

  5. On a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place your drained cauliflower quarters evenly on it. Baste each quarter generously with sauce and roast for about 25 minutes.

  6. Place cauliflower on attractive platter and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.

Serves 4

Beautiful roasted cauliflower, with Indian Butter Sauce

Enjoy!!

“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self” —May Sarton
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