Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower

December 06, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

Dear Romanesco Cauliflower,

How have I not met you before this moment?

How casually I walked through my organic market searching for eggplant, sweet potatoes and cabbage ignoring your mere existence all these years. Then you appeared suddenly in front of me, all swirly and mesmerizing, standing out amongst the other produce.

Sure, I may be labeled as easy and perhaps shallow for just falling in love with that unique look of yours and knew I had to have you.

I took you home, not sure of what I was going to do but knew I had to do something….

So, I chopped you up, roasted you with some olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and a spritz of liquid aminos.

Are you a broccoli? Are you a cauliflower? I don’t know and I don’t care. When roasted up simply with some olive oil and pine nuts, you are just good, good, good.

We shall meet again, I’m sure.


Vuelta a España: Herb and Garlic Broth

August 26, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Other, Recipe, Vegetarian Vuelta a España

This post is sort of a conglomeration of various cycling things, recipes, and stories. You see, at the same time as the running of the Vuelta a España is the first running of the US Pro Cycling Challenge over in Colorado.

Tommy Danielson is a US Pro Cycling Challenge race favorite (no, really this time!), but he was quite under the weather due to some food poisoning the night before the individual time trial. During the coverage on Versus today, Tommy D described how he threw up all night long and had to crawl down the hallway in his underwear to the team doctor around 3 a.m.. He did not feel better until 5 a.m., but still managed to make it on the bike and only lost a few seconds to the leaders. Not a bad performance.

Tom Danielson feeling a lot better at the 2009 Tour of California.

I feel Tommy D’s pain, as I’ve struggled with food poisoning before. You see, we spent a beautiful few days in Seville, Spain, rented a car, and drove down to Gibraltar. About 10 miles into the journey, I started feeling queasy. A few miles later I knew I was sick. Then, after a few bouts of having to stop by the side of the road, I realized it was more than sick – I had some sort of food poisoning. We would go down the highway for a little bit, then have to stop, then go for a little bit, then have to stop.

Scenery along the way to Gibraltar…

Sadly, I lost an entire day of eating fine Spanish cuisine and could only choke down a can of Coke and a couple digestive biscuits.

In-House Taste tester had the presence of mind to capture my food poisoning moments on film… 

Fear not, by the time I made it to Gibraltar, I was feeling much better and managed to have a beer or two. (I opted for the beer rather than attempting to do an individual time trial like Tommy D. Better to leave that to the pros…)

When one is sick, you’re told to make sure you get plenty of fluids so here we go with another soup. This recipe for garlic soup is from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Our buddy Deborah cites this recipe as “good for colds and hangovers”. Excellent. Not sure about soothing the aftermath of food poisoning, but it does make a flavorful broth that enhances any recipe including the Spanish Potatoes with Saffron, Almonds, and Bread Crumbs featured previously on the Vegetarian Vuelta a Espana.

Herb and Garlic Soup
from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison (See my review of this cookbook.)

Featured Recipes

  • 2 heads garlic, as fresh and firm as possible
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 6 large sage leaves or 2 teaspoons died
  • 6 thyme sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 10 parsley branches
  • 2 teaspoons salt


Separate the garlic cloves by pressing down on the heads. Remove most of the papery skins, then smash the cloves with the flat side of the knife to open them up.
Heat the oil in a soup pot, add the tomato paste, and fry over medium heat for about a minute. Add the garlic, remaining ingredients, and 2 quarts water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the garlic cloves are soft, about 45 minutes.

Strain. Press the garlic through the strainer with the back of a spoon into the broth or press it into a dish and use for another purpose.

I only took one picture of the final broth. To make it up to my Veggin’ fans, here’s a picture of two Gibraltar monkeys.

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Veggin’ Cookbook Chronicles: Grilled Broccoli with Lemon-Soy Marinade

June 21, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

“Veggies are a grill’s best friend,” so says the back of my next cookbook. Indeed. I’ve made many a recipe from The New Vegetarian Grill from Andrea Chesman and it still hasn’t steered me wrong. My edition is from 2008. This cookbook features 250 “flame-kissed recipes for fresh, inspired meals” according to its subtitle.

The beginning of the book features grilling tips and advice and the various methods for outdoor cooking and grilling indoors. The author intersperses more tips throughout the book. Some are relevant to the recipe on the same page while others sort of randomly appear. If you don’t read carefully you might miss some good tips.

There are no photos or illustrations in the book but the descriptions do well to describe the flavors of the dish. Also, read the recipe completely through, not all of them are suitable for making at a cookout. Some require some initial preparation on the grill and the rest of the dish has to be made back in the kitchen.

There are several veggie burger recipes but also unexpected items such as my next recipe – Soy-grilled Broccoli. When was the last time you saw someone grill broccoli? I’d say never. But, that will now change. This dish came out very well. The broccoli holds up well to the high heat, gets browned and crispy, and the marinade quite strong flavored.

Soy-Grilled Broccoli
3 stalks broccoli
1/2 cup Lemon-Soy marinade (recipe below)

Prepare a medium-hot fire in the grilled with a lightly oiled vegetable grill rack in place.

Trim the broccoli by stripping away the leaves and tough outter peel. (Note: I used my vegetable peeler to clean off the peel.) Cut the stems into thin strips or slice on the diagonal about 1/4 inch thick. Separate the florets into bite-size pieces. Pour the marinade over the broccoli

and toss to coat.

Lift the broccoli out of the marinade with a slotted spoon or tongs and grill, tossing frequently, until tender and grill-marked, about 5 minutes.

Serve hot. Pour any leftover marinade into a small pitcher and pass at the table with the broccoli.

Lemon-Soy Marinade
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sesame oil
6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced

Combine the soy sauce, water, sesame oil, lemon juice, and garlic in an airtight jar and shake well. Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. This dressing separates quickly, so be sure to shake it just before using.

Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

Vegetarian Giro d’Italia: Piselli alla Toscana (Peas Tuscan Style)

May 15, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes, Vegetarian Giro d'Italia

Sticking with the simple Tuscan cooking style, I went with an easy pea dish that brings a pleasant contrast in textures. Don’t let its simplicity of ingredients fool you, it’s a fantastic side dish. I used some day old ciabatta bread for the croutons. These simple croutons came out crisp and flavorful. When added to the dish they soaked up the garlicky liquid from the peas and rounded out the experience.

Simple, quick and flavorful…a true Tuscan dish.

Piselli alla Toscana (Peas Tuscan Style)

1 16oz bag frozen peas
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 slices of bread, crusts removed
olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper

Pour boiling water over the peas and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Drain.

Put them into a pan and cook them with the garlic in the olive oil over a gentle heat for 3 minutes. Add a little water and turn the heat up for another minute or two, then season with salt and pepper.

Cut the bread into tiny dice and fry in vegetable oil until golden all over. Drain, and dry on kitchen paper.

Toss these croutons into the peas and serve immediately.

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