Thursday, August 18, 2016

Roasted Broccolini with Black Garlic and Lemon Vinaigrette

If you have been reading for a while now, you know I basically live at Trader Joe's. I buy 90% of my groceries there and absolutely love the place. One thing I love about it, is discovering new foods. They are always coming out with new amazing products that I eventually fall in love with. One of those products: fermented black garlic. 

The taste of these almost jet black and sticky garlic is much like it has been roasted - but with a stronger and more intense flavor. It is also super good for you, any food that has been fermented tends to be really awesome for your tummy and insides. I knew I had to try it. Cruising around the store I spotted some beautiful broccolini and formulated a plan. You can use regular broccoli or really any other veg for this recipe!

What you need:
1/2 lb to 1 lb of brocollini/broccoli
3-4 cloves of black garlic
The juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss trimmed and cleaned broccolini in olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for about 7 minutes until slightly tender and crispy around the edges. Meanwhile, mash the garlic with about a teaspoon of sea salt. Mix in the juice of the lemon. Whisk in about a 1/4 cup of good olive oil to create a vinaigrette. Taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly. When broccolini is done, toss with the vinaigrette right away and serve. This dish is SO flavorful and sure to impress your guests. It also is amazing the next day in your lunch! I served mine with a simple salad, sautéed spicy shrimp and cauliflower puree. Yum!

Going going, back back to Cauli Cauli

I have been seeing various cauliflower recipes online for years... the intrigue being that you can use cauliflower to replace starchy carbs like potatoes, or fattening sauces like alfredo. In my mind, I always figured these recipes turned out too watery (a steamed veggie tends to have a lot of moisture) and, frankly, too cauliflower-y. What's the point? If you want to be healthy, just eat the cauliflower and don't eat the mashed potatoes. BUT, alas, I was wrong. After some research, I whipped up both a garlic mashed cauliflower so rich and amazing I fell in love... as well as a cauliflower "alfredo" sauce that could really trick anyone into eating a sauce made out of veggies. It was beyond easy, used mostly things I keep in my house, and so delicious! Recipes are below.

Cauliflower "Alfredo" Sauce
What you need:
1 head of cauliflower
4-6 cups of chicken broth
1 large yellow onion
4-6 cloves of garlic
Butter or ghee
... and that's it. Seriously. 

Bring the chicken broth to a boil, and add in cauliflower that has been trimmed and broken down into pieces. Simmer until tender... about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, slice and caramelize the onion. Add in garlic about halfway so that it cooks down until tender and slightly golden brown. In a blender, add the cooked cauliflower, about 3/4 of the chicken broth liquid it cooked in, the sautéed garlic and onion, a tablespoon or so of the butter or ghee... and blend. You can add more liquid if the "sauce" is too thick, and if you eat dairy feel free to add a little milk or cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. And prepare to be amazed at how amazing it is! Toss on your favorite pasta, add a little parmesan cheese and enjoy tricking your kids and husband into eating cauliflower. Folks, this stuff is amazing.

"Mashed" Garlic Cauliflower
What you need:
1 head of cauliflower
6 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons reduced fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter or ghee
4-6 cups of chicken broth

Just like the last recipe, bring the chicken broth to a boil, and add in the cauliflower that has been trimmed and broken down into pieces. Simmer until tender... about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, either roast a whole head of garlic OR sautee sliced cloves of garlic for a couple minutes in a little butter...until tender and lightly browned. When cauliflower is done, drain and add to a food processor with garlic, cream cheese, butter/ghee and salt and pepper. Pulse until your desire "mashed potato" consistency is attained. Return to pan to keep warm or serve right away. You can also top with a little green onion or chive, bacon bits and sharp cheddar for a "loaded" mashed cauliflower experience. This is a great nutritious side dish for any meal! And tastes like you're indulging on the real deal. 

Either recipe can be tweaked for what you like, feel free to add or delete! You can use water if you don't have chicken broth, but I feel the broth really adds an extra savory richness that makes such healthy food taste ten times better. Enjoy!