Side Dishes

Cauliflower with Black Olives, Orange Pepper, Carrots and Walnuts by Weezie

Posted on 12-28-09 · Tags: , , , ,


I sometimes realize how incredibly lucky we are that we all cook, not only cook but love to cook.

With all the holidays and a disaster or two thrown in, I have not had much time to write either on the blog to all of you or to work on our cookbook. I wanted an uninterrupted 3 hours or so with no other responsibilities so I could just dive in. Sometimes writing is like painting, it takes time to submerge yourself. That, in my experience, is when my writing starts to live and breath. Austin, Anjuli’s brother is back from Bulgaria. He is tall and lean and vegetarian. It is hard to keep him full. We all, including him, take turns.

Today I asked Anjuli’s dad to step up to the plate. He not only stepped up but he hit a home run when he invented this wonderfully artistic cauliflower and black olives dish. It was a sight to behold because of the way he cut his vegetables and his lovely white, orange and black with specks of green and brown. His vegetables were cooked through but not overcooked and the walnuts gave it just a hint of crunch. The black olives gave it a salty zing and the carrots and cauliflower were sweet. And I, thanks to him, got to write in peace and then go down to a hot lunch on a freezing cold day that I had absolutely nothing to do with except enjoy. Ahhhhhhhhh… life’s little pleasures. - Weezie

Cauliflower with Black Olives, Orange Pepper, Carrots and Walnuts Serves 4
1 small cauliflower, cut in florets with 1/2″ of stem attached and then cut in 1″ pieces
1 orange bell pepper, seeded, chopped in 1″ dice
1 large, 1 1/2″ diameter, 10″ long carrot, or equivalent, peeled and cut in half moons 1/8″ thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
9 – 10 un-pitted black olives, assorted varieties, packed in oil with herbs, pitted and sliced
1 tablespoon walnuts, dry roasted and chopped coarsely
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled

Steam the Vegetables. Bring water to boil in a medium sized saucepan fitted with a steamer. Place the cauliflower, bell pepper and carrot in the steamer, put on the lid and steam for 6 minutes.

Note: After he has steamed with vegetables, he puts the remaining liquid, which is full of vitamins, in a mug and seasons it with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and offers it around. It’s simple and hot and good for you so drink up, don’t waste it. Another idea, save it and use it as the liquid in something else you are cooking.

Saute. Heat a medium frying pan to medium low. Add the oil. Saute the ginger for 1 minute. Add the olives, roasted nuts and thyme. Saute 1 minute. Add the steamed vegetables and salt. Saute 3 minutes. Serve

He served this with brown rice and an Indian spinach/coconut soup called Molakootl.

  1. Watercress salad with red pepper, black olives, tomatoes in a tarragon vinaigrette
  2. Bulgur with Peas and Mint, Leeks, Prunes, Walnuts and Orange Peel
  3. Spicy Indian cauliflower with braised tomatoes
  4. Poor man’s rich food: Kichidi with peas and cauliflower
  5. Biryani w/ dried fruit, almonds, bell pepper, and spice

What do you think?