Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower & Pomegranate Salad

Happy New Year! Let's eat cauliflower! After all the chocolate, champagne, butter, puff pastry, cookies, cookies & more cookies, lobster, cream sauce, heavy whipping cream, wine and more wine I'm looking to eliminate some saturated fat from my diet and increase my fruit and vegetable intake. How about you? Easier said than done. First, I need to throw all these cookies to the garbage that are invading my headspace. Which will, in turn, cause my soul to cry out for all that butter waste! BUTTER! I will admit, I was thoroughly looking forward to eating rich, creamy, dreamy food during family gatherings and such, but after having my fill, well, I'm full. I plan on the next few days to really focus on drinking tea with lemon when my reflexes are telling me to eat cocoa-dusted truffles. I'll be trying to refrain from eating for spans of a time when my brain says "hey, it's been 39 minutes since the last flavor affair, feed me." After a couple days of depriving my brain of sugar and alcohol I assume {hope} the shakes, fits, and tantrums will dissipate.  Raisins will be my new sweet. Full of healthy antioxidants. And cauliflower salad will be my main dish. All the mental anguish is worth the way my body and mind feel after a week of healthy eating habits. So. Much. Better. Than. Sugar. Butter. World. Promise.

Aren't they purdy? I just laaa-uv me some cauliflower! Especially roasted. The flavor is so deep, so special, so meaningful. Wait, are we still talking about cauliflower?
Pomegranate arils can be frozen after you pop them out of their lemony-white skin. The way I cut up a pomegranate is to slice into quarters and, over a cutting board (to catch the juices), I simply pop the seeds out of the membranes and toss the seeds into a bowl. Refrigerate for 7-10 days. Or the seeds can be tossed into a freezer bag/container and frozen for up to a year. Add to smoothies, yogurt, or salads.
I keep my rosemary bush on my windowsill during the winter. Perfect for winter recipes and cookies, like this. My husband hates rosemary. I love it. So, I am constantly hiding it in dishes, like this salad. I don't think he even knew their was rosemary in this salad. WHA HA HA! The rosemary flavor is quite subtle, so if you really love your rosemary go ahead and bump it up to about 4 teaspoons.
Use parchment paper if you want to save yourself a pan scrubbing.
The largest pile of parsley in the history of parsley. Guinness Book of World Records said so.

The original recipe used kidney beans in place of my pomegranate seeds...er...um...too starchy for me, but you could give that a try because I know on some days a can of beans is one easy thing to find in my pantry. This recipe keeps with the original by using endive, but I'll just be completely honest and say that I think it could be left out. The quality of endive in Buffalo, MN is completely lacking. My endive was not crisp at all, not really bitter either. Which I think endive is suppose to be both crisp and bitter. If you are unsure of the endive at your local market check out radicchio or skip it all together. I don't think it really adds a lot to this salad.

Printable Recipe Here

Roasted Cauliflower & Pomegranate Salad
Based off of Smitten Kitchen's recipe

Yield: 1 large salad bowl to feed a crowd

2 heads cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2/3 cup good olive oil (+ more for roasting cauliflower)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
4 heads endive, sliced lengthwise, then sliced horizontally
1 pomegranate, peeled and cleaned or 1 1/2 cups pomegranate arils
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
4 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

On two large baking sheets (optional: lined with parchment paper) spread chopped cauliflower and toss with olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast at 400ºF for 20-30 minutes, tossing at about the 15 minute mark.

Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, add chopped rosemary and cook until sizzling, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, toss sliced endive, pomegranate arils, feta cheese, slivered toasted almonds, and Italian parsley. Once cauliflower is done roasting and has cooled slightly, add to bowl and give it a toss. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice, red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss together. Serve at room temperature.