Tag Archives: MediterrAsian

Mediterranean-style Roasted Cauliflower Soup

3 Feb

cauliflower soupHere’s another nice recipe from the folks at MediterrAsian blog, which I modified just slightly. It’s perfect for this time of year!

The first time I made this soup, I didn’t even add the Parmesan cheese to serve and it was delicious. Roasting the cauliflower and potato first makes a big difference! I also didn’t have fresh parsley so I used dried — just sprinkled a little on top for color. I didn’t add the final tablespoon of olive oil at the end, but I kept it in the recipe.

Ingredients:

4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 whole cauliflower cut into florets
1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
5 cups vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. dried rosemary
Grated Parmesan cheese to serve (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place the cauliflower and potato in a baking dish, toss with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and roast for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.

During the final 5 minutes of the roasting, heat 1 Tbs. of oil in a large pot over medium-low heat and cook the garlic and rosemary for 2 minutes.

Add the salt, pepper and stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the roast cauliflower and potato and simmer for 2 minutes.

Transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth, or use an immersion blender to blend in the pot.

Return the soup to the pot to reheat (or put the pot back on the flame) and stir in the reserved tablespoon of olive oil.

Serve topped with a small amount of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Serves 4 to 6

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Winter Squash, Spinach and Pine Nut Pasta

4 Nov

Butternut Squash and Spinach PastaButternut and other winter squashes are plentiful right now — and I think they are becoming increasingly popular, because I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes for them. I love butternut squash, and so I’ll probably be featuring a few recipes for it myself this winter.

This one is adapted from a good food blog I follow called MediterrAsian, which focuses on Mediterranean and Asian foods.

The original recipe called for pumpkin, but I used butternut squash instead. I’m sure the squash or pumpkin tastes fine boiled with the pasta as the recipe directs, but I roasted it ahead of time instead of boiling it, and just put it in with the pasta for a minute to get hot. I also increased the amount of spinach a bit from the original.

You can buy peeled and cubed butternut squash at Trader Joe and other upscale groceries. It’s pricey, but it makes the process much easier.

I used tri-color penne. You can use plain or a similar shaped pasta such as rotini or ziti.

It tasted really good and we had enough left after dinner (for the two of us) for a lunch.

Ingredients:

6 oz. penne pasta
12 oz. pumpkin or winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
3 Tbs. toasted pine nuts
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1½ tsp. fresh rosemary, or ½ tsp. dried
3 cups firmly packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese to serve, optional

Directions:

Cook the pasta and pumpkin in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water for 8 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain, reserving 3 Tbs. of the pasta water. You can start on some of the other steps while the pasta is cooking.

If the pine nuts aren’t already toasted, toast them in a large skillet over medium heat until lightly browned (shake the pan and watch them carefully so they don’t burn). Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same skillet heat 2 Tbs. olive oil and cook the onion for 6 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the pine nuts, salt, pepper, remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and the 3 Tbs. of pasta water.

Toss the pasta and pumpkin with the spinach and onion mixture. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Serves 3 as a main course or 4 to 6 as a side dish