Hi friends, it's been a while. The last couple of months have been super busy and passed by in such a haze. Consequently, I've been taking lots of "me" time during the hours outside of my day job. Things like dinner parties, lots of movies (omg The Handmaiden!), and lots of books (currently The Wind Up Bird Chronicle). Today I'm back with a recipe, so hi, hello, how have you been doing?
It's the holiday season, which means lots of feasting, drinking, and good times with family and friends. Last month we hosted a big Friendsgiving, it was delicious and everything we had hoped for. To our surprise, the most popular dish of the night was a leafy green salad with an almond dressing. It was mostly there as a show of good faith to the divine entity who presides over my dress size, so I was floored at how quickly it went. What a topsy-turvy kind of world we're living in these days, but if veggies are what people want, I am more than happy to serve. In keeping with the theme of eating healthy during the most decadent of seasons, today's recipe is a vegetarian side dish made with roasted broccoli rabe, raw cauliflower, pine nuts, and a creamy lemon tahini dressing.
The broccoli rabe is roasted to get two distinct textures from it: the tender stems + florets, and the crispy leaves. Then the cauliflower is thinly sliced and served uncooked for a subtle sweetness and refreshing crunch that contrasts the spiciness of the broccoli rabe. The zesty tahini dressing brings it all together, and the pine nuts add a final note of richness to the dish. Per Phillip's request, I'm making a New Years Lasagna for our first dinner of 2017, and I have a good feeling we'll be balancing the hearty lasagna with a refreshing side such as this. However y'all are celebrating, I hope you have a wonderful holiday.
This post is sponsored by Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe, all photos, words, and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog going!
Serves 4 to 6 as a side.
For the salad:
3/4 bunch broccoli rabe (about 12 oz), ends trimmed
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 head cauliflower (about 12 oz trimmed)
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
For the dressing:
3 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp water, plus more as needed
1 tsp honey
1 medium garlic clove, peeled and minced
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place broccoli rabe on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Toss until all the stems, leaves, and florets are lightly coated. Spread the broccoli rabe in one even layer and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the stems are tender and the majority of the leaves are crispy.
In the meantime, break the cauliflower into florets and cut each floret into thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick. Place the cauliflower in a large salad bowl.
Make the dressing by whisking tahini, lemon juice, water, and honey in a medium bowl. If the dressing is too thick, add more water a teaspoon at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. Add garlic, mint, parsley, salt, and pepper then whisk to combine. Taste and add more salt as needed. Set aside until ready to use.
When the broccoli rabe is done, remove it from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Some of the leaves will be crispy like chips and others will be more wilted and tender. Break the crispy leaves off and reserve for garnish. Cut the broccoli rabe into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the cauliflower.
Drizzle the lemon tahini dressing over the vegetables and toss until evenly coated. Transfer the dressed veggies to a serving platter, top with toasted pine nuts and reserved crispy broccoli rabe leaves, and enjoy immediately.