I’ve mentioned before one of the reasons I find myself so repeatedly delighted in the kitchen is the learning. For someone who bores easily, the kitchen is a place of endless growth. No matter how much you know, there’s always more to learn, more to try. Ingredients that were once foreign become favorites, landing on new flavor combinations brings joy, and sometimes cleaning out the refrigerator yields surprisingly delicious results.
I’ve been working on a red curry-coconut dish to share here. I have a very specific flavor I’m looking to nail, and I keep missing the mark. More lemongrass? Less ginger? Is my stock to coconut milk ratio off? Finally hit the cayenne amount for perfect heat! So I test, and re-test, and re-test…I’ll get there.
Tonight was one of those nights I came home to a fridge showing evidence of a mother who really needs to go grocery shopping. I had one large head of cauliflower to be used, half a red onion, a partial bag of kale, a knob of ginger and my usual spices and grains cabinet. Unlike the red curry-coconut dish, this thrown together meal required minimal effort and was pleasing on the first try.
Not for the first time, my kitchen adventures parallel life. Let go. Don’t be afraid to jump in even when you can’t see the road map. Don’t force it. Okay, okay, I get it! Thank you for the reminder, curried cauliflower. You’re delicious.
Curried Cauliflower with Wheat berries, Kale and Ginger Dressing
1 c. red winter wheat berries
2 1/2 c. water
pinch of salt
The Roasting Pan:
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets only
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. mild yellow curry powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 – 4 c. thin lacinato (dinosaur) kale ribbons
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. honey
2 TBSP freshly grated ginger
1/4 c. red onion, finely diced
freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425. Start wheat berries (farro would also work nicely here) cooking in a sauce pan – 1 cup of wheat berries with 2 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt . They will need about 15 minutes to cook, stirring occasionally. They are done when water has been absorbed, and wheat berries have a chewy texture.
Chop cauliflower, sweet potatoes and garlic, and toss together with 2 TBSP olive oil, curry, turmeric, cumin and kosher salt. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet (I tossed a piece of parchment paper on to minimize clean up) and put in the oven. Cook for 8 minutes, stir, and cook for another 8 – 10 minutes. Veggies should be tender, but definitely not mushy.
While the vegetables are roasting, cut your lacinato kale into ribbons. The easiest way to do this is to take your washed, dried and de-stemmed kale and cut in the short direction, so you end up with small, thin pieces.
Whisk together olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, freshly grated ginger, finely diced red onion, and black pepper. Once wheat berries are cooked and veggies are roasted, put together bowls by putting wheat berries on one side, kale on the other, and drizzling generously with the ginger dressing. Top with as many roasted veggies as you’d like. And now I really need to go grocery shopping.