This summer, when I’ve had the house full of guests, I’ve been in need of simple things that can be done quickly and feed several people. One of our favorites has been this Hazelnut Baked Cauliflower that we’ve served together with different kinds of salads or BBQ (works both with vegetables and meat).
one head of cauliflower
fresh basil and oregano
handful of hazelnuts
salt and pepper
juice from ½ lemon
Rinse the cauliflower and break up the florets into smaller pieces. Place them steams down in one layer on an oven dish. Chop basil and oregano finely and mix with olive oil, minced garlic and chopped hazelnut. Season with salt, pepper and some lemon juice. Pour mixture over the cauliflower and blend together. Let soak for 15 minutes. Bake in the oven at 400°F (just over 200°C) until al dente. Sprinkle a rich amount of grated parmesan on top. Serve immediately.
(enough for 2-4)
¼ fresh poblano chili, finely chopped
1 teaspoon whole cumin, roasted and crushed
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 teaspoons sesame paste (tahini)
(seasoning with lime)
Peel and cut the Eggplant into small pieces. Sauté on low heat with olive oil and salt until almost soft. Add the finely chopped poblano and continue until the eggplant is really soft and creamy. Add cumin and garlic and mix well. Pour the mixture into a blender, add the sesame paste and blend together. If necessary drip some more olive oil into the mixture. Season with lime juice (optional).
(For a more smoky taste you can bake the eggplant in the oven: Pierce the eggplant with a knife so the steam can evaporate while baking. Splash some olive oil on top and bake in the oven at 390ºF (200ºC) until the inside is really soft and the outside has become a little blackened and crisp. Sauté the poblano chili together with the cumin and garlic. In this option you must add olive oil at the end).
Works both as a starter with bread or as a side to sausages or BBQ-ed lamb.
This recipe was inspired by Simon Hopkinson’s recipe “Creamed Eggplant” in his book “Roast Chicken and Other Stories”. His recipe is very close to a classic baba ghanoush