This is likely not the first time, nor will it be the last, you’ll hear praises for Melissa’s cookbook, The Minimalist Kitchen, in the food blogsphere. Over the last few years, Melissa has pared down her kitchen and cooking to focus her work on a “less is more” approach to food. It is concise and reasonable. Delicious by way of straight forward techniques. This recipe for example. I usually roast our cauliflower straight from florets, but the pre-steam made such a difference in their texture, more tender and gentle. I like them both ways. It’s little things like that. I believe there are a few kinds of cookbook consumers; this book is for the person looking for quick, weeknight, crowd-pleasers made from ingredients you likely have in your pantry, or will have no trouble finding – Chilaquiles, Thai Spiced Rice Bowls, Make-Ahead Yeast Rolls – timeless sorts of things. She has tips for staying organized and decluttering your equipment and make ahead tips or pairings for nearly every recipe. It’s a meal planners dream tool, really, a book to solve weeknight dinner issues. I plan on gifting to a handful of mom friends who just want real food, without the fuss. Not to mention HER HOUSE, which I have envied for years now, but that is a personal problem.
Cheers, Melissa, you nailed it. Now, where’s my label maker?
CURRY CAULIFLOWER // Serves 4
From The Minimalist Kitchen by Melissa Coleman
Harissa is sold usually as more of a spice paste, but you can also purchase it dried. It is sold online, Trader Joes, and most health food stores.
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. harissa
1/8 tsp. cumin
plain yogurt, cilantro, toasted cashews (our personal additions for serving)
Preheat the oven to 450′. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
In a saucepan fitted with a steamer basket, add water to just below the bottom of the basket. Bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower, reduce the heat to medium, cover and steam for 5 minutes. This will begin the cooking process.
Transfer the cauliflower to the prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Drizzle over the cauliflower and toss to evenly coat. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir, and bake for another 15 minutes until the cauliflower begins to char on the edges.
Taste and sprinkle with salt to finish. We served ours with plain yogurt, and garnished with toasted cashew pieces and cilantro.