Hello! Spring is here and I have emerged from hibernation. Over the last three months we have been moving our household and getting the new place set up. I am loving my new kitchen that actually has counter space, cabinet space, pantry space and a lot of other great features.
I’ve been inspired, cooking-wise to create some new things! Here is a great dish for transitioning from winter to spring. It has just enough warmth and comfort food quality to satisfy when the air chills at night and just enough lightness and freshness to energize us.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 2 cups chopped fresh parsely
- 1-2 shallots
- 2-3 tablespoons sweet white miso
- 1 umeboshi plum
- whole wheat bread crumbs (or if you can’t eat wheat, use roughly ground almonds or non-gluten crumbs)
- herbs of choice–I used oregano, garlic powder, sea salt, pepper, crushed anise seeds, celery seeds
- olive oil
- (Optional) vegan shredded mozarella
I started out with a head of cauliflower I wanted to use and looked through my refrigerator and pantry for some likely ingredients. I decided on a tofu cream sauce, shallots and parsley. On the left there are umeboshi plums–a Japanese traditional pickled plum that has both a salty and a sour taste. On the right in the little tub is sweet white miso–another traditional Japanese delight made with fermented soybeans.
Combine a package of firm tofu with 2-3 tablespoons of sweet white miso and the meat of an umeboshi plum. If you don’t want to try umeboshi plums, you can substitute a bit of red wine vinegar and a little sea salt. Blend these up until you have a creamy sauce. You can add a little water if the mixture seems too thick.
Slice 1 or 2 shallots and put them into a hot pan with some olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. You just need to sweat them a little. They glisten with the oil but will not be completely limp.
Blanch pieces of cauliflower for a minute or two, chop up parsley and add the cooked shallots. Oil a casserole or baking dish and put the veggies in.
Customize your bread crumb topping. I used whole wheat bread crumbs and seasoned it with salt, pepper and herbs/spices of choice. I prefer seasoning bread crumbs myself so I can control the amount of salt and the taste. Can’t do whole wheat? Try topping with roughly ground almonds or gluten-free bread crumbs.
Pour your tofu cream sauce evenly over the veggies.
Sprinkle the crumb topping over the top of the cassoulet.
You’re ready to bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft and everything is all bubbly good. The last five minutes of baking, I added a sprinkle of vegan shredded mozarella. Vegan cheeses don’t appeal to me a great deal but they look nice as a garnish sometimes and they help when your family is transitioning away from dairy foods. Just know that vegan cheese is basically congealed oil and doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own.
Finished! Very delicious and very satisfying served with a salad.