roasted cauliflower soup and white asparagus risotto
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 USA: Inauguration Day for Barack Obama. A national
day of celebration after 8 long years of wrong choices for the nation. ani is
now a nontraditional adult student (free spouse tuition) after becoming a victim
of the economic downturn of 2008 leading to her well deserved sabbatical after
20 years as a wage slave, with no classes this day (Italian II four days a week!), while bob's nonteaching day this semester is also Tuesday. The day provides enough inspiration to want to eat
well at dinner. A cauliflower and some white asparagus (bought on sale!) sit in the
fridge waiting for some creative applications. Google comes to the rescue on our
wireless living room laptop (bob) and netbook (ani) devices. (Parallel
computing?) Truffle turns out to
be the key choice word for both our selections from the hit list.
Our recent roasted cauliflower risotto prejudiced us
towards the roasted cauliflower soup, with its simplicity and truffle twist. The
combination of arugula, truffles and bacon (which we read as pancetta) in
Emeril's salad caught our eye as well, but with risotto on our minds (another
Emeril hit), we decided
to adapt it to a risotto.
There were a few inches of snow on the ground, and bob had to make a last
minute trip to Carlino's for the pancetta and arugula, but not finding arugula
pushed him on to Whole Foods afterwards. Meanwhile ani began the dishes. The
What an exciting day. Our first inaugural ball after dinner, virtually via
our big screen LCD HDTV. Well fed. A slight white wine buzz. Hopeful. How will
all this turn out? Time will tell.
roasted cauliflower soup
- roasting stuff
- 1 head of cauliflower, cleaned and floretted, pre-boiled till somewhat
- 1 1/2 onions, cut into wedges
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- extra virgin olive oil and/or olive oil spray
- 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
- 5 c veggie broth
- 1/4 t nutmeg (freshly ground if you have it)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 drops truffle oil (or use truffle salt, decrease ordinary salt)
- paprika dusting on each serving
- Prepare the cauliflower and boil it till slightly but not overly tender.
- Prepare the onions and garlic.
- Put the cauliflower florets, onions and garlic in a nonstick roasting
pan, spray them with olive oil and drizzle a bit more, then bake at 400°
F for about 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile boil the cubed potatoes in the veggie broth until tender.
- Then combine the roasted veggies with the potato veggie broth and puree
with a hand blender.
- Add the finishers (add truffle salt/oil sparingly!) and remove from heat.
- Serve with a dusting of paprika over each bowl.
- Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen,
Roasted Cauliflower Soup by Susan V. Just what we were looking for and
the truffle twist appealed to us immediately.
- Oops, our truffle oil turned out to be Mediterranean dressing with truffle
flavor, so we went with our truffle salt instead.
- The "netbook" hits the market in a bigger way this year 2008-2009, a
compromise between laptops and hand held computing devices. We choose the
Acer Aspire One with 6 cell battery (6-7 hours battery life) to travel with
more safely and comfortably than the heavy laptop. Convenient for wireless
living room computing in two.
- Illustrations available.
white asparagus risotto
- 1 1/2 c arborio rice
- soffritto and flavor ingredients
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 oz (1 thick slice, at least 1/8 in) pancetta, chopped finely
- 1 lb white asparagus, cut into 3/4 in lengths
- 1/2 c dry white wine
- 2 T butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional truffle salt/oil to taste (oops, ani decided to go without
because of the previous recipe)
- 1/2 c freshly grated parmigiano
- a few handfuls of washed real arugula
- freshly ground pepper and parmigiano on each serving
- This is a standard risotto. Start by putting a teapot on the burner for
the veggie broth.
- Prepare the onion and asparagus, chop the pancetta.
- Sauté the onion and pancetta in the olive oil.
- Add in the chopped asparagus and wine and evaporate off a bit.
- Then stir in the rice and mix it up for a couple minutes. Or should we
have waited with the wine for this step?
- Add a cup of the boiling water with the appropriate amount of veggie
broth additive for 2-3 cups total.
- Continue the risotto boiling water addition 1/2 c at a time for about 18 minutes
until the rice is done (al dente test).
- Remove from the heat and mix in the butter, salt, pepper, optional
truffle stuff and cheese, then dump the arugula on top and leave covered for
at least 5 minutes while it wilts.
- Stir the arugula into the risotto mixture and serve with freshly ground
pepper and parmigiano on each serving.
Warm Asparagus with Crispy Bacon, Arugula with White Truffle, Lemon and
Parmigiano-Reggiano by Emeril Lagasse. The combination of ingredients,
with bacon morphed to pancetta, appealed to us, but so did the idea of a
white asparagus risotto (another
Emeril search hit) that had popped up in the search list, so we
adapted. Again truffles, the selling point.
- Unfortunately the dependable implementer ani dropped the truffle twist here.
(Artistic license.) Oh
well, it was good anyway. bob would be hopeless in the kitchen without ani.
- Illustrations available.