Roasted Cauliflower recipe by Chef Nancy Silverton, in association with FBAI and American pistachio growers.

3:02 AM


Recently I was invited by FBAI  to join an hour long discussion and recipe demonstration using American Pistachio. The event was organized by American Pistachio growers and the recipe demonstration was done by none other than the renowned chef, Baker, and author Nancy Silverton.

The event started on a very interesting note of a virtual pistachio harvest in the farms of California. It gave us a peek into the process and culture of collecting pistachios in that region and helped us to see it in a new light.

Till date pistachios were synonymous with desserts and mithais but this event threw new light on this humble nut. American pistachios are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and contain essential nutrients vital to individual growth and development. This is also considered as a complete protein and only a serving of pistachio contains the same amount of protein found in one egg. In a country like ours with many vegetarian population, this is a piece of very important information and people could use it as a good source of protein in their diet.

Later the charming Nancy Silverton demonstrated two fascinating recipes. On a live session, this James beard foundation's outstanding chef award winner baked one amazing pistachio tart and roasted a whole head of cauliflower with pistachio crumble and green onion creme fraiche. The Cauliflower dish came out really perfect, Sightly charred at the top with clean flavors and a slight tang from the creme fraiche.  Not to mention how healthy it was. We all loved it at home and Since this is the season of tender cauliflowers I decided to share her recipe :

Roasted cauliflower with Pistachio crumble


Step 1: Roasting the cauliflower

1 each cauliflower, leaves intact
Kosher salt for seasoning cooking water / as needed
3 tbsp / 20 g olive oil blend
2 tsp / 5 g kosher salt

Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat the oven to 374°F (190°C).
Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil. Add kosher salt until the water tastes like the ocean.
Place the whole cauliflower into the water. The cauliflower will float, and the leaves will stick out of the water.
Cook for about 7 minutes. Using tongs, flip the cauliflower so the leaves are submerged and cook for another 3 minutes.
Remove the cauliflower from the water and place onto a baking sheet.
Allow to cool to room temperature.
Pour off any excess water that had accumulated on the sheet pan and wipe dry.
Drizzle the cauliflower with the olive oil blend and sprinkle with 2 tsp (5 g) kosher salt.

Step 2:Green onion Creme Fraiche

½ cup / 120 g crème fraiche
¼ cup / 30 g scallions, minced
¼ cup / 30 g shallots, minced
1 garlic, grated with Microplane
2 tsp / 6 g kosher salt
½ lemon, juiced

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, combine and set aside.

Step 3: Pistachio crumble

¼ cup / 55 g blended olive oil
¼ cup / 30 g whole pistachios
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 each, zest of lemon, peeled with peeler
2 tbsp / 3 g fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 tsp / 1 g fresh thyme, finely chopped
½ tsp / 3 g kosher salt

In a small sauce pot, combine oil, pistachios, garlic, and lemon zest and cook over medium heat until the
garlic is light golden brown, and the nuts are toasted. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. 
In a food processor, add the mixture, oregano, thyme and salt. Pulse the mixture until the lemon zest is broken down and the nuts are chopped. The mixture will be like a chunky paste.

Step 4: Assemble and serve

Plate the cauliflower on a serving dish and spread the crumble on top. Serve with the creme fraiche and an extra sprinkling of green onion on top.


Taler Pithe (Bengali Steamed Palmyra palm cake)

11:31 PM

In Bengal the month Bhadro is infamous for two reasons. Bhadrer pawcha garom (The sticky highly humid weather) and Bhadrer Paka Taal (ripe palmyra or toddy palm) and for obvious reasons these two are interconnected.

Taal is a unique fruit and while maturing from raw to ripe passes through a very interesting cycle.

When raw it is famous as Taalgoda/ talsansh or ice apple all over India. There hardly would be anyone who hasn't quenched their thirst in peak summer with it's cooling transparent seeds that holds some refreshing liquid inside. Throughout the country, the vendors will set their carts on the roadsides and will skillfully cut open the fruit to reveal the three perfectly shaped pods of Talshans or ice apple. The shape sure is special and the water inside it makes it a fun thing to eat. So much so that in Bengal, on an order to create something special to befool the new son in law a special sweet was crafted following this. Jolbhora or Korapaker Taalsansh the famous Bengali milk fudge was created to celebrate this unique fruit. 

Then it takes a couple of months to mature and ripen perfectly at the beginning of Sharad Ritu. The deep orange pulp gets sweeter and develops a heady aroma to announce the arrival of many mouth-watering sweet treats for the festive days like Janmashtami and Nanda Utsab.  and when they start to fall off from the tree,  It is then that the Bengalis plan their festive treats around it and a special day called Tal Nabami is dedicated to such treats.


Kathal Bichir Daal (A Faux Dal recipe with jack fruit seeds)

5:40 PM

Bengal has always been described as the land of abundance. Each and every traveler whoever crossed this lush green land has always described it as the land of bounty and abundance. But the history and destiny of this land changed forever under the British rule especially in the 18th and 19th century when many famines devastated this land. Chiattorer monontor or the famine of 1770 wiped out almost one-third of the population so as the famine of 1943 which estimated to have killed around 3 million Bengalis.


Poda Pitha

10:47 PM

"It is your first visit after your marriage. What can I make for you?" Her voice chimed on the phone.

When Mami asked me this just before our first visit to Mamarbari after our marriage I felt elated. Mine was the first wedding on my mother's side. Everyone was excited to see and greet the new son in law but at the same time, everyone was worried about me. They found it too much for me to handle home and work all alone at a faraway from them in Bangalore. So on that trip home, I found myself being pampered by everyone.

But as I was going there in a big group, I did not want to burden her anymore with my requests.
Yet secretly there was something I was craving for. 

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