Sweet and Sour Beets

2 – 3 large beets, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tbs Smoked Maple Syrup plus more to drizzle
2 tbs cider vinegar
1 whole star anise
Salt and pepper
1 tb butter
2 tbs chopped chives

Put the peeled, sliced beets in a wide, shallow pan and add the orange juice, garlic, maple syrup, vinegar, star anise and sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Turn on high to bring to a boil then lower to simmer and cover. Let the beets braise for 10 minutes or until tender, turning every so often to coat with the liquid.

When they are done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a serving plate. Add a pat of butter to the remaining sauce, simmer until thickened and season to taste. Pour the sauce over the beets, sprinkle with the chives and then drizzle with a little extra Smoked maple if desired.

Beet, Arugula, Citrus, and Feta Salad with Ginger-Maple Vinaigrette

2 – 3 beets
Bunch of arugula
1 navel orange, peeled and sectioned
2 oz feta cheese

Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp Runamok Ginger Infused Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp walnut oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Prepare the beets by scrubbing off any dirt and trimming the tops and bottoms but leaving the rest of the skin on. Put them in boiling water for about ten minutes or until fork tender then remove from the water to cool. The skins should come off very easily at this point and once they are peeled, dice them into chunks and set aside.

Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking all of the ingredients together and tasting for salt and pepper.

Toss the arugula and beets in some vinaigrette and arrange on a plate. Top with bite-sized pieces of orange and a sprinkling of crumbled feta.

Asparagus, Pea, and Egg Masala

Oil – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
Green chilies – 2, sliced
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Tomato – 1 large, chopped
Asparagus – 1/2 lb, cut into 1? long pieces
Green peas – 1/2 cup
Salt – to taste
Lime juice – 2 tsp
Cilantro leaves – a few stalks, roughly torn
Eggs – 4, large
How to:

Boil and peel the eggs and set aside.

Heat oil in a deep skillet or pan and add the cumin seeds. When they start to change color, throw in the onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Saute till onions are translucent, but not browned.

Add the turmeric, red chili, coriander, cumin and garam masala powders. Stir around for a few seconds till well combined.
Add the tomatoes and cook till they are broken down and mushy. Then add the asparagus and green peas. Sprinkle some water, add salt, cover and cook till vegetables are tender-crisp.

Open the lid, sprinkle some lime juice and cilantro leaves to garnish. Fold in the boiled egg halves. Serve hot with steamed rice or flatbreads like chapatis and rotis.

Tandoori/Tikka Gobi (Cauliflower Bites)

For the tandoori/tikka gobi,

Cauliflower – 1 large head, washed and cut into medium-sized florets
Yogurt – 1 1/2 cups (must be thick yogurt)
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp (reduce for a less spicy version)
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Amchoor or dry mango powder – 1/4 tsp (simply omit if you don’t have any)
Chickpea flour or besan – 2 tbsp
Lime – 1 small one, juiced
Cilantro leaves – a large handful, chopped
Salt – to taste
Oil – to brush while baking
For the spicy yogurt dip,

Leftover marinade from above – 1 cup
Water and salt – as needed
How to:

Tandoori/Tikka Cauliflower: In a large saucepan, bring some water to a boil. Season with a touch of salt, add cauliflower and cook on low heat for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and allow the cauliflower to remain submerged in the hot water for 8-10 minutes or till they are just tender. Drain completely and set aside.

Meanwhile, lightly roast the chickpea flour in a hot skillet for 2-3 minutes, stirring all the while.

Take all the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl (listed from yogurt to salt in the list above). Whisk well, ensuring there are no lumps. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add cauliflower to it and mix well to coat them thoroughly. Let it rest for at least half an hour. You may want to refrigerate it for any duration longer than that.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 deg.F and place a grilling rack over a rimmed baking tray. Arrange the cauliflower florets on it, shaking off excess marinade, and brush lightly with oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or till cooked thoroughly.. You can also broil them at 450 deg.F for the last 1-2 minutes of baking for lightly charred edges.

Remove from oven and serve warm with lime wedges and your favorite dip.

Spicy yogurt dip: You will have at least a cup of leftover marinade from above. Cook this in a skillet over medium heat, till the raw smell goes away and it turns thick with a deep red-brown color. Add some water to it, whisk well and bring it to a boil. Simmer till it reaches a dip-like consistency. Check seasoning, you may want to add a pinch of salt or dash of lime juice to balance the flavors.

Cool this completely and serve with the tandoori or tikka cauliflower. This can be done on the stove-top while the cauliflower florets are baking and it cools down by the time it is ready to be served.

Green Bean Poriyal (with variations)

Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – a few, roughly torn
Shallots – 2 tbsp, chopped (can also use red onions)
Whole dried red chilies – 3-4
Green beans – 1 lb, washed and diced into 1/4? pieces (very short!)
Shredded coconut – 1/4 cup
Salt – to taste

Heat oil in a deep skillet or pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. When they start to sizzle and crackle, add the onions and red chilies. Saute till onions are lightly golden.

Then add the chopped green beans and stir fry for a minute or so. Sprinkle some water and salt, reduce heat to low, cook and cover till beans are just cooked.

Open the lid, fold in the shredded or grated coconut and saute for a few more seconds to make sure there is no residual water in the pan.

Remove from heat and serve hot along with rice and sambar or dal.

Notes:

You can add 1/2 tbsp of urad dal (or dehusked black lentils) along with the mustard seeds and fry them till they just begin to change color. You can also add a pinch of turmeric and coriander powders along with the salt, but we actually prefer to have thoran without it.

You can cook vegetables like carrots, beetroot, cabbage, long beans and gourds the same way. You can also try combinations like carrots-beans, cabbage-carrots-beans or asparagus-green peas. Try it for yourself and see!

Green Pea Socca

1 cup green pea flour
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
6 tablespoons olive oil + a little extra to brush
1 cup water, at room temperature
1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced into rings
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves + a little extra for garnish
1 teaspoon lunu miris or harissa
2 tablespoons asiago cheese, shredded

In a medium sized mixing bowl, add all the ingredients from the green pea flour to the black pepper. Dry whisk to combine. Then add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the water. Whisk to combine to form a smooth slurry. There should be no visible lumps in the batter. Taste the batter and adjust the salt if necessary. Wrap the bowl with cling film or a lid and leave in the refrigerator overnight (maximum up to 48hours). (See notes above)

The next day, place a wire rack on the upper-second level of the oven. Preheat to 450F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12 inch cast iron pan or oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat. When the oil just starts to smoke, add the shallots and sauté until they brown. This will take around 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Fold the harissa, the lemon thyme leaves, and the browned shallots into the refrigerated pea flour batter using a silicone spatula. Coat the same cast-iron skillet with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Pour the batter on the pan and place it in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown and the bread begins to release from the sides of the pan.

At this point, carefully remove the pan from the oven and brush the surface very lightly with extra olive oil. Sprinkle the asiago cheese over the surface of the socca. Return the pan to the oven and broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese is starts to melt and just golden brown on the edges.

Remove the pan from the oven and using a silicone spatula remove the socca by sliding the spatula underneath the sides of the bread. Score and cut the socca into wedges (any size you desire) or strips. Garnish with a little extra lemon thyme if desired and serve warm.

Cauliflower Stir Fry

1 small head Cauliflower, or 1/2 large head
2-3 Tbsp peanut oil
2 slices of ginger
1/4 Tsp sea salt
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup of spring onion, cut to rounds
1 Tbsp of sesame oil

You can see from the ingredient list that it is quite specific. This very simple dish has few factors, therefore the taste quality of each factor becomes important.

Wash and cut cauliflower into florets. Shake as much water as you can from the cauliflower.

Heat wok at medium high until it starts smoking, add oil and swirl to coat wok. Right away add ginger slices and stir briefly to infuse ginger essence into oil.

Add cauliflower (Careful here!: There will be a loud hissing and spitting of oil as any water left on the cauliflower hits the hot oil. Just tip the bowl containing cauliflower into the wok facing away from you and watch out for that spitting oil) and stir to coat all the cauliflower florets with oil.

Add salt. Keep stirring until the florets start to show some brown spots (about 2 minutes), turn down the heat to medium low, add the chicken stock and cover, stirring occassionally.

Let simmer for 2-3 minutes or until only a 1/4 cup of stock is left in wok (this will be the sauce). The cauliflower should be soft, not crisp.

Add spring onions, give everything a toss and turn off the heat. Add sesame oil, mix and serve.

Stir-Fried Beef and Asparagus

8 oz beef cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons oil
1 clove garlic minced
6 oz asparagus cut into long strips
One small red bell pepper cut into long strips

Marinade:
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 heavy dashes ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fish sauce or oyster sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Sauce:
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon black/dark soy sauce for coloring purpose
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
Pinch of salt

Marinate the beef with all ingredients in the Marinade, for 15 minutes.

Combine all the ingredients in the Sauce, stir and mix well, set aside.

Heat up a wok and add 1 tablespoon oil. When the oil is fully heated, add the beef and do a few quick stirs, until the surface turns opaque and slightly charred. Transfer out and set aside.

Clean the wok and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is fully heated, add the garlic and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the asparagus stir a few times before adding the beef back into the wok.

Add the Sauce and stir to combine well. Stir in the bell pepper and dish out to serve

Shrimp (or Scallop) and Asparagus Sambal

12 oz. asparagus
4 oz. scallops or medium-size shrimps
1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons sambal paste if you like spicy, use 2 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon belacan breaks into small bits
2 tablespoons oil

Sambal (Chili Paste) Recipe:
20 dried chilies seeded and soaked to soften
10 fresh red chilies seeded and sliced
8 shallots peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
6 tablespoons cooking oil

Rinse the asparagus with water. Chop off 1 inch to 1.5 inches off the stems (depending on the toughness of the stems) and slice the stems into half. Cut the rest of the asparagus into 2-inch lengths. Set aside.

Heat up the wok with oil. Add the sambal (recipe below) and belacan. Stir well until you start smelling the pungent aroma of belacan. Add in scallops/shrimps and do a quick stir and then follow by the asparagus. Add fish sauce, sugar, and continue to stir fry until asparagus is cooked through (don’t overcook it). Dish out and serve hot.

Sambal (Chili Paste) Recipe:
Use a mortar and pestle to pound the sambal ingredients or use a mini food processor to blend well. Heat up a wok with oil. As soon as the oil is heated, transfer the sambal paste into the wok and stir-fry continuously for a few minutes or until you smell the heat from the sambal or the oil separates from the sambal. Dish out and set aside. Refrigerated for future use.

Recipe Notes
Traditionally, sambal is prepared fresh–or bought ready made from the wet market in Malaysia. It’s then used immediately to cook the dish. In the US, I always make my sambal into a chili paste so I can keep it in the refrigerator and use it on the go. I also use more dried chilies to make the sambal paste lasts longer in the refrigerator. The fresh chilies give a nice red color as dried red chilies look duller in color. I will show you the traditional way of making sambal from scratch and the proper method of making it soon!

Stir-Fried Chicken and Asparagus

8 oz chicken breast cut into cubes
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 lb asparagus bottom stems trimmed
Sauce:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
4 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce

Mix the chicken with cornstarch. Mix all the ingredients for the Sauce in a small bowl, stir to combine well. Set both aside.

Heat up a skillet with the oil. Saute the garlic until aromatic. Add the chicken and stir-fry back and forth until the surface turns opaque. Add the asparagus and continue to stir-fry, for about 1 minute. Add the Sauce into the skillet. As soon as it thickens, dish out and serve immediately.

Spinach Salad with Beets and Balsamic Vinaigrette

For the Salad
Optional: pecan halves (or walnuts, toasted)
2 to 3 slices bacon (diced, or about 3 ounces of diced pancetta)
1 pound beets (trimmed, cooked, peeled, and diced)
4 cups spinach
1/4 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
Optional: shredded cheese (or crumbled goat cheese or feta)
For the Dressing
1 clove garlic (crushed and minced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or a similar gourmet mustard)
4 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil

Arrange the pecans or walnuts in a dry skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until the nuts are lightly browned and aromatic.

In a skillet over medium heat, fry the diced bacon until crisp or fry the pancetta until browned.

Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Dice the bacon and set aside.

Arrange spinach leaves on 4 salad plates. Top with diced beets, diced bacon or pancetta, red onion, and pecans or walnuts. If desired, top with cheese.

In a skillet over medium heat, fry the diced bacon until crisp or fry the pancetta until browned.

Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Dice the bacon and set aside.

Arrange spinach leaves on 4 salad plates. Top with diced beets, diced bacon or pancetta, red onion, and pecans or walnuts. If desired, top with cheese.

In a bowl or blender, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Whisk or blend in the olive oil in a steady stream.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad or serve on the side.

Tips
Boiled Beets: To boil beets, first start by washing and trimming the beets, leaving about 2 inches of the stem and root ends. Place the beets in a large saucepan and cover with salted water (about 1 teaspoon of salt per quart). Add a few teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice to the water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the beets.

Roasted Beets: To roast beets, first wash the beets and trim, leaving an inch or two on the stem and root ends. Rub the beets with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper; wrap in foil and bake at 375 F for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. The time varies depending on the size of the beets. You can also roast the beets in the slow cooker.

Spinach Salad with Rhubarb

2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons grated onion
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt

SALAD:
6 cups torn fresh spinach
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 to 2 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped

In a saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar and vinegar; cook over medium heat until the rhubarb is tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, reserving about 6 tablespoons juice; discard pulp.
Pour juice into a jar with tight-fitting lid; add oil, onion, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Shake well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Just before serving, combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

Note

If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.

Roasted Cauliflower, Paneer, and Lentil Salad

For the salad:
1/2 cup green lentils
1/2 cup black lentils
1 small head cauliflower (about 1 pound)
1 10-ounce block paneer, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups total)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced

For the cilantro-oil dressing:
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup tightly packed, fresh cilantro leaves
1 Serrano chile, seeded, if desired
Juice of 1 lime, about 1/4 cup
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the lentils in a fine-mesh strainer under cold running water and pick out any stones or imperfect beans. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until tender but not mushy, 25 to 60 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on how old the lentils are, so check them every 5 minutes after the first half hour. When they have reached desired doneness, drain through a fine-mesh strainer and set on a clean kitchen towel to absorb any remaining liquid.

While the lentils are cooking, roast the cauliflower and paneer: Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets and transfer to a roasting or sheet pan. Add the paneer. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil, mixing to coat evenly. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the florets and paneer are crispy on the outside and feel tender when pierced with a skewer or knife, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and pulse at medium-high speed until smooth and paste-like.

When the cauliflower and paneer are done, transfer to a large bowl and gently stir in the drained lentils and scallions. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Drizzle with 1/2 to 1/3 cup of the dressing, to taste, and serve warm or at room temperature. (Store the leftover salad and dressing in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to four days. Shake the dressing before using.)

Roasted Carrots with Spiced Yogurt

2 lb [910 g] Thumbelina or other small carrots, cut into 11/2-in [4-cm] lengths
6 Tbsp [90 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup [120 ml] fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup [60 ml] dry white wine
1/4 cup [60 ml] Chicken Stock
1/4 cup [60 ml] Spiced Yogurt (see related recipe)
1/2 cup [15 g] fresh cilantro leaves

In a medium bowl, combine the carrots with 3 Tbsp of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the thyme leaves and 2 Tbsp of the orange juice. Let stand at room temperature.

In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 450°F [230°C].

In a roasting pan or a sauté pan large enough to hold the carrots in a single layer, heat the remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil over high heat. Add the carrots and cook until they begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the carrots caramelize around the edges but are still a bit firm, 5 to 7 minutes.

Return the pan to the stove top over medium heat, and add the wine, remaining 6 Tbsp [90 ml] orange juice, and the stock. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, until the liquids thicken and begin to coat the carrots, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle the spiced yogurt on top, sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds, and garnish with the cilantro. Serve warm.

Roasted Romesco with Tahini and Sumac

1/4 cup [85 g] tahini
Juice of 2 lemons
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp cold water
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium heads romanesco, trimmed and chopped into 1-in [2.5 cm] florets
1/4 cup [45 g] golden raisins
2 Tbsp Vegetable Stock (page 222) or water
1 Tbsp ground sumac
Flaky sea salt
Best-quality olive oil for drizzling

In a small bowl, combine the tahini with the lemon juice, garlic, and cold water. Whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil. The sauce should be thin enough to drizzle with a spoon. (If it is too thick, add in more cold water, 1 Tbsp at a time.) Season with kosher salt and pepper.

Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and warm until hot but not smoking. Add the romanesco, cut-side down, and cook until deep golden brown in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir with tongs or a wooden spoon and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Turn the heat to medium and add the raisins. Season with kosher salt and cook, stirring, until the raisins soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock and allow the ingredients to steam briefly. Taste a piece of romanesco for seasoning and doneness; it should be tender.

Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle the tahini sauce on top, sprinkle with sumac, and garnish with sea salt and a drizzle of best-quality olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Carrots and Red Onions with Fennel and Mint

2 pounds small carrots (about 2 bunches), peeled, cut into 3-inch pieces
2 large red onions, each cut through root end into 8 wedges
1 fennel bulb, cut into ½-inch wedges
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons torn mint leaves

Preheat oven to 425°. Place carrots on a rimmed baking sheet and onions and fennel on another rimmed baking sheet. (Make sure to give them plenty of room, which is key to roasted veggies with nicely browned edges.) Drizzle vegetables with 2 Tbsp. oil, dividing evenly; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and tender, 20–25 minutes for carrots and 35–45 minutes for onions and fennel. Let cool.

Meanwhile, cook sunflower seeds, coriander seeds, Aleppo pepper, paprika, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until oil is gently bubbling around seeds and spices are fragrant (be careful not to burn), about 2 minutes. Let cool. Stir in vinegar and lemon juice; season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Combine roasted carrots, fennel, and onions onto the same baking sheet, drizzle vinaigrette over, and toss to coat well; transfer to a platter.
Just before serving, re-toss vegetables to pull up any dressing that may have settled at the bottom of the platter and scatter mint over top.

Do Ahead: Dish (without mint) can be made 3 hours ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower Salad

1 large head of cauliflower, stem trimmed
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup basil leaves
3/4 teaspoon Madras curry powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about 1/4 cup), plus 3 ounces cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup parsley leaves with tender stems, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons mint leaves, plus more for serving
4 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice, divided
3/4 teaspoon sugar, plus more
Kosher salt
1/4 cup golden raisins
8 ounces sheep’s-milk feta in brine
1/2 cup chopped salted, roasted almonds
4 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
1/2 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems, divided

Preheat oven to 425°. Place cauliflower on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.

Blend onion, garlic, basil, curry powder, cayenne, grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup parsley, 2 Tbsp. mint, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 3/4 tsp. sugar in a blender until smooth. Slather onion purée over cauliflower so it covers the entire surface in a thick layer; season generously with salt.

Roast cauliflower until florets are tender and browned but stem is still firm and crunchy, 40–45 minutes. To test for doneness, stick a skewer into the center of head—it should encounter some resistance at the core. Let cool.

Meanwhile, toss raisins, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, and a pinch each of salt and sugar in a small bowl. Let sit until raisins rehydrate and are plump, 10–15 minutes.

Process feta in a food processor in long pulses, thinning with brine as needed, until feta is smooth and the consistency of Greek yogurt.

Transfer cauliflower to a cutting board and cut into 1/2 pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and add almonds, cubed Parmesan, and raisins with their soaking liquid.

Drizzle with oil, season with salt, and toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt and lemon juice, if needed. Fold in half of scallions and half of cilantro.

Spread feta across bottom of a large platter and mound cauliflower mixture over. Top with remaining scallions, remaining cilantro, and more parsley and mint. Drizzle with a little more oil.

Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 medium onion, sliced
4 sprigs thyme
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 425°. Toss cauliflower florets on a large rimmed baking sheet with onion, thyme, garlic, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until almost tender, 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan, toss to combine, and roast until cauliflower is tender, 10–12 minutes longer.

Roasted Carrots with Cumin Yogurt

3 pounds Thumbelina or other small carrots, scrubbed, cut into 2” pieces
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 450°. Toss carrots, orange juice, thyme, bay leaves, and ¼ cup oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing halfway through, until golden brown and soft, 30–35 minutes; remove bay leaves.

Meanwhile, toast coriander in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 1 minute; transfer to a plate. Repeat with cumin. Let cool; coarsely chop.

Purée coriander, cumin, yogurt, lime juice, 1/4 cup cilantro, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a food processor until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
Serve carrots topped with cumin yogurt, cilantro, and sesame seeds.

Roasted Carrots with Creamy Nuoc Cham

2 pounds medium carrots, scrubbed
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Kosher salt
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
2 red Thai chiles, sliced
1 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 425°. Toss carrots and 2 Tbsp. oil on a large rimmed baking sheet and season with salt. Roast, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, 20–25 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring shallot, chiles, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, and 2 Tbsp. water to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook just until aromatics are soft, 8–10 minutes (you don’t want the liquid to reduce much). Let cool. Transfer to a blender, add lime juice and mayonnaise, and blend until smooth. With motor running, gradually stream in remaining ¼ cup oil; blend until emulsified. Season dressing with salt.

Drizzle dressing over carrots just before serving.

Do Ahead: Dressing can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.