Golden Cauliflower Dal with Spinach and Coconut

1 cup split red lentils (masoor dal) see notes on “timing”
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons ghee (or for vegan use coconut oil) ( ***see note at bottom!)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2–3 fat shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ginger, grated or finely minced (or use ginger paste)
2–4 fresh or dried chilies (optional, for heat)
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 large head of cauliflower, broken into large florets (about 2 lbs), stems ok.
couple handfuls baby spinach

Cover the split lentils with 2 cups boiling water, set aside.

In an extra-large saute pan or Dutch oven, heat the ghee over medium heat, add the crushed coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and stir for one minute.

Add the shallots, garlic and ginger and optional chilies, and saute until fragrant and golden, lowering the heat to med-low, if need be, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and turmeric. Stir in the lentils along with the 2 cups of hot water. Add the salt and fenugreek. Give a good stir.

Add the coconut milk and stir to incorporate, then add the cauliflower florets, coating them well. Give the pan a shake to allow any lentils to slip back into the liquid. Increase heat, bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer gently over med-low heat, until lentils are softened and cauliflower is fork-tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove lid and let some of the liquid cook off, about 3-4 more minutes. Carefully stir in spinach. Taste, adjust seasonings. Add a squeeze of lemon if you like.

Garnish with cilantro or scallions and if you made the extra tempering oil ( see notes), spoon this over top before serving.

Serve with naan bread or basmati rice, or on its own in a bowl like a stew.

Notes

***For extra flavor (as is, this is “gently” spiced) create a tempering oil. Double the ghee and double the whole seeds. After sauteing the seeds in the oil or ghee, spoon half of this into a small bowl and set aside -to drizzle over the finished dish (this is the “tempering oil”) super tasty!

Timing: If your lentils seem extra-large, or your cauliflower florets seem extra small, cook the lentils a few minutes before adding the cauliflower, so the cauliflower doesn’t get overcooked. ****I used tiny lentils and extra-large florets.

You could also, roast off the cauliflower separately (toss with oil, salt and pepper at 400F until tender) and stir into the cooked lentils.

Dijon and Cognac Stew

1/4 pound salt pork, diced
1 large onion, finely diced
3 shallots, chopped
2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds beef chuck, in 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup Cognac
2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons Pommery mustard or other whole-grain Dijon mustard
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into half-moon slices
1/2 pound mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and quartered
1/4 cup red wine

Place salt pork in a Dutch oven over low heat, and cook until fat is rendered. Remove solid pieces with a slotted spoon, and discard. Raise heat, and add onion and shallots. Cook until softened but not browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl.

If necessary, add 2 tablespoons butter to the pot to augment fat. Dust beef cubes with flour, and season with salt and pepper. Shake off excess flour, and place half the cubes in the pot. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, almost crusty, on all sides, then transfer to a bowl with onions. Repeat with remaining beef.

Add Cognac to the empty pot, and cook, stirring, until the bottom is deglazed and the crust comes loose. Add stock, Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon Pommery mustard. Whisk to blend, then return meat and onion mixture to pot. Lower heat, partly cover, and simmer gently until meat is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Add carrots, and continue simmering for 30 minutes, or until slices are tender. As they cook, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium-high, and sauté mushrooms until browned.

Stir mushrooms into stew along with remaining mustard and red wine. Simmer 5 minutes, then taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve hot.

Tip:
For a slow-cooker version, render the salt pork in a large sauté pan, then sear the flour-dusted beef cubes in the fat. While the beef is browning, add onions, shallots, carrots, mushrooms and red wine to the slow cooker, along with the browned beef. Add Cognac to the empty pan, and deglaze. Add 1 cup stock (instead of 2), Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon Pommery mustard. Transfer to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons Pommery mustard and warm through before serving.

Indian Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

2 tsp oil divided
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 lb brussels sprouts
1/2 cup (80 g) chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 green chili
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala or use spices and blends like curry powder, jamaican curry powder, ethiopian berbere for variation
1/3 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt divided
1 (182 g) large tomato diced
1/2 cup (118.29 ml) or more water
cilantro pepper flakes, lemon juice for garnish

Remove outer leaves and tough stems from the brussels sprouts.

Slice into half if large.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add cumin seeds and mix for a few seconds. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 4-5 minutes or until brown on some sides. Stir, Then cover and steam for a minute. Remove carefully from skillet.

Add 1 tsp oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, chili and a good pinch of salt. Cook until translucent.

Add the spices and 1/4 tsp salt and mix in. Add the tomatoes and 1/4 cup water and cook until tender. Mash the larger tomato pieces.

Add the brussels, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup more water. Mix well, cover and cook to steam for 4 to 5 mins. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. Add more sal or garam masala as needed. Steam for a bit longer if the brussels are not cooked to preference.

Take off heat. Garnish with cilantro, pepper flakes, lime and serve. Serve with a curry of choice such as chickpea coconut curry.

Store: Refrigerate for upto 3 days.

Notes:
For saucier: Double the sauce ingredients except cayenne.

For creamier sauce: Fold in 1/4 cup cashew cream in the sauce and simmer.

Pressure Cooker Pasta e Fagioli

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots peeled and sliced
2 celery sticks thinly sliced
10 garlic cloves minced
1 big russet potato peeled and cut into small cubes
1 cup tomato sauce marinara sauce
1 can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
1 cup ditalini pasta
1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper optional
4 cups vegetable broth low sodium
2 cups baby spinach or baby kale rough chopped (optional)

Turn the Instant Pot to Saute mode and heat olive oil. Add carrots, celery, and garlic. Saute for a minute.

Add potatoes, tomato sauce, cannellini beans, pasta, parsley, crushed red pepper, and vegetable broth. Mix well.

Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Pressure Cook/Manual(Hi) for 4 mins followed by Quick Release. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in baby spinach and enjoy hot!

Notes:
The pressure cook time should be half the cook time suggested on the pasta box.

The soup may look watery when you open the pot, give a quick stir and the soup will thicken up as it cools down.

Bhutanese Ema Datshi

10 oz. chili peppers (a combination of jalapeño, serrano, anaheim or red chilies)
1 red onions, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
10 oz cheese, grated (see note)
Salt to taste
1 cup water (to cook the veggies)

Heat a pan and add butter. Add the sliced onion, tomato and chillies. Give them a quick toss and the water. Season them with salt. Cover and cook until the peppers become tender.

Turn off the flame and add the cheese and let it melt in the residual heat.
Serve it over a bed of red or white rice.

Notes:
You can use any type of cheese especially one that melts. Avoid using stringy cheese like mozzarella. A combination of feta, cheddar or farmers cheese is good.

Bong Eats recommends quartering jalapenos and leaving the serranos whole with slits in them. It also recommends serving this with chilli pork, which is similar to the Bhutanese pork dishes.

Bhutanese Potatoes and Cheese (Kewa Datshi)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or as desired
4 chile peppers, slit and coarsely chopped, or more to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups water, or more if needed
1/2 teaspoon chile pepper powder
Salt or to taste
1 cup grated fresh cheese (see note)
1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat; cook and stir chile peppers and garlic until golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion; cook and stir until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir potatoes into onion mixture until potatoes are coated in oil.

Pour water over potato mixture and season with chile pepper powder and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, adding more water if needed but keeping the gravy thick, 10 to 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and sprinkle fresh cheese over the gravy; slowly stir until cheese melts and spreads evenly, about 5 minutes. Garnish dish with red pepper flakes.

Notes:
You can use any type of cheese especially one that melts. Avoid using stringy cheese like mozzarella. A combination of feta, cheddar or farmers cheese is good.

Bhutanese Pork with Potatoes (Kewa Phagsha)

3/4 pound pork chopped into small chunks
2 potatoes peeled and cut lengthwise into 8 pieces each
3 green chilies cut in half
1/2 onion diced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 piece Ginger minced
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
Szechuan pepper to taste
Cilantro, for serving

In a sauce pan put in the pork and cover with 1 3/4 cups of water and a pinch of salt.

Cook pork through about 20 minutes.

Add in the chilies, potato, onion and canola oil.

Cook until the potato is just shy of fork tender.

Add in remaining ingredients and cook for three more minutes.

Add in some Szechuan pepper and cilantro to taste.

Bhutanese Pork Stew (Phaksha Paa)

2 Tbsp cooking oil
5 shallots (peeled and finely chopped)
4 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
1 thumb-size ginger (grated)
2 red or green bird’s eye chili (seeded and chopped)
2 lbs pork loin (cut into thin slices)
1/2 lb Chinese radish/ daikon (peeled and slice thinly)
1 tsp paprika powder
2 cups chicken stock
1 large tomato (cut into small pieces)
1/4 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Few sprigs of cilantro leaves for garnish

Preheat a wok or skillet. Add in 2 Tbsp of oil. Tip in the shallots, ginger, garlic, and chili and stir-fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the pork slices and stir fry until the pork just turn color.

Add paprika powder, daikon slices, and chicken broth. Increase the heat and bring it to a boil and then lower it and let it simmer gently until the daikon is tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with few cilantro leaves.

Serve with a bowl or steamed rice.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachio Pesto

FOR THE CAULIFLOWER:
1 head cauliflower, preferably orange (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small yellow onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick lengthwise
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper

FOR THE PESTO:
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro and flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raw shelled pistachios
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper

Make the cauliflower: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 400 degrees. Trim the cauliflower, making sure the stem is cut flush with the head so it sits flat. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron or other heavy ovenproof skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until translucent and turning golden on the edges, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup water and remove from the heat.

Rub the cauliflower with the remaining tablespoon oil then with the pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Clear the center of the skillet and place the cauliflower in it. Cover the pan tightly with foil and place in the center of the oven. Bake until a paring knife meets no resistance when inserted into the cauliflower, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the pesto: Reserve a bit of lemon zest for garnish. Place the rest in a food processor, along with the herbs, oil, pistachios, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse until well combined.

Turn oven to 450 degrees on the regular setting or, if you have a convection option, 425 degrees. Uncover the cauliflower and baste with some of the pan juices. Cook, basting occasionally and adding 1/4 cup of water to the pan if it threatens to dry out, until nicely browned, 20 to 30 minutes more. Spoon the pesto over top, sprinkle with reserved lemon zest and more herbs, and serve.

Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

5 cups Cauliflower chopped, about one large head
6 cloves Garlic peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

FOR THE SAUCE
1/3 cup hot sauce
2 tablespoons Butter or coconut oil for vegan
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

FOR THE AIR FRYER
Chop the cauliflower into evenly-sized florets and put them in a large bowl.

Cut each garlic clove into 3 pieces and smash them down with the side of your knife. Don’t be shy about smashing the garlic. You want to expose as much of the garlicky surface area as possible so that it roasts well. Add this to the cauliflower.

Pour over the oil and add salt. Mix well until the cauliflower is well-coated with the oil and salt.
Turn your air fryer to 400F for 20 minutes and add the cauliflower, flipping once at the halfway mark.

MAKE THE SAUCE
While the cauliflower cooks, make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot sauce, butter, and Worcestershire sauce.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, place it into a large serving bowl. Pour the hot sauce over the cauliflower and mix well.

Place the cauliflower back into the air fryer. Set it to 400F for 3-4 minutes to let the sauce set a little.

Serve with blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.

FOR THE OVEN
Chop the cauliflower into evenly-sized florets and put them in a large bowl.

Cut each garlic clove into 3 pieces and smash them down with the side of your knife. Don’t be shy about smashing the garlic. You want to expose as much of the garlicky surface area as possible so that it roasts well. Add this to the cauliflower.

Pour over the oil and add salt. Mix well until the cauliflower is well-coated with the oil and salt. Don’t be shy about the oil when cooking in the oven, and maybe add another tablespoon of oil to be safe.

Broil on HIGH for 10-15 minutes, checking and stirring often.

MAKE THE SAUCE
While the cauliflower cooks, make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot sauce, butter, and Worcestershire sauce.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, place it into a large serving bowl. Pour the hot sauce over the cauliflower and mix well.

Place the cauliflower back into the oven. Set it to 400F for 1-2 minutes to let the sauce set a little.

Serve with blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.

Tips and Tricks for Making Buffalo Cauliflower:

Crisp. Everyone loves crispy wings, so don’t undercook these Cauliflower Hot Wings. You want them crispy!

Heat. Don’t want them too spicy? Easily customize this recipe by using the brand of hot sauce you love the most.

Dip. Don’t be afraid to pair these with some delicious dips like some Blue Cheese, Ranch Dressing, or any of these Keto Salad Dressings.

Frozen. If using frozen cauliflower, thaw completely, then drain the liquid and pat down for best results.

Sauce. Mix it up and make these with gochujang mayo.

Cauliflower Adobo

1 large cauliflower (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more as needed
1/2 cup rice-wine vinegar
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons raw or light brown sugar
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 bay leaves
1 Thai chile, halved lengthwise, or 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 scallions, thinly sliced, for serving

Trim leaves and woody stalk from the cauliflower, then cut through the root into 8 wedges. Season both sides of each wedge with salt and pepper. Reserve any loose cauliflower pieces.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Place one layer of the wedges in the skillet cut-side down and cook without moving them until well browned on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and continue until all the cauliflower is seared, adding more oil as needed. Return all the cauliflower to the pan with uncooked side facing down.

Add 1/4 cup water, any loose cauliflower pieces, 2 teaspoons black pepper, rice-wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, bay leaves and Thai chile. Cover and let simmer over medium heat until the cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Uncover, turn the heat to medium-high, and cook, basting the cauliflower occasionally with the sauce, until the cauliflower is tender and the sauce has thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve the cauliflower with plenty of sauce and a sprinkle of scallions.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Halloumi and Arugula

1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Aleppo or 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 small shallot, minced (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 large preserved lemon, seeded, halved, seeded, then very thinly sliced (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 (8-ounce) block halloumi
6 ounces baby arugula (about 8 packed cups)
1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted and diced
1 cup torn fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender sprigs

Heat oven to 425 degrees and set a large rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack.

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons olive oil, the Aleppo, coriander, turmeric, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Transfer to the hot baking sheet, spread in an even layer and roast until browned in spots and crisp-tender, tossing once halfway through, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, stir together the shallot, raisins, preserved lemon, vinegar and honey with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Prepare the halloumi: Cut the halloumi into 3/4-inch cubes and pat dry using a kitchen towel or paper towels. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high. Add the halloumi cubes and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. (You’ll want to be fairly attentive, flipping frequently, as you want to make sure the cubes toast without burning or melting.) Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with pepper.

Toss the arugula with half the vinaigrette until lightly coated and divide among plates or shallow bowls. Top with the cauliflower, halloumi and avocado. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Buffalo Cauliflower

FOR THE CAULIFLOWER:
1 large head cauliflower, cut into medium and large florets (about 8 cups)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

FOR THE BUFFALO SAUCE:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup Buffalo-style hot sauce

FOR THE YOGURT RANCH (OPTIONAL):
1/2 cup full-fat yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk or mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill, parsley, and-or chives
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or rice vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 small garlic clove, grated
Kosher salt and black pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees, and place a rack close to the broiler and another in the middle of the oven. (If your broiler is in a drawer below the oven, no need to move the racks.)

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the oil to evenly coat, then season with salt and pepper. Spread out the cauliflower on a baking sheet in an even layer (arrange flat edges pan-side down for extra browning). Bake the cauliflower on the middle rack, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 15 minutes.

As cauliflower roasts, make the sauce: Melt the butter with the hot sauce in a medium saucepan or skillet over low heat, and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Once melted, turn off the heat, but keep the saucepan on the stove.

Make the yogurt ranch (optional): Stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Pull the cauliflower out of the oven, and turn on the broiler. Transfer the cauliflower to the hot sauce-butter mixture, stirring the cauliflower to fully coat with the sauce. Then, using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower back to the baking sheet in an even layer.

Broil until the cauliflower is singed in spots and cooked throughout, about 5 minutes. (Depending on your broiler, you may need to rotate the pan after 2 or 3 minutes for even cooking.) Serve with yogurt ranch for dipping or drizzling, if desired.

Roasted Whole Cauliflower with Tahini and Garlic-Chili Oil

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 pound head cauliflower, trimmed
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 ripe but firm tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus wedges to serve
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground sumac
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the middle position. Line a broiler-safe rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly brush the foil with oil. Place the cauliflower in the center, then draw up the edges of the foil; drizzle 2 tablespoons water onto the cauliflower, then enclose the head, folding and crimping the edges of the foil to seal. Bake until a skewer inserted into the cauliflower meets no resistance, 40 to 50 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the wrapped cauliflower cool for 10 minutes. Carefully open the foil but leave it in place under the cauliflower; set aside to cool.

While the cauliflower cools, in a 10-inch skillet over medium-low, cook the oil, pepper flakes and garlic, stirring, until the mixture sizzles lightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside. Grate the tomatoes on the large holes of a box grater set in a medium bowl, pressing the cut sides against the grater, until only the skin remains; discard the skins. Stir ¼ teaspoon salt into the tomato pulp and set aside. In a small bowl stir together the tahini and lemon juice. Then stir in 2 tablespoons water, adding more as necessary 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is a smooth, spreadable paste. Stir in the cumin, sumac, cardamom, cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper; set aside.

Heat the broiler. Spread the tahini mixture onto the entire surface of the cauliflower, then broil until deeply browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and cool for about 5 minutes. Spoon the tomato pulp over the top, drizzle with the chili-garlic oil and sprinkle with the parsley and pine nuts. Serve with lemon wedges.

Tip: Don’t bother opening the foil packet to test the cauliflower for doneness. It’s fine to insert the skewer through the foil. When making the garlic-chili oil, be careful not to overcook the garlic and pepper flakes or the flavors will turn acrid. When the mixture starts to sizzle gently, transfer it to a small bowl; if left in the skillet, the residual heat may cause scorching.

Skillet-Baked Pasta with Sausage and Ricotta

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound bulk hot or mild Italian sausage (pork, chicken or turkey)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
Pinch of red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving (optional)
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with their juices
1 (14-ounce) can crushed or strained tomatoes
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt
12 ounces dried pasta, such as small shells, farfalle or other shaped pasta
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces
6 ounces whole-milk ricotta (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup basil leaves
Black pepper, for serving

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Crumble sausage into skillet, using a spoon to break it into small pieces. Cook until starting to brown, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, fennel seeds and red-pepper flakes (if using), and cook another 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in whole tomatoes and their juice, using a spoon to break them up. Add crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes to thicken slightly.
Stir in pasta and 1 cup water and return to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, pluck out the bay leaves, and fold in about a third of the mozzarella.

Top pasta with remaining mozzarella and dollops of ricotta. Sprinkle with Parmesan, then transfer to oven. Bake until pasta is tender when poked with a fork, and cheese is bubbly and lightly golden, 18 to 22 minutes. (If you’d like a more deeply browned topping, run the pan under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes.) Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Top with basil, plenty of black pepper, and more red-pepper flakes, if you like.

Winter Minestrone

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 bunch (5 ounces) Swiss chard, trimmed and thinly sliced
5 ounces cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
2 carrots, scrubbed and thinly sliced (2 cups)
5 cups homemade or no-salt-added vegetable broth (see related recipe)
One (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups ditalini or other small macaroni
One (14-ounce) can no-salt-added cannellini or cranberry beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cloves, and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the chard, cabbage and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots start to become tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the broth, tomatoes and ditalini. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer until the ditalini are al dente and the greens are tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the beans and vinegar. Cook until the beans are heated through, about 3 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot.

Brussels Sprouts with Pickled Shallots and Labneh

FOR THE PICKLED SHALLOTS:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large shallot, peeled and sliced into rings

FOR THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS:
1 pound brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
Fine sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

FOR THE LABNEH:
1 cup labneh
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Fine sea salt
2 tablespoons date syrup or pekmez (or even maple syrup or honey), for serving

Make the pickled shallots: In a small jar or bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, black pepper and salt. Stir until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Add the shallots and cover the jar with a lid or plastic wrap. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the brussels sprouts: Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Trim the brussels sprouts, discarding any stalks or damaged leaves. Halve the sprouts lengthwise, and toss with 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt to taste and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Spread them out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Roast for 22 to 30 minutes, until golden brown, slightly charred in some spots and a little crispy.

As brussels sprouts cook, prepare the labneh: In a medium bowl, mix the labneh with the garlic and black pepper, then taste and season with salt.

Spread the labneh on a serving dish or plate, and spoon the sprouts over. Drain and discard the liquid from the pickled shallots, and place them on top of the sprouts. Drizzle with the date syrup and 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Serve immediately.

Beef Stew with Red Onions and Ale

2 pounds boneless beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 medium red onions
1 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups beef or chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 cup ale or beer (nonalcoholic is fine)
1 rosemary sprig
3 carrots, sliced
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
Chopped chives, for garnish
Flaky sea salt, for garnish

Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the onions.
Peel the onions. Cut 2 of them in half root to stem, then thinly slice them crosswise into half-moons. Cut the third onion, root to stem, into 1/2-inch wedges.

Dust the beef cubes lightly with flour. Heat butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven or other pot over medium-high. Add beef, in batches taking care not to crowd the pan, and sear until it’s good and dark all over, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer beef cubes to a bowl as they brown. Add more oil and adjust heat if necessary to prevent burning.

Stir in sliced onions and raise heat to medium-high if you lowered it. Cook until pale golden brown and soft, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant and lightly golden at the edges, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Make a well in the center of the onions, then stir in tomato paste, coriander and allspice; cook, stirring until paste is darkened, 1 minute. Stir in stock, ale, 1 cup water and rosemary sprig. Return beef and any juices to the pot and bring to a simmer. Partly cover the pot and simmer gently for 45 minutes.

Give the beef a stir, then add onion wedges. Simmer for 15 minutes, then stir in carrots and continue to simmer until the meat, onions and carrots are tender, 30 to 45 minutes longer.

If the sauce seems thin, use a slotted spoon to transfer meat and vegetables to a platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Discard the rosemary. Return pot with liquid to stove and simmer until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Taste and add more salt and vinegar if you like. Spoon sauce over meat and garnish with chives, flaky sea salt and more black pepper.

Roasted Cauliflower with Pancetta, Olives, and Parmesan

1 large head cauliflower (about 1 3/4 pounds), trimmed and cut into bite-size florets (about 8 cups)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/3 cup olives, crushed, pitted and chopped
1 fat garlic clove, finely grated or minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more as needed
4 ounces pancetta or bacon, cut into 1/8-inch cubes
3/4 teaspoon cumin or caraway seeds
1/2 cup shredded (not ground) Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or mint leaves and tender stems, for serving

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt until well coated. Roast for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together olives, garlic, lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes and a large pinch of salt. Drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, whisking well.

After the cauliflower has roasted for 15 minutes, add pancetta and cumin seeds to pan and gently mix to combine. Sprinkle Parmesan on top and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes, until cauliflower is tender, the pancetta rendered, and cheese is golden brown and crunchy.

Spoon olive dressing all over roasted cauliflower while still hot and toss to combine. Taste, and add more salt, red-pepper flakes or lemon juice, if needed. Scatter parsley over the top before serving.

Note: we used oil cured olives and threw on some calabrian chilies.

Baked Sriracha-Mango Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower mine was small-medium-ish size

Batter
1 cup (250 ml) water
3/4 cup (94 g) + 2 Tbsp flour (I used half whole wheat + half white , (use 1/2 cup chickpea flour + 1/4 cup or more rice flour to make gf)
3/4 to 1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) each of smoked paprika, chili powder/cayenne
a very generous dash of black pepper
2 tsp oil optional

Mango Sriracha Glaze
1 cup (340 g) mango jam or preserves or use orange marmalade or grape jelly for variations
1/4 cup (60 ml) Sriracha sauce or to taste ?
1 Tbsp or more hot sauce or to taste I used Frank’s red hot
1/4 cup (62 ml) Orange juice or apple juice more juice if you like a thinner glaze
a generous pinch of garlic powder
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) ginger powder

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F / 230ºc. Chop the cauliflower into 1.5-2 inch pieces. Mix everything under batter in a bowl until smooth and thick enough batter that can coat the cauliflower pieces well.(add more flour if needed). Dip cauliflower in the batter and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Line the sheet with parchment or grease very well. Bake for 20 minutes.

Glaze
In a pan, mix all the ingredients under glaze and heat on medium. Taste and adjust spice, sweet and tang if needed(add sugar or vinegar for extra sweet or tang). You can also use fresh or frozen ripe mango puree + maple/sugar instead of preserves(as suggested by some readers who made these already).

Once the glaze is hot, taste and adjust spice + sweet. add the baked cauliflower to it. Toss well to coat carefully and let the glaze come to a boil. 1-2 minutes. You can use a large pan that can fit all the florets or do 2 batches. do not toss/move the florets too much. Remove from pan and Serve hot as is, or with rice/grains or with any creamy cool dips like vegan ranch. Alternatively, bring the sauce ingredients to a boil and pour over the baked cauliflower, mix to coat and serve.

Notes
Variations: Use grape jelly or Orange preserves. Add a 1/4 cup ketchup to the glaze.Use Barbecue sauce or sweet and sour sauce.To make buffalo wings, mix in enough hot sauce with melted vegan butter or oil (2:1 ratio) and toss the baked cauliflower in it, bake for a few minutes and seve.