A blog of hopeful, inspired living: cooking & baking & growing & harvesting & preserving & gleaning & eating & sharing food... while bringing positive change to my kitchen and our food system.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower, Butternut Squash & Chickpeas with Harissa

Purple cauliflower. Beautiful photo by Anne DeLeon.

Check out that incredible purple cauliflower! So beautiful! During their CSA off-season, Mariquita Farms offers their organic produce to customers as a part of their 'Lady Bug' delivery throughout the Bay Area. I look out for their email fliers that announce the latest delivery schedule and available produce. The other week I couldn't help myself. Some people can't resist and unintentionally spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on shoes or clothes on a whim. I buy cauliflower -- purple cauliflower! And apples. And greens. Ten pounds of cauliflower, twenty pounds of Braeburn apples and a mystery box of veggies.  The result =  a stuffed fridge with no room for milk (or beer!) and the need for lots of culinary inspiration, quickly.

Luckily Bill has been juicing mad amounts of apples (and pretty much any fruit or veggie that I bring into the house). And double lucky that and I was on my way to a pickling party (no joke). That still left LOTS of veggies. Happily, I recently discovered homemade Harissa. Harissa is a Moroccan chili sauce that takes lentil soup, black bean soup, hummus, eggs, and lots of other dishes to the next level.  I originally made it to go with this recipe, a chickpea and butternut squash stew from Martha Stewart (which I really liked and have made twice in the past two weeks).

This week's recipe is similar to a black bean, sweet potato & kale dish I made a few weeks ago... but the Harissa makes it surprisingly unique. You can purchase Harissa already made, or make your own. It's surprisingly easy to make, and one batch will last for a couple weeks in the fridge, and the recipe below will make enough for several meals. Roasting the cauliflower and butternut squash also contributes to the awesome flavor in this dish -- much deeper flavor than if you simply sauteed everything (which you could also do, but it wouldn't necessarily be quicker).  Roasted Cauliflower, Butternut Squash & Chickpeas with Harissa was great served over red Thai rice, but any grain would be tasty.

Monday, January 9, 2012

taking the world into my arms

My blog is a year old! My resolutions last year were to start this blog, to experiment with photography, and adventure into new cooking realms.... and other little things like being an all around kinder, patient-er, happier person. I'm pretty darn happy with the year. 2011, thank you.

The title of this post is from a poem by my favorite poet, Mary Oliver. I think of her words when I am on the threshold of something new, when I am gathering courage, when I need reminding of what's important. Perfect for reflecting on the anniversary of my blog. Perfect for starting 2012.

Today's post is an ode to all that has come to pass, a cheers to looking back, to remembering the moments and savoring memories, to the spark of joy (and fear?) in pondering the mystery of what 2012 holds... and to taking all that as inspiration for keeping on keeping on.