Cauliflower Salad and a Failed Main Course | One Cook, Two Books
I know I’ve had a good day when I can say I’ve learned something new. Today, I learned quite a lot.
… I also failed quite a lot.
Today consisted of five recipes from Mina Stone’s cookbook. That’s right. Five. Not too bad, though,because a lot of them mingled together which is why I made them!
Part 1: Lunch
For lunch, I made shaved cauliflower with pine nuts, currants, and parsley. This recipe did not only consist of the salad, but also the Fresh Lemon Juice Dressing, as well as Nut Toasting Technique #2: Wet Toasting Nuts in a Pan.
The salad itself was incredibly easy to make. It was a bit time consuming to shave down an entire head of cauliflower, but the tossing together was done in a pinch.
While I slowly but surely made my way through the entire head of peanut butter, I toasted the pine nuts. Usually when I toast nuts I just throw them in an even layer into my convection oven for a few minutes, or leave them over low heat in my skillet. Today was a little different, because I was “wet toasting.” Basically, I coated them in olive oil and cooked them on the stove top until they began to turn colour. It took a bit of time, but the turnout was absolutely fantastic.
Seriously. Look at the glamorous shades of pine nuts, also known as the best nuts in the entire world. Well… at least to me. It was such a great learning experience that I can’t wait to need to toast pine nuts for another recipe!
After toasting the nuts I just added them to the shaved cauliflower with the currants.
Time for a side story.
Any of my friends reading this who went on the adventure with me to find currants know how much of a struggle it was for me. I had no idea what exactly it was that I was looking for at the time, so just picked up some dried currants because apparently Whole Foods, the store that has everything you need and more, does not have fresh currants. Or Mastic. But I digress…
The next day I actually found the most adorable fresh currants at a local organic store. Purchased them for five dollars. Expensive, yes. But I needed them… right?
Wrong. Where is the eye roll emoji when you need it.
TO MY DEAR FRIENDS WHO HUNTED WITH ME FOR CURRANTS: The dried ones are what I needed for the recipe. I spent five dollars on fresh currants that are now sitting in my fridge. Anyone have any idea what I should do with them? Help a girl out and comment down below.
So that was the salad really. The dressing was incredibly easy to make as well and gave the option to use either shallots or mustard. I, personally, love shallots… but my mother was hangry and I wanted to make her happy so I used some delicious dijon mustard instead.
Tossed the salad. Boom. Done.
One of the most epic salads I’ve ever had, if I do say so myself. I’m very picky with my raw vegetables, especially when it comes to cauliflower and broccoli. Surprisingly enough the consistency of the salad was absolutely perfect, and I had no problem with the shaved cauliflower!
I’m already planning on making this recipe again.
Three recipes down, two to go…
Part 2: The Dinner that Failed Me.
Or should I say that I failed dinner. I mean, I was the one who made it, so it was truly my fault that I completely and utterly failed.
I was supposed to make Seared Tuna with Avocado Salsa. I almost went out of my way to purchase tuna from Whole Foods, but at $28 per pound I said no thanks and went to my local market, where I found it for $12. Much better price.
I could not be more happy that I did not splurge on Whole Foods, because I butchered this seared tuna to death.
In case you didn’t know, seared tuna is supposed to only be partially cooked so that it is still raw on the inside. I made it only once before in my life with the smallest piece of tuna I’ve ever seen and it worked out well. That meant that I went into this recipe with a cocky attitude. Because I had already made seared tuna, I thought I was the tuna searring master.
Not so much.
I completely cooked through it.
The entire thing.
It was all cooked.
I almost threw the tuna against the wall I was so mad.
While cutting the avocados I thought that I left my tuna on the stove just the right amount of time. It turns out that my “high” heat was actually too high and thus was cooking my tuna too fast. Even though I followed the recipe instructions, I ended up cooking through the entire tuna.
I was not the happiest camper, but I still mustered through and tried to get a pretty shot with the avocado salsa on top.
The taste was all really there. It was just the texture that was lacking. Even so we gobbled it all up with no leftovers. Not even any avocado salsa left which, personally, I was a little bummed about because I planned on making some guacamole with it. But hey, no waste is better so I’ll take it!
Luckily enough I actually plan on making this recipe again either later this month or next month but trying it with a different salsa.
You hear that tuna?
I’m coming for you.
Coming with a vengeance.
So that was it for today’s endeavors. Five recipes in one day seemed a little overwhelming before starting, but it all turned out actually incredibly great. Mina Stone’s recipes really call for minimal ingredients, but the ingredients chosen still make the plates burst with flavour. Tomorrow I’ve got some appetizers up my sleeve to feed to some greatly awaited guests, so we’ll see how that all works out!