April Showers Bring May Flowers (Cauliflower)
The snow has finally subsided and been replaced with rain. These recipes will brighten your day. We have chosen to make a simple broccoli and cauliflower salad and a hearty polenta lasagna. Polenta is a great gluten free alternative and I promise the whole family will love it with our quick tomato sauce.
Hang in there, summer is right around the corner… which means BBQ season!
Quick Tomato Sauce
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes OR Passata pureed tomatoes (if you like a smooth texture)
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves (about 6 leaves)
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- Salt to taste
- Process the garlic through a garlic press (or mince very finely). Heat the oil and the garlic in a sauté pan over medium heat until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes; simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt.
Polenta Lasagna- serves 6-8
- 1 recipe of quick tomato sauce
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 pound polenta meal or coarse cornmeal
- 1 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan, and dissolve the salt. Stirring continuously with a whisk, slowly add the polenta meal or cornmeal. If you are using the coarser cornmeal, you may need to add extra water.
- When all the polenta is blended with the water, lower the heat and simmer for approximately 45 minutes, stirring often with a whisk. Then as the polenta begins to thicken, stir instead with a wooden spoon. When the polenta is done, it will come away from the sides of the plan cleanly and be very firm.
- Rinse a large glass baking dish with cold water and spread the hot polenta evenly into the dish. Put it in the refrigerator to cool and harden for about 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Lightly oil a large, oblong baking dish with olive oil. Loosen the sides of the molded polenta from the pan and turn out onto a chopping board. Slice the polenta into ½ inch slices. Spread a layer of the polenta slices in the bottom of the baking dish and cover with tomato sauce. Sprinkle Romano on top, and then add some of the shredded Mozzarella cheese. Add another layer of the polenta slices, and keep layering the above ingredients until the baking dish is full. The top layer should be polenta drizzled with sauces and covered with some Mozzarella cheese.
- Bake covered for 30 minutes and bake uncovered for 10 minutes, making sure not to burn the Mozzarella on top. Cool slightly before serving to let the dish settle. Slice and serve hot.
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad- serves 8
- 1 head fresh broccoli, chopped
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 can black olives, pitted, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- Lightly steam the chopped broccoli and cauliflower then place in an ice bath to cool and keep color. When cool, drain well.
- Combine the broccoli, cauliflower, onion, olives, cranberries and almonds in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the oil and vinegar. Pour over salad and toss to coat.