Tuesday, August 06, 2013

*kale, cauliflower, and chickpea curry.


Yesterday I got an e-mail that I had a comment on my blog. (Thanks, Tim!)

Unfortunately, the comment was to very gently inform me that my fractions were a mess. (They were.)

But Tim had perfect timing, because it turns out I'd been looking for a nudge to return to my little corner of the Internet. There's a reason I still renew the domain every year even when I've been abysmal about tidying up the place.

I'd also recently made this curry, which I loved, and read an inspiring blog post at Souvlaki for the Soul about shooting with artificial light (dark backgrounds! fun!), and I was reintroduced to everything I love about posting to on the woodside.

I love the cooking, of course—though less so my inevitable forgetfulness, which always requires a second trip to the grocery store, a phenomenon that somehow never occurs when I'm not show-off cooking—and I love the cerebral solitude. I like being creative and easing off the pressures (no, I do not have to post every single day; yes, brown rice can suck it because basmati rice is better always always always do not let health nuts tell you lies).

This peppy little curry is chock-full of vegetables—cauliflower, chickpeas, kale—but you can change them up to whatever you like. (I'm thinking lentils, potato, and spinach would be lovely, too.) I roast the veggies first because I like the way it softens the cauliflower and gives it a pretty golden glow, and I love the crackling pages of kale melting into the sauce.

The aromatics—onion, garlic, ginger—are a must, as is the smooth coconut milk and smattering of cilantro. The chickpeas and curry paste give the whole thing life, with just-right texture and heat. (Though you'll notice that tall drink of Huy Fong in the background, because I can't help myself.)

And with all that nutritious goodness rocking around in the bowl, please make yourself some basmati rice. It's fragrant and sticky and brilliant, and it will make you happy. Brown rice is for sad people.

Let me know what you think!


Kale, Cauliflower, and Chickpea Curry

1 bunch kale
1 small head cauliflower
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Dried crushed red pepper
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 (13.66-ounce) can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium garbanzo beans 
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Hot cooked basmati rice
Garnish: sriracha

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Strip leaves from kale, discarding stems. Core cauliflower and break into bite-size florets. Place kale leaves and cauliflower florets on a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt, pepper, and dried crushed red pepper. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until cauliflower are tender and browned, and kale is crispy.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Add onions; cook 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and ginger; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add broth, stirring to deglaze pan. Stir in coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, and chickpeas.

3. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Stir into broth mixture, and bring to a boil. Stir in roasted kale and cauliflower; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with basmati rice. Garnish, if desired. Makes 4 servings.





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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.