I promise I’m working on a post about travel. Really. It just takes a lot longer to write, edit, and organize photos for a trip than for a simple recipe.
Simple recipe – such as tonight’s roasted cauliflower and asparagus panzanella salad. This dinner, no doubt, was inspired by not one, but two panzanella blog posts I read today. I came home on this hot hot evening with no real idea of what was for dinner. A peak in the fridge revealed aging cauliflower and asparagus, a loaf of bread, arugula, fresh rosemary, and some green garlic pesto.
It was almost… fate.
And despite the roasting, the low effort and lack of cooking was perfect for the first hot night of the summer.
Roasted Cauliflower and Asparagus Panzanella Salad
for the salad:
1 head cauliflower
1 bunch asparagus
a few slices of day old whole wheat bread
1-2 sprigs of rosemary
for the dressing:
green garlic pesto (this can be omitted, but the recipe is below)
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Trim the tough ends off the asparagus and cut it in to one inch pieces. Cut the cauliflower into similarly-sized pieces. Toss both together with salt and enough olive oil to coat. Spread them in a single layer onto a baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the edges start to brown and the veggies are just tender.
Meanwhile, cut the bread into large chunks and throw them in a pan of warmed olive oil. Stir around a bit, letting the edges toast and crisp, then toss in some salt and rosemary. Let them cook until they’re crispy to your liking (I like them to be a bit chewy on the inside still).
For the dressing, whisk all ingredients together. Toss together the arugula, roasted veg, freshly-made croutons, and the dressing.
Green Garlic Pesto
As I said, this is obviously an optional ingredient in the dressing. You can omit it entirely, or substitute any other pesto.
1 bunch green garlic, ends trimmed
one handful of cashews
one handful of fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil (more if needed)
salt and pepper
Simply toss all ingredients into a food processor and blend. Drizzle in more olive oil if needed for the right consistency.