Remember those binders full of recipes I mentioned in yesterday's post? Well, our salad binder came in handy for this little recipe. I was looking for a specific kale salad recipe that wasn't much work and would work down our stash of fresh kale. I couldn't find the recipe for that, but I did find one for a red rice salad with lemony roasted cauliflower.
We have an absolute ton of organic long grain brown rice. We also bought a large head of cauliflower at the Saratoga Farmer's Market. So I made the recipe with brown rice instead of the recommended Butan red rice, with the preserved lemon peels I set up the other day, and with plain olive oil instead of the lemon olive oil in the original recipe. The original recipe was for a vegetable salad, so Bob suggested we defrost some shrimp — we had about a half-pound left over from another dish we made earlier this month.
Once we were finished with everything and sat at the table with our meal and drinks, we had a lovely main dish of lemony roasted cauliflower with rice and shrimp. It was a collaborative effort — Bob took over defrosting, peeling, cleaning, and cooking the shrimp, while I focused on the cauliflower and the rice.
For the Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tsp olive oil for roasting
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbs olive oil or lemon olive oil to finish the salad or 4-6 preserved lemon rinds, chopped
For the Rice
1 cup long-grain brown rice (or whatever rice or grain you have on hand in this time of quarantining at home)
2 cups of water
Pinch of salt
For the Shrimp
1/2 lb fresh or defrosted frozen shrimp ‑ we used 51/60 count, but larger shrimp will work
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs lemon juice or the juice from half a lemon
A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme or whatever herb sounds good to you
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven heats up, clean and cut the cauliflower into small florets and toss them with a tablespoon of olive oil, some pepper and about a half teaspoon of salt.
- Roast the cauliflower for about 15 minutes in a covered pan. After 15 minutes, take the lid off the dish and let the florets roast for another 10 minutes or so. They should be firm, al dente but cooked through.
- Make the rice while the cauliflower roasts — I usually follow the directions on the rice package for best results.
- Prep the preserved lemons — using 6 rinds, pull the pulp off and discard it, then dice the peels. Because I made the preserved lemons with olive oil, I used a tablespoon of the oil from that jar. If you don't have preserved lemons in olive oil, you can use lemon-flavored olive oil or simply squeeze juice from half a lemon and zest it for that essence of lemon flavor.
- Toss the cooked cauliflower and rice in a serving bowl, adding the chopped lemon peels, and 1 Tbs of olive oil.
- For the shrimp — place the 1 Tbs olive oil and 1 Tbs butter in a 10 inch pan over medium-low heat. When the butter is just foaming add the shrimp, lemon juice, and any herbs you're using. Stir to coat the shrimp. It usually takes only a few minutes for the shrimp to cook — once the shrimps turn opaque, they are done. Add them to the bowl.
- I finished the dish with a squeeze of juice from half of a Meyer lemon over the top and tossed everything one last time. A garnish of parsley sprigs adds some color to the presentation.
Bright, Lemony like Spring!
This simple dish tastes like springtime! It can be served hot, as we ate it, chilled out of the fridge, or at room temp. I can see it being made with chicken, any kind of firm fish, sea scallops, dolled up with fresh herbs such as parsley and thyme. I also can see making it with an ancient grain of your choice such as quinoa or millet.