Gobhi Musallam is a roasted cauliflower dish from the Uttar Pradesh region of Northern India. While the origin of the dish itself is hard to trace, the origin of cauliflower isn’t. Cauliflower is a direct descendant of wild cabbage, and a close cousin to brocolli. Although it was known in Europe during the Middle Ages, it disappeared until sometime in the 17th Century, when Italy reintroduced it to the rest of Europe. Surprisingly, the Italians probably got cauliflower from the Middle East and Asia, who had likely acquired it from Europe during the Middle Ages. I think it’s pretty cool that cauliflower disappeared from its place of origin, only to be re-introduced by another culture.
We love this dish for several reasons. First of all, it’s an easy dish to put together: parboil the cauliflower, whip up a sauce, combine the two and roast in the oven. It’s a very impressive dish to serve to guests, and slicing/serving the cauliflower is a memorable experience. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, Gobhi Musallam is absolutely delicious and an interesting way to enjoy cauliflower.
Although the common consensus is that collard greens originated in the Mediterranean, they gained their most widespread popularity in Africa (see my Sukuma Wiki recipe). It is assumed that collards made it to most of the Americas via African slaves. In Brazil, it’s a different story, as collard greens were likely introduced via Portugal, where it has been a staple veggie for hundreds of years (as evidenced by my Caldo Verde recipe). Today, collards are served often in Brazil, usually as an accompaniment to fish or beef.
Today’s recipe is a collaboration with my friend Alex Boake, who stayed at our house for a few days before heading off to Ancestral Health Symposium with us. She’s going to post an illustrated version of this recipe on her blog later this week, so bookmark her site! We’ll be knocking out a couple other illustrated recipes in the near future as well, so this is just the tip of the illustrated Paleo recipe iceberg. Update: Here is Alex’s post!
Oh man, can you believe it’s been a whole year since my last gardening post? Last year’s garden was basically left to its own devices due to our busy summer schedule, and what’s worse, our even busier fall schedule prevented us from properly preparing our garden for winter! So this past weekend I did my best to get everything back in order.
I must be reverting to some sort of baby food phase, because lately I’ve been really into puréed veggies. I think it’s the idea of eating familiar foods in unfamiliar ways. Either way you look at it, this cauliflower purée recipe isn’t the most innovative recipe I’ve created, but it serves an excellent purpose as an easy and mild-tasting accompaniment to robust dishes (which you’ll see in a couple upcoming recipes!).
It’s unsurprising that cauliflower is a close relative to broccoli, but until recently I wasn’t aware that it is from the same family (Brassica oleracea) as cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, and collard greens. It was first brought to mainstream attention by some French cookbooks in the 17th century, although the plant itself originally came from Genoa, Italy.
Poi is a Polynesian staple food, typically made with mashed taro root. However, it’s a little-known fact that the Hawaiian people also made poi from sweet potato and breadfruit. Given the fact that taro root is relatively hard to come by here in Maryland, we regularly make sweet potato poi to stave off our Hawaiian-food cravings. To bring in a little extra island flavor, I add a little coconut milk to the poi, which gives it a taste similar to haupia (a Hawaiian coconut dessert). Its creamy texture and sweet taste are perfect accompaniments to my kalua pig recipe.
This may fall under the no-brainer category, but I thought I would explain how we bake our sweet potatoes here at the house. It’s one of our simplest recipes, and the only thing it needs is about 45 minutes of cooking time to ensure you get that perfect potato. Additionally, we like to take five seconds out of our busy day and add a little cinnamon to our potatoes, which gives just a twinge of complexity to the taste.
Here’s a couple neat facts about sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes originated in Central/South America. Papua New Guinea eats the most sweet potatoes per capita, with 500kg per person annually. North Carolina supplies most of the sweet potatoes we find in US markets. They’re only distant cousins to the white potato, despite sharing the same name. They’re also pretty distantly related to yams (which originated in Africa), even though here in the US we often (incorrectly) label our sweet potatoes as “yams”.
image courtesy of Warner Bros.
Last month was the one-year anniversary of my switch to a modified Paleo diet (which = Paleo + white rice and some dairy). At the six-month mark I made this post with some lessons I’d learned; while many of these tips still ring true (although we haven’t had ice cream for some time now), I thought I’d add a few more.
I’m going out of town for a while so I wanted to pull all of the cantaloupes just in case they spoiled while I’m away – but now I have 10 unripe cantaloupe sitting at my house. I ate a small one with my dinner tonight, and surprisingly it tasted like a sweet cucumber. Weird, I know.
I also pulled one row (out of three) of my carrots, to store them in the basement while I’m away. I ate a couple and they’re still a little bitter; chances are the other two rows will be nice and sweet by the time I get back and pull them up.
Now that the weather in Maryland has cooled down a bit, and we’re (for the moment) free of earthquakes and hurricanes, we finally got our yard in order over the holiday weekend – the grass is freshly shorn, weeds are pulled, and the compost bin is newly stocked full of fallen leaves.
At the same time, it’s time to take a look at the extent of my garden’s summertime neglect.
I’m starting to find that bringing constant, new content to this site during the summer months is going to be difficult. Not only is my family much busier, but I find myself falling back on the same, tried-and-true meals as the summer heat kicks in – and they almost all include grilling. Since many of the dishes I love to grill are already on the site, I’m caught in a bit of a predicament.
Luckily, we signed up for a vegetable CSA share through a local farm which means that we’ve been getting all sorts of unexpected and new veggies every week. This basically requires me to find out more about each vegetable we get, and to research recipes to boot. This is one such recipe, although the same method can be applied to traditional greens (collard, mustard, turnip, etc).