TENDING the TABLE

Cauliflower Kofta

Welcome home! We’re settling back into city life and honestly, it’s a bit of a bummer. There’s the traffic, the noise, the absence of stars. It’s harder to get outside when all that greets us is concrete and rows upon rows of houses. The dogs are disappointed too. After weeks of frolicking in the snow and going on long walks they’re already feeling a little stir crazy. But, despite all of this, it’s nice to be back, sleeping in my own bed, cooking in my own kitchen, and getting back into a more consistent work routine. I’ve got some fun things coming your way next week, and in the meantime, I’ve got the recipe for this Cauliflower Kofta for you. We made this out in the Methow Valley and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. It’s a riff on the traditional mediterranean meat kofta, but made with cauliflower and packed with toasted pine nuts, dried currants, cinnamon and cumin. They’re amazingly fluffy and are great with some good crusty bread and tomato sauce. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Kofta

Makes 12 kofta

INGREDIENTS

1/2 head of cauliflower

1 tablespoon sunflower oil plus extra for frying

1/4 onion, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons dried currants

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 egg

1 28 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 bunch lacinato kale, chopped

PROCEDURE

Remove the stem and leaves from the cauliflower. Cut the florets into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the cauliflower resembles cous cous. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the cauliflower, the cumin, cinnamon and salt and cook, stirring frequently until the cauliflower is tender, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the currants, pine nuts, breadcrumbs and egg and stir to combine. The mixture should hold together when pressed between your fingers.

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Shape the cauliflower mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Fry the kofta, turning after several minutes, until golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate while you fry the rest of the kofta.

Combine the tomatoes and kale in a pot and warm over medium heat, until the kale is cooked and the sauce is hot. Transfer to a  baking dish or platter and top with the fried kofta. Serve with fresh bread.