Spinach & Cauliflower with Indian Spices • Romaine with Radishes, Cucumbers, and Sesame-Lemon Dressing • Flatbread • Sesame-Wheat Sablées
Here’s a side effect that happens after making soup for forty-plus people every week for eight years: quite frequently, when I eat something new that I like, I think “wow, that would make a great soup.”
Last week I made some vegan saag paneer, with tofu instead of cheese and cauliflower cream in place of yogurt, for the family I cook for on Thursdays. It was a Kenji Lopez-Alt recipe, and it was delicious. That man sure as heck knows what he’s doing. So this week, I riffed off his dish to make this spinach & cauliflower soup with Indian spices. I upped the amount of cauliflower so it was equal to the amount of spinach, added some potatoes for heft, puréed the soup, and then added in some more spinach at the end for color and texture. I’m pretty pleased with the result—it’s fragrant with cumin, coriander, and cardamom, with the earthy-musky background flavor and electric-yellow color that comes from turmeric, just a bit spicy, pleasantly tart from lemon juice, and nice and creamy from the puréed cauliflower. For those that want it, there’s a big dollop of salted yogurt to stir in.
I like this soup so much that I did something pretty unusual for me, and wrote down the quantities of ingredients (4 Tb each cumin, turmeric, coriander, 4 tsp cardamom, 5# spinach…), so I could recreate this soup again. If you guys like it as much as I do, I’ll put it on the list for next year.
The salad has that wonderful sesame-lemon dressing that I only make once or twice a year. Gosh, that stuff is delicious. Today we’ve got it on lettuce with radishes (from my parents’ garden), cucumbers, and green onions. And then sesame comes up again in the dessert, as toasted seeds added to whole-wheat sablé cookies. Sablées are my favorite type of cookie: buttery, tender, sandy-textured, and perfect next to (or dipped in) a cup of tea.
Note that the heating instruction for the bread is a little different this week. To keep the bread soft, sprinkle the surface with water before heating it in the oven.
Enjoy your dinner, my friends. Hunker down, hide from invading viruses, and spend time with your family or a good book—or both!