Let's talk about impulse purchases again. The good thing about food is its short shelf life, meaning there's less chance to accumulate clutter. Cookbooks, on the other hand, have a very long shelf life. In fact, they spend most of their life on the shelf. As my cookbook collection continues to grow I must be very careful about what I allow to live on my shelves. A friend of mine recently introduced me to The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. She received it from her grandma as a wedding gift and has been enjoying it ever since. I was immediately drawn in by the unique recipes and new ideas. However, I was determined that no matter how much I wanted to finish reading it, I wouldn't go home and impulse buy a copy. (Why yes, I do read cookbooks like books, thanks for asking.)
In order to delay my purchase I decided to first check out a copy from the library and see if it was truly shelf-worthy. After paging through and noting numerous recipes I couldn't wait to try, I was on the verge of a decision. Is this cookbook really unique and inspiring enough to deserve a spot on my shelf? While teetering on the edge of this decision, I found a used copy at a second hand store. You may remember I'm a sucker for a good deal.
Still, I resisted. I carried it around the store, stalling to look at other kitchen items I certainly don't need. I went back to the bookshelf several times, putting it back, then picking it up again and flipping through the pages. Suddenly out of nowhere (or the next aisle), a man comes up to me and says something along the lines of, "No way, you found that here! That's a great cookbook, I would highly recommend it. Grab it while you can." A good deal, high regards from a stranger, and the fact that if I put this back to think any longer he would have grabbed it off the shelf for himself. So, you can guess what I walked out of the store with, right?
Technically my copy hasn't made it to the shelf yet, it's still parked on the counter. I keep flipping through it trying to decide which recipe to make next. I love the unique but realistic ideas and am inspired by the flavor combinations. Today's recipe is my own twist on the first recipe I tried from the book. Being in an indecisive (and far too wordy) mood like yesterday, I actually ended up combining several ideas. What started out as a pasta dish ended up being a cauliflower casserole. Actually quinoa was involved the first round, but I ate the entire dish before taking a single picture, oops.
inspired by The New Moosewood Cookbook
1/2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp caraway seed
1 cup tightly packed fresh spinach, finely chopped
4 cups chopped cauliflower**
1-1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup milk + 1 tsp lemon juice)
1-1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1/4 tsp black pepper
**Cauliflower can be finely or roughly chopped. The larger the pieces, the longer the cooking time. For a more substantial dish try substituting part of cauliflower with cooked quinoa, white beans, garbanzos, potatoes or pasta.
* Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 7-x-11-inch baking dish with nonstick spray; set aside.
* In a medium or large skillet melt butter over medium to medium-high heat. Saute onion 5 minutes; add garlic, cabbage, mushrooms, salt and caraway seed. Continue cooking until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach and remove from heat.
* In a large bowl combine cauliflower, cottage cheese, buttermilk, dill weed and black pepper. Stir in sauteed vegetable mixture. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake 35-40 minutes or until cauliflower is fork-tender. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving. Extra liquid absorbs as the casserole cools, making it an excellent cold leftover.