Friday, November 23, 2012

2012 Thanksgiving Dish of the Day:

Ras el Hanout Roasted Cauliflower with Dates and Pinenuts
Serves 10-12

Something about this monochromatic dish captured the spirit of our Thanksgiving celebration perfectly!  Give it a try during the upcoming holiday season or serve it alongside white fish or grilled chicken for a memorable week-night meal.

2 Heads of cauliflower, cut into 3/4" thick steaks
Olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons of Ras el Hanout*
Salt and Pepper
1 Cup of pitted Medjool Dates, coarsely chopped
1/2 Cup of pinenuts, toasted
3 Garlic cloves, mined
8 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange the cauliflower on two parchment lines rimmed baking sheets and drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Sprinkle with Ras el Hanout and season evenly with salt and pepper.  Roast the cauliflower for 20 minutes (flipping after 10) or until it is slightly caramelized and for tender.  Allow roasted cauliflower to come to room temperature before arranging on a serving platter.

When ready to serve, place the dates, pinenuts, garlic and butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook until butter melts.  Mix well, add the 3/4 of the thyme leaves and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Pour the date-nut butter over the cauliflower, garnish the dish with remaining thyme leaves and serve at once.

*Ras el Hanout is a North African spice blend that can contain a mix of more than 50 spices.  Coriander, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and black pepper are featured prominently in any variation.  Look for the blend in finer grocery stores or spice markets.

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