March 28, 2012

Purple cauliflower & kale salad

Colourful side dish - purple cauliflower and kale

A few weeks ago I found two vegetables at the Farmer's Market that I had never seen in Dubai before - lovely purple cauliflower and kale.  Thank you organic farmers for giving us variety this year...even if it was only for one week.  Since it's so rare to find these two little gems, and I didn't want to mess around with the flavours too much, I prepared this healthy and colourful purple cauliflower and kale side dish.  To preserve the natural flavours and nutrients of the vegetables, I cooked them lightly by steaming them in a pan with a little water and a lid.  It's kind of like steam-frying but without the oil.  It was super quick and easy to prepare, which is always a bonus.

If you don't use the steaming method to cook your food, here are five reasons to try it:
  1. Retains more nutrients, vitamins and minerals in your food
  2. Cooking is done at a lower temperature and shorter time, avoiding overcooking or burning
  3. Keeps vegetables bright, colourful and more appetizing to look at
  4. Maintains the natural flavour of food
  5. Saves you time in the kitchen

Fresh from the market

Purple cauliflower & kale salad
Serves 2-3

1 whole purple cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small bunch kale
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Steam the purple cauliflower by cooking it a large non-stick frying pan with a little water.  Cover with a lid and cook until tender but still firm – about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from the pan into a salad bowl or serving dish.

Roughly chop the kale while still damp and toss into the same pan.  Cook until it just starts to wilt then place it into the bowl with the cauliflower.  Drizzle over the lemon juice, olive oil and season with salt.  Gently toss and serve immediately while still warm.

Note:  If you can't find kale, use spinach or any other local greens you have available.