We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there.
Today: On a Monday night, there's nothing wrong with asking for a little help.
We all get by with a little help from our friends and there's no better time to solicit helpers than during Monday night dinner preparation. You see those elegant ribbons of root vegetables? Well, carrots, parsnips, and yams don't just come that way. Ask a friend to do the peeling work. Those crispy florets of roasted cauliflower? Someone has to cut them.
With a couple handy helpers, this meatless meal will come together in no time and your dinner guests -- whether they're family, friends, or co-workers -- will know that they've earned their spot at the table. And even if you have to make this meal all by your lonesome, it just means more leftovers for you.
1 head cauliflower
2 pounds medium root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, burdock, rutabagas, yams, parsley root, or salsify)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped sage
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Yogurt or labane (optional)
Rustic bread and good butter
You probably have vegetable oil, butter, turmeric, ground coriander, hot paprika (or chili powder), cumin, salt, pepper, maple syrup, and lemon juice in your kitchen. If not, pick those up, too.
1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. Roast the cauliflower florets with vegetable oil and salt until brown, about 25 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crispiest florets.
2. Wash and peel the root vegetables. Continue to peel the vegetables from top to tip to produce long ribbons. (If you have a mandoline, you can use that instead.)
3. Slice onions into 1-inch thick rings, then cook in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in your spices: 1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric, ground coriander, and hot paprika or chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Add the broth, the cauliflower, and 4 cups of water. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
4. Melt 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large skillet along with the chopped sage. Add the root ribbons and toss them until they start to wilt. Then add 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, a grind of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, and 3/4 cup of water.
5. Keeping an eye on your ribbons, which should cook until all the liquid boils away (about 10 minutes), use an immersion blender to blend the soup. (Or transfer the liquid to a blender and process it in batches.)
6. When the soup's at the desired consistency, stir in as much yogurt or labne as you want, then sprinkle the reserved cauliflower florets overtop. By now, the ribbons should be tender and glazed, so get your spoons and forks ready. Rip off a big piece of bread -- you'll be dipping it in the soup.